The District’s enrollment is up 61 students since May

PASO ROBLES — The Paso Robles, Joint Unified School District (PRJUSD) Board of Trustees met in person for a regular school board meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 14. The meeting was held in person with masks. However, public comment was still accepted virtually through phone, email, or in person.

Some additional counseling services are being offered for Seniors and their parents as they transition to college and careers.

The Paso Robles High School College and Career Center (CCC) is a resource center for students and parents. 

Getting through this together, Paso Robles

They offer support navigating financial aid, scholarships, career and college planning, and application assistance, military opportunities, and more.

Appointments can be made with PRHS counselors for additional help:

  • Mrs. Walker (College and Career Counselor)/tlwalker@pasoschools.org
  • Mrs. Soto (12th-grade counselor)/lesoto@pasoschools.org
  • Mr. Barajas (International Counselor)/cbarajas@pasoschools.org
  • Ms. Itzelt Santos (Cuesta/Financial Ais)/iasantos@pasoschools.org

An update was given for the Unaudited Actuals Financial Report. An updated report is due to the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education no later than Sept. 15 for the 2020-2021 school year.

According to Brad Pawlowski, assistant superintendent and business services, covid testing, salary schedule adjustments, and personal protective equipment (PPE) are adding significant future expenses.

An enrollment update was also presented to the board. 

PRJUSD is up 61 students from May. In addition, they have opened two new kindergarten classes. According to Tom Harrington, director of student services, masks are becoming a deciding factor for parents on whether or not they will pull their children from public schools.

Board trustees approved with a 7-0 vote a van driver special education paraeducator position. The goal of the position is to free up the limited available bus drivers.

The van driver/severely handicap paraeducator position will provide transportation to and from school with a nine-passenger or less vehicle.

The board also approved a position for a COVID contact tracer. The District sees between six and 22 notifications for potential COVID exposure. The contact tracer will conduct tracing and case investigation for PRJUSD students and staff.

This is a temporary position funded through CARES funds for two years at approximately $69,000 per year.

However, there were several public comments made against the new position. They stated a contacted tracer is an invasion of privacy, and the PCR tests are unreliable.

Board trustee Dorian Baker said she shares the concerns of the public commenters and asked to table the item until the results of the election are in as those results could change a lot of requirements for the schools.

Contact tracing is required by the State to remain open in person. According to the deputy superintendent Jennifer Gaviola, all contract tracing is done over the phone. As of now, staff members, including Gaviola, are dedicating a few hours of their day to doing contract tracing. 

Trustees voted to approve the position with a 5-2 vote, with Trustees Jim Reed and Baker voting no, with the caveat that the position will be sunsetted at the earliest possible date. 

Baker said, “I understand the extra work. I don’t want this motion to pass unanimously that we don’t object to the idea of what we have to be doing.”

Trustees approved with a 7-0 vote to purchase two Ford Expeditions and four transit passenger vans. This is to ease rentals from Enterprise Rent a Car and replace high mileage vans for various transportation needs throughout the District. 

Item J.7.: Approve Contract Award for B21-22-003 Winifred Pifer ES 600 & 900 Wing Roof Restoration to James A. Quaglino, Inc. DBA Quaglino Roofing was tabled because staff received a bid protest. A new recommendation will be brought to the next board meeting.

The next school board meeting is scheduled for Sept. 28 at 6 p.m.