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Six out of ten students in the Santa Barbara Unified College District are socioeconomically disadvantaged. Almost ten% are unhoused. About 13% have disabilities, and 15% are emergent multilingual learners.

Nevertheless, the district has a 95% higher college graduation price.

These statistics had been amongst the info shared Thursday by Hilda Maldonado, superintendent of the Santa Barbara Unified College District, at the annual State of Our Schools occasion hosted by the Santa Barbara Education Foundation.

“I want to make certain you thank your principals, our teachers and our cabinet for finding us there,” she stated.

Maldonado, hired in 2020, appears to have hit her stride as superintendent.

Pedro Paz, executive director of the Santa Barbara Education Foundation, introduced Maldonado, who glided up the stairs and onto the stage as the uplifting song “Forever Young” by Alphaville soared via the speakers of the Carrillo Recreation Center.

“That’s my stroll out song, in case you are asking yourself,” Maldonado stated. “Welcome, excellent morning and buenos dias.”

About 200 persons had been in attendance, which includes educators and elected officials.

Maldonado talked about how education and mastering have been transformed, punctuated by the COVID-19 pandemic. A Mexican immigrant, Maldonado stated she in no way could have imagined the technologies of today’s planet and that mastering would have taken location on a screen.

To demonstrate, she brought up a video of the artificial intelligence system ChatGPT on a significant screen. She input, “What is know-how, teaching and mastering?” and the system displayed a speech, defining know-how, teaching in the 21st century and “how teachers are now facilitators and guides.”

She study from the Chat GPT text: “Overall, know-how, teaching and mastering in the 21st century are characterized by escalating access to info, student-centered approaches, technologies integration, digital literacy and a shift toward lifelong mastering.

“These adjustments reflect the require to prepare people for the increasingly complicated and interconnected planet, see.”

Maldonado joked: “There’s my speech. That is all you require to know,” which incited laughter from the crowd.

Maldonado painted a image of teamwork and collaboration and hammered residence the theme that technologies is a unifier. What was designed for a handful of, serves the demands of all, she stated.

The district has about 12,000 students. Of that, 61% are Latino, 31% are white, two.five% are Asian, two.eight% are two or much more races, and practically 1% are African-American/Black students, Filipino, Pacific Islander, and American Indian.

She praised the transform to Universal Access, which combined honors and college preparatory students into single classrooms.

“This is equity in action,” Maldonado stated. “We are not speaking about it, we are carrying out it, and I am so proud of our teachers and administrators for adapting and innovating — but most importantly, asking us to do the ideal function.”

She discussed how the district has invested in qualified improvement for teachers. The district has spent much more than $five million on hiring “specials” teachers at each elementary college to teach art, music and PE.

“This makes it possible for our elementary teachers to use the time to prepare and function on techniques to boost their practice when the students are with their ‘specials’ teachers,” Maldonado stated. “Job-embedded mastering time is an revolutionary way to collaborate.”

Maldonado stated that for the very first time considering the fact that 2007, all elementary teachers will have a widespread set of supplies to teach reading.

“When teaching little ones how to study and create, it is crucial to have the ideal tools for teachers,” Maldonado stated, explaining that the district had authorized the Wit &amp Wisdom/Fundations curriculum.

Adopting new instructional supplies was a massive job and began in January with an evaluation procedure that was intentionally created to involve teachers from each grade level and college, emergent multilingual learner professionals, particular-education professionals, literacy and language professionals, principals and administrators, Maldonado stated.

State of Our Schools event.About 200 persons collect in the Carrillo Recreation Center to hear Superintendent Hilda Maldonado speak about the state of the Santa Barbara Unified College District. Credit: Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo

1 of the highlights of Maldonado’s speech was when she showed a video of emergent multi-language students explaining why reading is crucial.

1 youngster stated, “When I study I also really feel like I am in the beach exactly where the waves are crashing. It tends to make me really feel peaceful.”

Yet another student in the video stated, “It requires me to a location and I get to persons myself into other people’s footwear.”

Maldonado stated she imagines a planet exactly where there are book fairs, writing contests, reading gardens exactly where students can curl up with a book beneath a tree, celebrity guest readers in classrooms, and a multicultural festival that celebrates reading and opens windows on the planet.

“What if we held a literacy week in the cities of Goleta and Santa Barbara, exactly where we celebrate reading and writing to assist motivate little ones to study, bring the joys of reading to students of all ages, and make all youngsters really feel protected, valued and welcome?” Maldonado stated.

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