Another school year begins for Santa Paula students
Published:  August 19, 2015

The 2015-16 school year got underway Wednesday for Santa Paula students.  

Santa Paula Unified School District Superintendent Alfonso Gamino said everything went pretty well across the district. However, they did have a lockdown at McKevett Elementary School midway through the morning, after an anonymous call to the Santa Paula Police Department. The caller reportedly made threats against unnamed individuals at the school. Gamino said police were quick to respond and officers stayed at the school until 12:30 with no problems reported. School was out at 11:50 am. Gamino said that, other than that hiccup it was a very good day. “I heard very positive stuff from the schools,” he said. “I’m very excited.” 

A number of kids have animals at the Ventura County Fair and missed the first three days of school. Santa Paula High School students with animals are counted as being in school and Ag teacher and FFA Advisor Alex Flores takes roll every day. As for Isbell Middle School and other students Gamino said he had not heard of any concerns. “We’re going to assess the impact on the schools after the fair,” he added.

McKevett Principal Lydia Olivo said, “McKevett staff is excited for our new and returning students to begin the school year. We are eager to encourage, motivate and inspire every child we interact with. I’m happy to add Mr. Braff as our full-time elementary counselor and Mrs. Ramirez as our part-time reading specialist. It’s great to add more support services for our students and the families.”

Renaissance High School Principal Dr. Robin Gillette said opening day went very well. She said they are “maxed out” as far as the number of students they can handle. There were 29 Model Continuation High Schools named in the State this year, one of them Renaissance High School. Renaissance was one of four Ventura County schools so honored.

Santa Paula High School Principal Elizabeth Garcia said things went very well. “This was the smoothest first day at SPHS since I’ve been here,” she noted. Garcia has been principal for five years and was an assistant principal for two years prior.

Garcia said they have a new program this year, starting with the new freshman class. It’s called “Get Focused…Stay Focused.” It’s designed to provide students with the necessary information and experiences to develop college and career readiness skills and to facilitate the development of an online 10-year career and education plan. Once students complete their online 10-year Plans in 9th grade, targeted classroom-based lessons in 10th, 11th, and 12th grades ensure students stay focused on their goals.

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