The board did not allow live public comment at the time the agenda items were discussed as required, from March 2020 through September 2020. They only allowed comments to be made via email, in private, prior to the meetings. These emails were not made available to the public or read aloud during the meetings.
CDPH updated their guidelines regarding athletics on 7/31/20, which went into effect on 8/3/20. Lucia Mar did not allow athletes to return to limited conditioning until 10/5/20. At this point, student athletes had already been locked out of their sports for almost 5 months and were forced to wait an additional 2 months. Athletics is very important to student athletes and this unnecessary delay was detrimental to their physical and mental well being.
The District could have opened all grade levels in a hybrid format as early as October 6th, 2020 after we went into the red tier the first time on September 22nd, 2020. Because they were unprepared and didn’t open as soon as they could have, they missed the window of opportunity and consequently, did not open until March 2021. This decision kept LMUSD students home an additional 5 months when many other districts in our County began opening in a hybrid format several months earlier.
The District could have still opened all elementary grades after we returned to the purple tier, but they refused to seek a waiver, even though the SLO County Health Department was actively encouraging school districts to do so. Other surrounding districts (Paso Robles, Templeton, Atascadero) continued with their reopening plans and opened in a hybrid format during the months of November and December. Lucia Mar didn’t open any schools in a hybrid format until March 2021.
CDPH guidelines were updated in March 2021 allowing all schools to open for full time, 5 day a week, in person instruction. Lucia Mar refused to open all it’s schools full time and is planning to wait 5 more months until August 2021 to return students to the classroom.
The majority of students did not return to school under the hybrid format because the schedule is not conducive to working parents being able to get their children to and from school under the 2.5 hour schedule and the District also refused to provide bus transportation to assist parents. The Board refused to open all our schools for full time, in person learning when the CDPH guidelines changed in March 2021. Because of their decision to wait until August 2021 to reopen, most LMUSD students will not have been in a real classroom with their teachers and classmates for a total of 17 months.
Failing grades at the high school level were up by 185% at the 1st quarter. These failing grades were still up 155% at the semester, even after all of the District’s “mitigation efforts”.
Update: As of May 18, 2021, board meetings were reopened to the public in a limited capacity.
As of May 1, 2021, Paso Robles, Templeton, Atascadero, and San Luis Coastal school board meetings are either open to the public, or they are at a minimum allowing parents in to the meeting to offer live public comment. LMUSD board meetings are still closed to the public and they refuse to let parents in to the meetings to offer public comment in person. In fact, the entire Board itself is not even present in the board room at the time of the meeting and have not been since September 1, 2020.
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