Letter from Superintendent Maldonado: School Starts August 18!

Dear Santa Barbara Unified Students, Employees, Families, and Community Partners,

We are looking forward to the opening of school on August 18th. As we move to open the school year with a distance learning format, we are prepared with developmentally appropriate lessons that are engaging and take into account each student’s well-being. By now many of you have had an opportunity to participate in webinars led by school principals which provide information on what to expect and how to prepare for distance learning. Our Education Technology Services staff continues to distribute devices, WiFi hotspots, as well as creating help documents and videos for parents.

In the coming days you will receive additional information from school principals on how to pick up school schedules, textbooks, school materials, and specific school site supports. We are proud to be one of the first district’s in the State to be implementing an Ethnic Studies graduation requirement for all incoming 9th graders. During this week, our teachers will continue to be engaged in professional learning on topics such as successful distance learning approaches.

Registration for students will continue at each school or at www.sbunified.org. Support for families with questions on this process can be answered by calling your school site. Completing this process is necessary and will ensure your child receives a school schedule prior to the first day of school. Our goal is to make this process easy to navigate so please let us know if there are ways to improve.

We have received questions about the Governor’s elementary waiver process and at this time, the Public Health office has informed us that Santa Barbara Unified would not qualify due to unfavorable infection rates in our county. We will continue to monitor and provide updates as conditions change.

In the meantime, our teachers continue to prepare and are excited to reconnect with their students. I have been visiting school principals in an effort to learn about each of our schools. I have had the opportunity to see teachers preparing their classrooms, maintenance workers setting up plexiglass and hand sanitation stations, and food services teams delivering healthy meals. Our Food Services Department has served 515,285 meals since Covid-19 forced us to close our campuses on March 13. We will continue to serve meals as we return to school, and are committed to the well-being of all our families and students.

More than ever, we recognize that this year’s Back to School will be unique and we are striving to prepare and provide a rigorous and meaningful school experience. We are learning and planning together and eagerly look forward to the day we can have in-person teaching.

Please remind your families and loved ones that the census deadline is fast approaching and we want all to be counted!

Stay safe and healthy.

Sincerely,

Hilda Maldonado
Superintendent