PASO ROBLES — Paso Robles High School FFA was recognized for ranking 17th out of almost 330 chapters statewide during Tuesday’s, Nov. 10, school board meeting.

Last year, the Paso Robles Ag Department set a goal to reach the top 20 in two years. The Paso Robles FFA chapter has held virtual meetings, held elections for chapter sentinel, and attended the 93rd National FFA Conference, which was held through Zoom this year.

In response to COVID-19, the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District made it a priority to improve indoor air quality.

Trustees approved the purchase of several HVAC units for several locations in the District. Staff identified 17 HVAC units at Daniel Lewis Middle School that needed replacement. The new systems will increase filtration and indoor air quality. The cost for the new units came to $81,784 and will be paid with CARES Act funds.

Purchase of HVAC controls for the Meadowlark Building at Virginia Peterson Elementary School and the PRJUSD District Office was approved. There will be controls purchased for approximately nine units totaling at $79,140 in CARES Act Funds for the Meadowlark building and $57,600 in CARES Act Funds for the District Office.

Trustees approved, 5-2, Joel Peterson and Stephanie Ulibarri voted no, the purchase of the Synexis Sphere for District nursing areas.

The sphere will help disinfect and clean high-risk areas such as nursing areas where symptomatic students will be held. Using CARES Act Funds, the device will cost $23,850.

Trustees approved the purchase of Edgenuity Courseware at $72,500 through the CARES Act. This includes a one-year license through Edgenuity for $72,000 and professional development training for teachers of $500.

The license provides AP and honors classes, electives, world language, dual credit and credit recovery for grades 6-12 in an online platform.

An MOU was approved between PRJUSD and the San Luis Obispo County Behavioral Services from 2020-2024. This project will be located at Flamson and Lewis middle schools.

The project focuses on Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) by “providing activities that reduce risk factors for the development of mental illness and to build protective factors to reduce negative outcomes.”

Services are provided by county staff and community-based organizations, so there is no cost to PRJUSD for the services. The county will be providing two student support counselors, two family advocates and two youth development specialists.

Superintendent Curt Dubost addressed parent concerns about transportation not being available to take students to school from areas like San Miguel and Heritage Ranch because they are moving into a hybrid schedule.

Dubost explained it boils down to a lack of drivers. Due to drivers retiring or unable to return to work, the District has a massive shortage of drivers.

Dubost said, “If anybody out there, a parent in Heritage who is desperate and needs a part-time job, and would like to become a bus driver, come see us, please.”

Once the District has drivers, a transportation system will be put in place for students needing it.

Getting through this together, Paso Robles