Seeking reelection in the upcoming Santa Barbara School Board race, boardmember Robert Noel announced his plans for three initiatives specific to high schools. The first — which he unveiled along with Police Chief Cam Sanchez this Tuesday — is a public safety and emergency preparedness program which aims to replace the Junior ROTC program cut by the district last year. The second is an Advanced Placement prep program that looks to help typical “B” students get a leg up on advanced placement. Noel’s last proposed initiative is a Construction Technology Institute, which would see students build a residential structure from the ground up during a four-year period.

Stalled in their contract negotiations with the school district, more than 200 members of the Santa Barbara Teachers Association marched into the school board meeting this week in a formidable show of unity. Sporting pins with the slogan “Make Teachers a Priority,” several of the teachers addressed the board, demanding the renewal of stalled talks and calling for a halt to the recent trend of salary cuts. As the teachers marched in the standing room only crowd, the five members of the Board of Education all applauded.

A record number of students — five — were in the graduating class of Los Robles High at Los Prietos Boys Camp this week. Never before have so many students graduated at one time in the 60-year history of Los Prietos, which is a live-in camp for juvenile offenders run by the county’s Probation Department. The camp’s maximum population is 75 teenagers, who stay for either 120 days or 180 days, attending the four-classroom Los Robles School operated by the Santa Barbara County Office of Education. It has been “rare for a minor to graduate from high school while in the program,” according to Chief Probation Officer Scott DeuPree. “These five boys were close to graduating when they got here,” said Los Prietos probation officer Mike Cleary, “and were able to lock in on what they had to do.”

Free tutoring just came to Santa Barbara youngsters via the Santa Barbara Public Library System. Students from fourth through 12th grade or at a college-introductory level can visit any library branch or visit to get help with homework in math, science, social studies, and English. The program also features Spanish-language tutoring in math and science.

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