ATASCADERO — The AUSD Board of Trustees came together Tuesday night for a long and informative meeting where they were presented with the new pool facility’s first digital renderings and the new professional development that the District staff will start undertaking this year.

The meeting first opened with a moment of recognition of the Core Value of Excellence for Paloma Creek bilingual interpreter Robert Gaona. Chris Balogh, Principal of alternative education, presented the award to Gaona, who also received a certificate and a nice insulated coffee mug for his outstanding work.

“Mr. Gaona is the most helpful bilingual interpreter with whom I have had the pleasure to work,” Balogh said. “In the alternative education department, Mr. Gaona has helped us at Paloma Creek High School and Ace Academy intake meetings, family support team meetings, individual education plan meetings, court dates, and with the student attendance review board hearings. These meetings often come all at once during various times of the year, and always, Mr. Gaona patiently works with our crowded calendars and is never late to a meeting.”

Following the recognition of excellence, Superintendent Butler provided a COVID-19 update. Butler stated that once the County begins giving the school’s vaccinations, they will be delivered in three waves. In the first wave, vaccinations will be available to those dealing with students and people directly, like elementary teachers, those working in-person with special education and food service workers. Wave two will contain teachers currently working remotely, and wave three will be for office-based employees.

The vaccine will be optional and up to the staff members unless mandated by a higher authority.

Next, the Atascadero City Council extended an invitation to the Board of Trustees to nominate a member onto the sales tax oversight committee. After a little conversation, Trustee Mary Kay Mills nominated Trustee Ray Buban, who accepted.

Brant Lloyd, Facilities Director for AUSD, entered the Zoom meeting next and brought on Tom Cruise of PJHM Architects to discuss the pool’s renderings. The new pool site will sit almost identically to where the current one sits now but with a much more open floor plan.

The pool will be 35 meters long and 75 feet wide and will come with covered bleachers that can accommodate 150 people. Additional bleachers will be placed adjacent to the ones with shade for extra seating.

In an effort to keep costs low, the design was ripped down to the studs, only leaving the bare essentials. There will be one building located at the foot of the pool that will house bathrooms, pool equipment, and some outdoor showers. Teams will still be required to get dressed and prepared for the games in the locker rooms located just beyond the fences. The pool will also come with new state of the art lighting and a scoreboard.

The District is still waiting on the final estimate and will have another opportunity to make changes should the cost come back too high for their liking. AUSD is expecting to know within the next month.

Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, EJ Rossi, was the next presenter at the meeting and discussed the District’s new certificated employee professional development plan. The AUSD educational services department will partner with Marzano Research Associates to train lead learners in the District, who will support the rest of the staff on early release Friday’s and Teacher Development days.

The new method helps keep teachers and students focused specifically on the most critical parts of the curriculum and provides a way to assess proficiency. It also provides a way to target areas in which students may need improvement.

To learn more about the District’s new method or watch any of the AUSD School Board of Trustees meetings, go to Youtube and subscribe to their page.

Getting through this together, Atascadero