Wednesday, April 25 , 2018, 8:43 am | Overcast 53º


School Board Gives the Go-Ahead for La Cuesta’s Consolidation

To start, two of the high school's cross-town campuses will move to a vacant downtown building by the fall.

The Santa Barbara School Board last week gave the green light to merge two of the four cross-town campuses of La Cuesta Continuation High School.

In the fall, students at the campuses housed near Santa Barbara High and La Colina Junior High will attend school in what is now a vacant building at 215 E. Ortega St.

The vacant Ortega Street building formerly belonged to the K-6 Community Academy, which has moved to La Cumbre Junior High School on Modoc Road.

The board on Tuesday night also heard a staff report from Facilities Director David Hetyonk, who said it would be feasible to move the downtown headquarters – next door to the Ortega Street site – into empty portions of Santa Barbara Junior High on East Cota Street. That move would not occur in the fall, however.

This means that the cash-short school board eventually can rent out its digs to commercial interests to generate revenue. Deputy Superintendent Eric Smith has estimated it could yield $624,000 annually.

Board members had hesitated saying yes to La Cuesta because they wanted more information on the possibility of renting out that property as well. Smith estimated that doing so could generate $300,000 to $400,000 annually.

La Cuesta, which serves about 150 students, has four campuses, each near the main campuses of other traditional schools: Santa Barbara High, San Marcos High, Dos Pueblos High and La Colina Junior High. The campus at La Colina is known as Las Alturas Continuation High.

The proposed plan is to consolidate the school in three phases, starting in the fall. The first year would involve merging the continuation campuses housed at Santa Barbara High and La Colina Junior High, which are six miles apart. Other students would come in the next two years. The students at Dos Pueblos in Goleta would stay put, because it is so far away.

La Cuesta educators have been arguing that the consolidation would better allow teachers to collaborate. As it is, instructors at the scattered sites are having to teach as many as six subjects.

La Cuesta generally doesn’t serve students who have been expelled. That charge belongs more to El Puente School on Gutierrez Street downtown.

Rather, students at La Cuesta tend to have truancy problems. They tend to be behind on credits, and La Cuesta lets the students catch up by completing more credits in a shorter span of time.

Noozhawk staff writer Rob Kuznia can be reached at [email protected].


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