Santa Barbara's Franklin Elementary received the 2023 California Exemplary Arts Education Award for its high-quality, equitable arts education, including its Academia de Folklorico de Franklin program. | Credit: Courtesy SBUSD

The California Department of Education has recognized three Santa Barbara County schools with its 2023 California Exemplary Arts Education Award, the County Education Office announced this Thursday. The award recognizes schools that offer at least three arts disciplines (dance, media arts, music, theater, and/or visual arts) during the regular school day and also ensure that all student populations have access to arts instruction.

Among the awardees was one school in Santa Barbara Unified School District, Franklin Elementary. “It’s a big deal,” Franklin Principal Casie Kilgore said in response to the good news, adding that she is “super proud of it and the amazing programs it honors.”

In addition to Franklin, the award was also bestowed to Lompoc Unified’s Los Berros Visual and Performing Arts Academy and Cold Spring School in Montecito, which earlier this month was one of the five county elementary schools recognized by the state as a California Distinguished School.

“We are grateful to these schools for demonstrating a strong commitment to quality arts education for all students, and for promoting social-emotional well-being and increased academic performance through arts education,” Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools Susan Salcido said in Thursday’s statement. “Imagination, wonder, and creativity are essential in our schools, and arts education provides a way for students to dream, aspire, and achieve.”

The awardees, who will hold the title for three years, will be honored during a celebration in February at the California School Recognition Program Ceremony in Anaheim, California.

Support the Santa Barbara Independent through a long-term or a single contribution.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.