Trustee Board votes to move funding from Santa Rosa Academic Academy to the completion of the AHS pool

ATASCADERO — The Atascadero Unified School District (AUSD) met for its regularly scheduled trustee meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m.

Before the start of both the closed and open sessions of this week’s board meeting, the AUSD held an organizational meeting in which they elected a new president and clerk.

“We have changed positions here, and I am now the clerk, and Terri Switzer, who is absent today, is the president,” said newly selected clerk Tracy Ellis-Weit. “So since she’s absent, I am acting as the president running this meeting.” 


During Oral Communication from the public, three of the district’s kindergarten teachers addressed the board with a report on how switching to full-day kindergarten has gone on each of their sites. The feedback was positive.

“We’re excited to see where the rest of the year takes them [the students] and how they will be better prepared to transition into first grade,” stated Linda Baker from Santa Margarita Elementary. “As kindergarten teachers, we are spending this year preparing our students for the rigors of first grade. So far, we have felt success because of the smaller class sizes and increased instructional support you’ve provided for kindergarten. The question we have now is, how do you plan to continue the support for these students as they move on to first grade? In first grade, classes are capped at 32 students to one teacher; the conversation of smaller class sizes is not finished and needs to extend to include all primary grade levels, first through third grade.” 

Both the minutes from the Nov. 7 school board meeting and the minutes from the board’s study session on Nov. 14 passed unanimously. The Consent Agenda also passed unanimously.

A Board of Trustees retreat was proposed, and after much discussion with the board, it was decided that the retreat will tentatively take place Thursday, Jan. 25, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The item was approved with the amended date and time. 

The board was presented with a Public Hearing of the Public Discloser on the Collective Bargaining Agreement between AUSD and the California School Employees Association Atascadero Chapter 124 by Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Jackie Martin. The item passed unanimously.

Martin then brought forth Resolution #10-23-24, Support of the Use of Savings on Other High Priority Capital Outlay Projects.

“So the district received State School Facility Funding for the Santa Rosa Academic Academy, and based on the allowed expenditures, there’s actually a budget savings based on that calculation. If we adopt a resolution saying we’re going to utilize that for another project, we do not have to give the state back those funds,” said Martin. “So this resolution would be to take that savings and apply it to the pool project [at the high school]. There’s no exchange of money; we’ve already received all the money. This just prevents us from having to send money back to the state. It is a capital improvement project. The pool is an active project that is an appropriate use of that State School Facility funding savings.”

The resolutions passed unanimously, along with Resolution #11-23-24 Positive Certification 2023-2024 First Interim Budget Report for the reporting period ending on Oct. 31, 2023, and the Salary Schedule Placement for Daily/Hourly Employees effective Jan. 1, 2024, also presented by Martin.

Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services E.J. Rossi then gave two informational-only presentations to the board. One on the Expanded Learning Opportunities Program (ELOP), and an Update on the A-G Completion Improvement Grants.

“A-G is, you complete a certain number of courses that fall according to the colleges in categories, and the categories are lettered A-G,” said Rossi. “So when they [students] graduate, they have that option to enroll directly into the University.”

Assistant Superintendant of Human Resources Dan Neff then presented two public hearings: the Initial Bargaining Proposal for 2024-2025 from Atascadero District Teachers’ Association (ADTA) to AUSD and the Innitial Bargaining Proposal for 2024-2025 from AUSD to ADTA. Both passed unanimously.

The next regularly scheduled AUSD school board meeting will be on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024, at 7 p.m.