Over the past four years, The Anacapa School has been privileged to enroll six students from the Cesar Ch¡vez School [News, “Cesar Ch¡vez Clings to Life,” 11/12/09]. Without exception, every one of these students has been a strong addition to our student body. The positive traits common to all these students are:
- Tremendous work ethic
- Outstanding character
- High intelligence
- Critical thinking
- Team player
- Strong family support
- Excellent people skills
- Hands-on learners
The Anacapa School is a very diverse independent school with 30 percent of our students coming from Latino families. We are not just diverse; we are also a very integrated school. Students mingle easily among our various peer groups. Of all of our Latino students, the Cesar Ch¡vez students have become a part of our school community without any hesitation. It’s been remarkable how trouble-free and positive the Cesar Ch¡vez students have been.
I have careers in local education in both the public and private sectors. Before becoming the founding headmaster of The Anacapa School in 1981, I taught for the Goleta Union School District at the 5th and 6th grade levels for 11 years. I can with all honesty say that all of our Cesar Ch¡vez students have been some of the very best students I’ve ever encountered.
Our Cesar Ch¡vez students are scholarship students, and as such they have higher entrance requirements than full-paying students. Students on scholarship must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA to remain eligible for financial assistance. They also work 30 minutes after school in our work/study program to earn $1,200 annually toward their tuition payments. The Cesar Ch¡vez families at Anacapa all have both parents active in their lives. These are the students and families we as a society want to acknowledge and reward with high-quality educational opportunities. I hope that Cesar Ch¡vez School stays open this year and in the years to come. - Gordon Sichi, headmaster
I am an educator and resident of Santa Barbara. I stand with citizens who support the continuation of Cesar Chavez Charter School. This pioneering institution works effectively to provide bilingual education to a significant segment of our community. Their achievements deserve to be judged wisely, with due attention to input from parents, teachers, administrators, and students. Measurements used for schools of a qualitatively different type must take a back seat where innovation is involved, as is true for Cesar Chavez Charter School. Don’t destroy this work-in-progress.-Joe Cain