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School board discusses low test scores, drug testing student athletes 

–The Paso Robles Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees met at the PRJUSD office Tuesday evening. The board received presentations from Virginia Peterson Elementary School and a student representative from Paso Robles High School.

Assistant Superintendent Carol Kenyon gave a report on academic performance and the district’s policy on homework. She said in the early grades the intent is to encourage students’ responsibility and self-discipline. The expectation is that the student will not be given more than an hour of homework per evening, Monday-Thursday. Homework becomes more intense at the high school level, but teachers are discouraged from assigning more than five hours of homework per week for each course.

Trustee Tim Gearhart raised the issue of academic performance at the middle school level. He pointed out that Paso Robles middle school tested below the state average. Carol Kenyon said that the test scores improve at the high school level.

Superintendent Curt DuBost said that his grandchildren attend Templeton schools, and they are overburdened with homework. He says too much homework discourages students.

Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Gaviola talked about a new guide for sports in the PRJUSD. She said that fewer than 10% of students participating in athletics participate in random drug testing. She pointed out that all students who participate in sports at Templeton High School are drug tested before the season, and then submit to random drug testing during the season. She said, however, that Templeton is a much smaller school. The sports guide also includes mandates for training for coaches and adult supervisors for the safety of the students.

One graphic which has disappeared from the board meeting room was Chris Williams’ adage, “One Team, One Dream.” That design on the walls of the district board room has been painted over and replaced with a district logo including an oak tree.

At the next meeting of the PRJUSD school board, the trustees are expected to evaluate the superintendent and their own performance.



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