pajaro lakeview middle school students bus
Students from Lakeview and Pajaro middle schools board a bus at the close of classes Tuesday at Lakeview Middle School. Photo: Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian

PAJARO—As Pajaro residents wait for waters to recede and for officials to lift the evacuation orders that have beset the small community since the March 11 levee breach, hundreds of Pajaro Middle School students are attending class three miles away at Lakeview Middle School.

Pajaro Valley Unified School District officials have not yet been able to access the school to gauge the flood damage, but Chief Business Officer Clint Rucker predicts that a quick return is not likely to happen.

Built to hold 1,000 students, Lakeview was once Pajaro Valley Unified School District’s largest middle school, says Superintendent Michelle Rodriguez. 

But declining enrollment over the last several years there has left 14 classrooms empty, she says.

Now just 450 students attend the school, with an additional 450 from Pajaro Middle.

In addition to using the empty classrooms, Lakeview reconfigured two of its larger spaces to further accommodate the extra students. 

The two schools are on separate bell schedules, and each has its own school start time, passing periods, break, lunch and end time, Rodriguez says. 

The closure is not the first time weather has forced a school to relocate. 

In February 2017, storm damage on Valencia Road forced Valencia Elementary School to close, and its students to relocate to Cabrillo College and Aptos High School. The road was repaired by August, allowing students to return for the first day of school.

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General assignment reporter, covering nearly every beat. I specialize in feature stories, but equally skilled in hard and spot news. Pajaronian/Good Times/Press Banner reporter honored by CSBA.


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