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Lucia Mar adds new school, offers alternative independent curriculum for K-12 students

Pacific View Academy

ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. -- There's a new addition to Lucia Mar Unified School District.

It's a brand new school that is set to open later this summer.

"We're really excited to open the Pacific View Academy, and they will be the Pelicans," said Hillery Dixon, who heads up curriculum and instruction for the district.

The district's 19th campus is located on the Mesa along Higway 1 in rural Arroyo Grande, next to Lopez High School.

The school essentially replaces the district's Independent Study Program, and was recently approved by the Lucia Mar School Board, as well as the California Department of Education.

It will feature alternative independent curriculum for students who are in kindergarten through 12th grades.

"It's an option for families that would like their student be working more independently, rather than in a traditional school model," said Dixon. "Our program is really individualized for each student, and that may mean it's fully virtual."

Students that use the virtual format will speak directly with teachers on a regular basis in Google Meet or Zoom type meeting.

"The typical model in that type learning situation is that students come in for at least an hour a week to meet face-to-face with a teacher, and depending on the student's needs," said Dixon.

The school has been in the works for a couple of years, and was not created because of the COVID-19 pandemic, although Lucia Mar officials now believe there could be greater interest in the alternative program because of it.

"A lot of families found this model during the school closure to actually be really wonderful for their children," said Dixon. "We anticipate when we open school up again in the fall, no matter what looks like, we're going to have a lot of families who recognize that this model is the model they'd like to pursue, at least for now, and perhaps multiple years for their children."

Pacific View Academy currently has about 130 students that are either enrolled, or have expressed interest.

The district has four teachers in place and is expected to hire several more, with the staff size to be determined by how many students ultimately are enrolled.

Lopez High School principal Jennifer Bowen will serve in the same capacity at the new school.

"We are really excited," said Dixon. "We have a bunch of energetic teachers there. We're adding more. A great staff. I think it's going to be a powerful year of learning for students.

Enrollment for Pacific View Academy is currently open and is available for students that not only live within the Lucia Mar Unified School District, but also outside of the district as well.

Lucia Mar will not offer transportation to the site and no deadline for enrollment has been announced.

First day of instruction at Pacific View, as well as all Lucia Mar schools, is August 13th.

Dixon said the district will announce format plans for its schools sometime in mid-July.

For more information on Pacific View Academy, visit www.pacificview.academy

California / Community / San Luis Obispo County / What's Right

Dave Alley

Dave Alley is a reporter and anchor at KCOY|KEYT|KKFX.