The Atascadero School Board of Trustees came together Tuesday night for a robust meeting full of information, including superintendent Tom Butler’s State of the District presentation. Over the course of the evening, the Trustees were joined on the zoom broadcast by a few elementary principals and an Atascadero High School student representative who also provided presentations on their respective sites.

AHS representative Bella Otter updated the Trustees on the happenings at the high school, noting that the school’s mock rock/ talent show will go on this year, but with one caveat, videos will be filmed away from school and sent in to be judged. While this will change the old format, it also provides new exciting opportunities for students to showcase their talents that can’t fit on a stage like surfing, skating, and other outdoor skills.

Otter also stated that AHS is still hoping to have a prom this year. The event would be held at AHS, and fundraisers will be held in an attempt to lower costs as much as possible for students. The event is a way to give 2020 seniors at least one senior moment before entering the next phase of their lives. The District is working with the County Department of Public Health for this event.

Next, the zoom meeting was joined by Principals Julie Davis (Monterey Road), Kat Holmes (San Benito) and Merry Reynolds (Carissa Plains and Creston), who provided an overview of the year as well as some updates on how in-person and distance educating is working at their sites and how they are fighting lost learning.


Following their presentation, Superintendent Butler presented the Board and the public with his annual State of the District presentation. AUSD’s yearly goals have stayed consistent for the past six years and will continue as a three-pronged approach of student success, staff collaboration and community partnership.

Butler provided insight on the District’s average kindergarten class size, which has been a point of emphasis to lower. This year, the average class size is 24, which is due to hard work and also aided by the falling enrollment.

Atascadero’s enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year is 4,412, which is 226 down from the previous year and 326 down from 2018.

Butler continued, updating the public on AUSD’s graduation numbers which sit at 94.9 percent across all schools in the District (including Paloma Creek), which is much higher than the state average at 84.3 and higher than the County average at 90.3.

Atascadero continues to be one of the top districts in the county as far as providing career pathways through advanced placement courses and dual enrollment programs working with local community colleges.

For more information on the State of the District or to watch the School Board meetings in their entirety, subscribe to AUSD’s Youtube channel.