PRHS principal takes position of district director of secondary curriculum instruction

PASO ROBLES — Paso Robles High School (PRHS) will begin searching for a new principal as it was announced at the Tuesday Board of Trustees meeting that Anthony Overton will be taking a position as the director of secondary curriculum instruction.

Overton has been with the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District (PRJUSD) for 13 years, serving as PRHS principal for the last four. In 2015 he was named Teacher of the Year.

Discussion on reducing enrollment in the dual immersion program was tabled to return later in April. Trustees requested at the Tuesday, Feb. 28, meeting for staff to bring forward pros and cons of reducing enrollment in the dual immersion program or keeping it as it is at the 36th Street campus.

A new transportation plan was approved for the district. Moving forward, students will now receive free transportation to and from the campus. Prior to the Tuesday night meeting, there were two paid tiers for student transportation to and from campuses with the exception of students with disabilities who do not pay for transportation.

The full-fee tier cost parents $195 for the school year of round-trip rides to and from campus. Trustees Dorian Baker and Laurene McCoy raised concerns that all students should receive free transportation.

“Many of the young families that do not qualify for free transportation are struggling to support those that do,” said Baker in her reason for requesting the free transportation. “Bus transportation should be offered to all students at the same price. That would be equity for all.”

Assistant Superintendent, Business Services Brad Pawlowski explained the district receives $308,447 from the state for transportation, yet the district’s yearly cost is $1,616,919.

“We do not receive enough funding from the state to fully fund our transportation costs,” added Pawlowski. 

Baker pushed to approve the transportation plan with the condition that the fees be removed. Her motion was approved by McCoy. While the remaining trustees agreed with removing the transportation fees, there were concerns on how much that would cost the district. 

With some quick research by staff, it was determined the current paid fees come to a little over $22,000, which Pawlowski determined could be accommodated. Moving forward, the already-paid fees will be refunded and the next school year will have no paid transportation fees.

Pawlowski did bring up the concerns that the district still does not have enough drivers to serve the entire district, so until then, PRJUSD will continue to have limited transportation. 

The next PRJUSD meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 18, at 5:30 p.m.