Lucia Mar, San Luis Coastal school districts scale back summer school programs

Fewer students in two public school districts in San Luis Obispo County will have access to summer school this June.

The Lucia Mar Unified and San Luis Coastal school boards both approved plans this week for scaled-back programs for their students.

The Lucia Mar Unified School District, with more than 10,500 students in South County, will offer a limited program for those in need of additional academic support. The district has cut back its summer school offerings over the past few years.

The San Luis Coastal Unified district, with about 7,500 students in Los Osos, Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo, will take a one-year hiatus from most of its summer school programs.

The San Luis Coastal board, facing a $6 million deficit, voted 6-1 Tuesday to approve a scaled-back program that could save the district about $200,000. Board member Mark Buchman dissented.

Last year’s program served 653 elementary students and 598 secondary students; the latter took credit recovery or enrichment courses. That cost the San Luis Coastal district $214,695.

This year’s program, according to the staff report, could cost $8,000 to $16,000.

The district won’t offer any summer school for its elementary students (though a program for children of migrant workers may be offered; it would serve about 15 students). The middle school program will be extremely limited.

High school students who need additional credits can take some online courses through the district’s adult education program, according to a staff report from the board’s Tuesday meeting.

Students who want to take “enrichment” courses such as world history may be able to do so through Cuesta College. This is particularly helpful for Morro Bay High students, according to the staff report, so that they are able to take more elective courses during the school year.

The Lucia Mar board on Tuesday approved a smaller program that can accommodate about 300 elementary students, 120 middle school students and some credit-deficient high school students.

The high school program will offer 300 seats for a two-period day, so students who are deficient in more than one course can make up two classes, said Andy Stenson, the district’s assistant superintendent of curriculum.

The estimated $109,262 cost of the summer school programs will be covered with federal funds.

The program is far smaller than what the district offered about five years ago, when about 1,500 students were able to participate.

In 2011, the district cut the program and only offered it to about 350 elementary and middle school students and 180 high school students.

Last summer, the district offered only high school courses for about 250 credit-deficient students, Stenson said. The program was run almost entirely through Cuesta College, but taught by Lucia Mar teachers, at a cost of about $10,000.

The location for this year’s middle and high school programs is still being determined. The elementary school program will be held at Harloe and Nipomo elementary schools, Stenson said.

The two districts are not the only districts that have had to cut back on summer school (programs for special education students are not affected).

The Paso Robles district won’t offer summer classes for any grade level for the second year in a row.