Santa Barbara’s only dual-language elementary school is officially seeking kindergarten, first-, and second-grade students for next fall after receiving a final thumbs up from the Santa Barbara School Board this week. Though tentatively approved earlier this spring by the board, it wasn’t until Tuesday night that Adelante Charter School, a re-imagined version of Cesar Chavez Charter School, got the final vote of support from the board. With board member Bob Noel abstaining, the board voted 4-0 in favor of the K-6 English/Spanish school.

Despite widespread community support, Cesar Chavez Charter (after several years of underwhelming test scores and poor performance by both state and federal metrics) was forced earlier this year to reinvent itself as Adelante — a revamped version of the decade-old dual immersion school — or face a likely shutdown. The transition plan was approved by the Board of Education in late April but needed several details about the day-to-day operations and curriculum plans for the school worked out before final approval would be granted.

In the months since that vote, the wrinkles have been ironed out and a Memorandum of Understanding forged between the school and the district. “We’re excited to move forward and begin implementing our plan,” summed up Mary Docter, president of Adelante’s Board of Directors, in the wake of Tuesday night’s final vote.


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