The Cambrian

Coast Unified creates new high school science teaching position

Coast Unified trustees voted to hire a new high school science teacher in closed session prior to their regular school board meeting Thursday night, March 9.

The new position will be incorporated into Coast Union High School staffing in the 2017-18 school year. District Business Manager Annie Lachance said the new teacher would be paid roughly between $53,000 and $60,000, depending on his or her experience level.

The district recently eliminated a Spanish teaching position, which helped free up money for the new hire, Superintendent Vicki Schumacher said, adding that such fluid changes in staffing are normal.

Also during closed session, the board accepted the resignation of Jonathan Mattson, who joined the district staff in the fall as a music teacher for grades 4-12. It also unanimously approved the expulsion of a student.

During open session, the board heard reports on the budget, the “Get Focused Stay Focused” program for high school freshmen, math support and intervention, and summer maintenance projects.

The board, by consensus, directed Maintenance and Operations Director Lee Wight to spend $52,265 for a series of projects to remain in compliance with state codes and mandates. Those projects are $25,000 for new fire alarms in a high school classroom; $5,000 for bleacher inspections; $4,500 to test sprinklers at Cambria Grammar School; and $17,765 for electrical panel testing districtwide.

Wight also presented a series of other projects at the four campuses that did not involve compliance issues, ranging from gymnasium projects at Coast Union to window tinting at Cambria Grammar School. Trustees wanted more information on prioritizing these projects, with those involving student health and safety going to the top of the list, and suggested there wouldn’t be enough money to fund all of them.

In Lachance’s second interim financial report, she said the district had seen no significant revenue changes since the first interim report, which went through Oct. 31, 2016.

Despite some new expenses, most notably $19,000 to fix a water leak at the district offices, the district’s total deficit of $609,751 was down from $631,251 at the first interim report.

Lachance said the district has a reserve of $1,061,175, or 7.94 percent, down from 8.37 percent at the first interim. She cautioned that, if trends continue, the reserve will continue to drop and would reach 3 percent by 2019-20. (The district is required by law to maintain a reserve of at least 4 percent.)

Lachance said she was “looking for some other things to cut. … We really started looking at everything.”

In light of the tight budget, Schumacher asked trustees to consider forgoing her annual raise this year.

Mock Trial

A team of students from Coast Union High School placed fourth in the San Luis Obispo County Mock Trial competition, which included six other high schools in the county. Coast Union was the only school in its first year in the competition.

The defense team won both of its trials. Out of 23 defense attorneys five were awarded certificates, and three of those were from Coast Union: Paul Butterfield, Riley Kennedy and Tori Ehlers.

Holly McHaffie won a certificate for her role as Cameron Awbrey, victim, and Raely Barbosa won for her role as defendant Lin Stark.

Kindergarten registration

Transitional kindergarten and kindergarten students new to Coast Unified School District must preregister online. Online preregistration instructions will be available in English and Spanish during the week of April 3-7 at

Currently enrolled transitional kindergarten do not need to preregister for kindergarten.

Children who will be 5 between Sept. 2 and on/or before Dec. 2, 2017 are eligible to enter transitional kindergarten.

Children who will be 5 on or before Sept. 1, 2017 are eligible to enter kindergarten.

If you are unable to register online a preregistration help session for parents will be held from 8:30 to 11 a.m. and from 3 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 4, in the Cambria Grammar School Computer Lab. Parents should bring their child’s legal birth certificate, immunization records and proof of address. Contact the school office for questions at 805-927-4400.

Coming up

April 17-21 — Spring Break.

April 29 — Ray Barbee and the Mattson 2 in an oceanfront jazz concert at Hearst Ranch Warehouse, San Simeon; a fundraiser to benefit Cambria teachers and students. Tickets are $45 until March 17 and $50 thereafter at

June 2 — Party to honor retiring Cambria Grammar School Principal Bob Watt and other district retirees at Fog’s End.

June 8 — Leffingwell High School and Santa Lucia Middle School graduations.

June 9 — Coast Union High School graudation.