ATASCADERO — The Atascadero Unified School District Board of Trustees met Tuesday night, Dec. 1, for their first meeting following the holiday weekend for an informational session that saw little action taken.

During the meeting, the Board recognized several key workers in the District and engaged in a lengthy discussion on the upcoming standardized testing and how to move forward without a year of in-person education.

The meeting opened with staff recognizing the efforts of Kamela Proulox in the Wellness Center and the workers in food service for going above and beyond and genuinely representing the District and its core values.

“It is an honor tonight to talk a little bit about Kamela Proulox. She is our Wellness Center coordinator, and it’s hard to talk about her without talking about the vision and mission of the Wellness Center because she is the machine behind the success,” Atascadero High School Assistant Principal Libby Madding said. “Five years ago, we had the vision of bringing a program to the high school that would allow us to provide therapeutic care to students and to destigmatize the therapeutic process. Kamela has done an incredible job of doing that. She has built the program, she has established student interns, and it is just an incredible service we are able to provide to not just the high school but the middle school and fine arts academy.”

Getting through this together, Atascadero

The Wellness Center is located at Atascadero High School but provides assistance to any student in the District looking for help or who may need some assistance. During an ordinary in-person board meeting, Proulox would have received a certificate from the trustees as well as a gift and a picture. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, she will receive her items in the mail.

Next, the Board recognized the workers that have been integral parts of keeping the District’s food service options open throughout the lockdowns and the summer.

“During times of COVID and this current pandemic, the bar has been raised,” AUSD Assistant Superintendent Curt Eichberger said. “Meaning our District has not only provided food on-site for students that have been coming in, but under the stewardship of Mrs. Mayhew [Louise Mayhew, Assistant Director of Support Services] we have been able to extend our summer program and also provide food and nourishment for any child that comes to one of our campuses, regardless of if they are a student or not.”

The Board recognized 19 employees: Bettina Curatolo, Manny Oliveras, Vivilen Ricafrente, Sarah Manley, Mimi Hysell, Teressa Rodriguez, Jodi Prentiss, Debra Lorden, Rena Berceny, Debbie Rennergarbe, Maria Lavigne, Pam Smith, Laine Larson, Cindy Wilson, Kristin Wilson, Danielle Reed, Kristina Harding, Erlyn Barca, and Debbie Arnold.

Before moving to their informational items, the Board declared that Dec. 2 is officially the Atascadero Unified School District Day of the Special Educator. Each year Dec. 2 is designated as National Special Education Day. On this date in 1975, the Individuals with Disabilities Act was signed into law.

The School Board meeting ended with two informational items, the first one covering the upcoming plans for the state-required tests in April. These tests, which are used to judge a student’s baseline of knowledge and where they are either proficient or deficient, were canceled last spring. It has become a topic of discussion around how to proctor the tests this year and prepare for potentially low test scores in the future.

In the final order of business, the District held a brief policy review with the Board of Trustees. It examined select policies and administrative regulations related to business and non-instructional operations such as food service.

To watch this school board meeting or any, go to Youtube and check out the Atascadero School District’s channel.