Dear Santa Barbara Students, Employees, Families, and Community Partners,
I’m writing to express my sincere gratitude and excitement as your new Superintendent. The warm welcome has been inspiring. Thank you for embracing me as part of your community.
I have been following your work on issues of equity, excellence and achievement for all students. Your commitment to ensure all students are prepared with strong academic and social emotional supports resonates with my own values.
We are in the midst of dual pandemics. The first one sent everyone home in March and continues to threaten the health and safety of many people in our country and community. The second one is rooted in a movement for racial and social equity that are the cornerstones of a just society. To address the latter, our school board members took swift action and adopted a Board Resolution and Action Plan in support of Black youth, and youth of color, in Santa Barbara. Additionally, the district’s English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC) delivered a Statement of Solidarity in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. I am so proud to be joining a district where a community of diverse parents, students and educators took such a collective and unified position on this movement.
As we continue to review and refine our plans for school reopening, we will not be returning to “normal.” We will be designing an education plan that is more humane, equitable and just.
I appreciate hearing from students, families, teachers and community members on our school reopening plans. While we don’t yet have all the answers, rest assured that there are many excellent leaders working together to design comprehensive plans. Our decisions will be guided by science and facts, concerns for health and safety, and the objective of providing a quality education for all students. We will continue to stay connected to our local and state experts on ways to ensure the health and safety of both employees and students.
One thing is certain: we will all need to continue to remain flexible as we adapt to ever-changing circumstances.
I look forward to meeting every one of you in the course of my first year as your Superintendent. It’s a true pleasure to be joining this amazing community!
Santa Barbara Unified School District