Santa Barbara Education Foundation Summer School

Students Devan Staggs (left) and Jessica Garcia (right) work on their “cell brochures” during Biology class at the SBEF Summer School at San Marcos High School.

On Monday, students began their first day of summer school classes. The Santa Barbara Education Foundation Summer School is a new program taking place on the San Marcos High School campus.

Classes offered this summer include Biology, American Government, Economics, Health and Freshman Seminar. 175 students are enrolled in the program with some students taking multiple classes. In addition to Santa Barbara area locals, classes include students from surrounding areas and even out of state students.

A visit to the classes yesterday revealed students engaged and learning from exciting and dynamic instructors. Students in the biology class were looking through a microscope at plant cells and human cells they had swabbed from their mouth. The kids were taking pictures of the cells through the microscope with their phones and then examining the pictures – very cool!

In health, they were learning about sleep cycles and stages of sleep. The students wondered why they started school at 8am if their sleep cycle says they should be sleeping? It was pointed out that they wouldn’t have time for sports and activities if they started school later.

In government the students were debating the merits of electronic voting. The instructor is arranging for guest speakers from the Goleta City Council and other local politicians.

The majority of the students enrolled in the program are paying tuition and scholarships have been provided for students in need. The Santa Barbara Education Foundation (SBEF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides private support for public education programs throughout the Santa Barbara Unified School District. Since its founding in 1985, SBEF has raised funds for musical instruments, playground equipment, library books, technology, and much more. SBEF led the successful parcel tax and bond measure campaigns resulting in $18 million for enrichment programs and $110 million for capital improvements. SBEF is the only organization in Santa Barbara that raises district-wide support for every school and student in the elementary, middle and high schools.

Students will receive University of California “A-G” credit for some classes and meet High School graduation requirements for others.

“We are off to a great start,” said SBEF Summer School Principal Alex Sheldon. “It’s great to see so many students putting in extra time for summer learning.”

Parent, Lori Lander Goodman reports, “I am delighted to let you know that Noah LOVES his government class. He is engaged in the subject, discusses the topics covered over dinner and is really learning the material. I think that the teacher, Dana Fisher, seems to be doing a lovely job engaging the kids.

I am very glad that he is able to take Government and Health over the summer to clear the way for an intense engineering season in the Winter/Spring, and that we didn’t trade quality learning in order to lighten his load.”

Santa Barbara Education Foundation Summer School continues until July 25. Classes run from 8:00am to 1:20pm four days per week.


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