Education

Central Coast New Tech High accepting applications from students countywide

The Lucia Mar school district is accepting applications from students outside the South County district who want to attend a new school opening in Nipomo in August, district officials announced Tuesday.

Central Coast New Tech High is scheduled to open in August on the Nipomo High campus with a class of 150 freshmen. Each subsequent year will add another class of about 125 students.

The district is accepting applications from students who are entering ninth grade in the 2012-13 school year. There is no formal acceptance process; the spots are available on a first-come, first-serve basis as long as the student is in good standing with his or her current district, said Lucia Mar spokesman Ryan Foran.

Students may also need to be released by their district of residence.

About 10 spots are available, Foran said. Additional applicants will be placed on a waiting list. The additional spots became available when some current Lucia Mar students who had been accepted into the program decided to attend Arroyo Grande High or Nipomo High instead.

New Tech High is a small-school program that incorporates high-technology teaching methods — including ensuring each student has a computer — and “project-based learning” similar to Cal Poly’s “learn by doing” philosophy.

The district has received accolades for starting the new school, as well as a $250,000 grant from PG&E. However, in September, some teachers and parents urged board members to delay New Tech’s opening and instead direct money to restore programs that have been slashed during budget cuts in past years.

For more information on the school, visit www.centralcoastnewtech.org.

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