More than half of Lucia Mar tech school spots filled

A day and a half after registration opened for a new school in South County, more than half the 125 spots for next fall’s freshmen class are filled.

As of this afternoon, 66 students had signed up for Central Coast New Tech High, a new school the Lucia Mar school district plans to open on the Nipomo High campus starting in August. Registration opened Tuesday.

The Lucia Mar school board approved New Tech High in April, moving forward its goals of promoting “21st century skills” in students, such as critical thinking, teamwork, self-direction and global awareness.

The school by design is small, expanding to a total of 500 students by 2015. District officials compare New Tech’s model to Cal Poly’s “learn by doing” philosophy, with a high tech twist: Students work in teams to solve problems or challenges, classrooms are equipped with high-tech equipment, and there is a one-to-one student to computer ratio.

A maximum of 125 students will be accepted for the first year, with priority given to current Lucia Mar students. If more than 125 students apply, the district will hold a random lottery to fill spots 51-125.

Most of the 66 students who have already registered are current Lucia Mar students, said district spokesman Ryan Foran. One home-schooled student and one student currently in private school also signed up, but more information was not available this afternoon.

A parent information night will be held Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. at Paulding Middle School, 600 Crown Hill St. in Arroyo Grande.

Registration forms can be filled out online at www.CentralCoastNewTech.org or picked up at the school offices at Judkins, Mesa, and Paulding middle schools, and at the Lucia Mar District office at 602 Orchard St. in Arroyo Grande.