High School campus B-Building scheduled to be demolished

ATASCADERO — The Atascadero School Board of Trustees came together on Tuesday to review the AUSD Citizens’ Bond Oversight annual report, approve architectural services to bring down the B-Building, and to get an update on AHS, Paloma Creek and Ace Academy.

Atascadero High School Principal Dan Andrus and Paloma Creek High School Principal Chris Baloh opened the meeting to talk about their school sites as part of rotational informational meetings for the Trustees that began earlier this year.

“The big news at Atascadero High School is that students are back,” Andrus said. “566 students returned last week, which is about half of our students, and they are here in-person for about half of the day.”

Andrus updated the Trustees on what has returned in-person, including instruction and events and clubs such as the athletics, the Greybots, FFA, Model UN and Mock Rock. He provided updates on the facilities, graduation rate (which was at 98.1 percent in the 2019-2020 school year), and the many career pathways offered at the high school.

After answering a few questions from the Trustees, Andrus also explained how the District is dealing with lost learning and pointed to the services being offered such as Math Lab, extended credit recovery, summer school, and zero periods, which is embedded support.

Principal Balogh joined the zoom next to discuss Atascadero’s alternative education schools but began with a call to action for parents and community members to have conversations with their children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Balogh stated that since March of 2020, four former, recently graduated students and one current student lost their life due to an accidental overdose.

“I bring it up as sort of a public service message because I think it is important to recognize that it is real,” Balogh said. “It is happening, and if we don’t talk about it, then it is not going to stop.”

Following the message, the Principal gave a presentation on the alternative education system offered, showing examples of the creative distance learning techniques used as well as reporting that in 2020 they graduated 101 students in 2020, including 11 juniors, and have already graduated 12 students in 2021.

Ace Academy saw their enrollment increase by 307 students in the 2020-2021 school year and have experienced regular increases throughout the last several years. In 2016-2017, Ace Academy was home to 113 students and grew to 183 before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Balogh also talked about a program Ace Academy is working on called “Jumpstart to College,” which collaborates with Cuesta College. Students will be able to earn close to 60 or more transfer units in high school and be considered for sophomore or junior status at CSU and UC upon graduation. The program will begin in the ninth grade and requires at least a 3.0 GPA in middle school for acceptance.

The Citizens’ Oversight Committee report was very brief and presented by Assitant Superintendent Jackie Martin, who reported the audits to be “clean” and that they had “no negative findings.”

In closing, the Trustees approved $256,000 for architectural services to 19six Architects to demolish the B-Building and replace it with a new quad area.

To watch this or any Board of Trustees meetings, go to Youtube.com and subscribe to the AUSD channel.

Getting through this together, Atascadero