Schools of Thought 2018

The State of Education in Santa Barbara

It’s commonly said that Santa Barbara embodies small-town charm with big-city sensibilities, with our top-tier arts and culture district and our bustling airport and harbor. We certainly live up to the big-city standard when it comes to the breadth and depth of our educational offerings. There appears to be something for just about everyone, at every age and every ability. And if we don’t offer it yet, there’s likely some grassroots effort afoot to bring it here soon.

Santa Barbara educators deserve a resounding A+ for working to identify and address societal challenges that appear at the classroom door, from socio-emotional crises to learning gaps. Educating the populace is a tremendous undertaking involving sound leadership, innovation, tested practices, and a well-equipped force of teachers who believe all students can achieve. To develop relevant articles for our 2018 edition, we asked the issue’s sponsors to suggest numerous story ideas based on people, projects, or trends that they’re excited about in their institutions. From that list, we selected stories that represent a wide variety of learning experiences in Santa Barbara and produced the editorial content independently. We hope you enjoy.

Margaret McCleery-Cota’s 50 Years of Teaching | Half a century of instruction at Montessori Center School in Goleta.

SBCC’s Vitality Program Keeps Elderly Engaged | There are 15 instructors running courses at 18 different Santa Barbara facilities.

Permaculture Power at SBCC | Environmental and horticulture classes tend to sustainable landscaping.

The Psychology of Mass Media | Fielding Graduate University pioneered the nation’s first media psychology PhD.

Angela Tanner’s Gift for Gifted Learners | The Knox School’s founder fosters intellectual curiosity in a nurturing environment.

Marymount Students Are Volunteers for Life | School starts focus on charitable works at a young age.

Transforming Legal Education | The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law launch Hybrid J.D. program.

Games Are Good for Learning | Progressive Learning Academy’s gamification and game-based learning techniques.

Project-Based Learning at Laguna Blanca | “Jane Air” and missions to Mars showcase engaging form of education.

Bishop Garcia Diego Educates the Whole Person | Karen Regan discusses Catholic high school’s approach to teaching.

SBCC Promise Covers College Costs | More than 2,000 Santa Barbara County students enrolled in just two years.

Outdoor Learning, Rain or Shine | Santa Ynez Family School and Rancho Palomino take classes outside.

Read more:

Stopping Suicide in Our Schools | Santa Barbara’s educational system strives to help teenagers succeed amid cell phones and stress.

Camie Barnwell covered education locally for many years before her career took her in new directions. She recently earned her master’s in academic counseling and her PPL credential. She works as an admissions advisor at Fielding Graduate University and moonlights as a college advisor and essay coach for high school students navigating the college application process. She also occasionally contributes to the Santa Barbara Independent, particularly during Fiesta, but, most recently, for our annual Education Issue.