The Cambrian

Coast Unified board approves Santa Lucia upgrades

Coast Unified School District trustees took a number of important actions at their meeting Thursday, April 16, perhaps the most significant of which was approving a series of upgrades to Santa Lucia Middle School. 

The school’s grounds have been neglected for years, with formerly green grass rapidly turning to dirt amid the drought. The board unanimously approved three projects at a total cost of about $50,000, which will be drawn from the district’s reserves.

The improvements will start with the entry area around the school’s flagpole. Some shrubs will be removed or cut back, and artificial turf will take the place of dying sod. In an area near the gymnasium, the plan is to build a sand volleyball court. Kyle Martin, the school’s principal, pointed out that volleyball is popular at the middle school and an upgraded facility will prepare students as they move on to high school teams.

The most significant upgrade will be to an area called the “diag.” This area, behind classrooms and leading to the playing field, is not only a high-traffic area, but a popular hangout during lunch and breaks. The district plan will create two paths crossing the area diagonally and fill the newly created triangles with artificial turf and native plantings. 

Other actions

Also at the meeting, trustees approved new math textbooks and the terms of a new agreement with the Coast Cambria Teachers Association.

The math texts, which are compatible with the Common Core state standards, will be introduced in kindergarten through eighth grades. The K-5 books are published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, while the middle school texts, which include grade-level math and first-year algebra, are published by CPM. 

The agreement with the CCTA resulted from negotiations district Superintendent Victoria Schumacher characterized as very cooperative. With the agreed amendments, the basic agreement between teachers and the district is in place through the 2018 school year and will renew annually after that, unless revised.


In addition to business, the meeting was highlighted by presentations — one from two Leffingwell students and another by the three district librarians.

The two Leffingwell students described a range of curriculum, projects and electives, ranging from a marine biology class visit to the Morro Bay Abalone Farm to learning the basics of photography and layout for the school yearbook.

District library staff members Shannon Jackson, Suzanne Kennedy and Bridget Smith described their positions as the heart of their respective schools, providing connections among students, faculty, community and information resources, and serve as local technology gurus. 

Trustee Murdoch resigns

It was announced at the April 16 school board meeting that recently elected trustee Lesli Murdoch, has resigned. Superintendent Victoria Schumacher thanked her for her service to the district.

In attendance at the meeting were President Del Clegg, and trustees Dr. Judith Hillen, Dr. Sue Nash and Cindy Fratto.