Credit: Carl Perry

The Santa Barbara Unified School Board reviewed at its April 26 meeting the pandemic learning recovery report, meant to lay out the general plan for students who have suffered from learning loss brought on by the pandemic; and a report from the District English Learner Advisory Committee, which advises the board on how to best support students who are learning English as a second language.

The pandemic learning recovery summer sessions began in 2021 as a response to a significant loss of learning among students in the district. This year, sessions are set to begin on June 13 and for most students will consist of three to four weeks of summer lessons. Elementary students will have one more week of summer learning than junior high school students, and the local high schools will have two sessions of summer lessons, the first from June 13-July 1, and the second from July 5-22.

The presentation included a breakdown of the more than 2,600 students who participated in the 2021 summer of learning. The majority of those students were in elementary and high school. 

The board also heard the annual report and recommendations from the District English Learner Advisory Committee, which included decreasing the overidentification of Latine students as special education, providing more communication on how families can participate in board meetings, continuing to hire bilingual teachers and staff members, and aiding families in the transitions from elementary school to junior high and high school. 

“Speaking and writing is the real challenge when learning a second language,” Superintendent Hilda Maldonado told the Independent. “Leadership needs to look deeper into assessment results over time to understand how to provide adequate support.”

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