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Santa Barbara Unified Superintendent gives State of Our Schools address on Friday

Santa Barbara Education Foundation

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Dr. Hilda Maldonado gave the annual State of Our Schools presentation at the Carrillo Recreation Center on Friday.

After an introduction by Santa Barbara Education Foundation's Executive Director Dr. Pedro Paz, Maldonado began the address with a demonstration of ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence chatbot developed by OpenAI.

After detailing emerging technology like the language model-supported chatbot, Maldonado outlined the resources used to ensure student success and gave a complete picture of what was happening in the district.

Santa Barbara Unified School District serves over 12,000 students in 19 schools. Of those students, 61% are socioeconomically disadvantaged, nearly 10% are unhoused, 13.1% are students with disabilities, and 15.1% are Emergent Multilingual Learners.

Regardless of those challenges, the District boasts a 95.5% graduation rate.

Maldonado also took time during the address to detail three-year implementation plan for teacher learning to begin next month and outline a broader community effort in regards to literacy.

“What if we held a literacy week in the cities of Goleta and Santa Barbara, where we celebrate reading and writing to help motivate kids to read, bring the joys of reading to students of all ages, and make all children feel safe, valued, and welcome?” Maldonado asked. “I imagine book fairs, writing contests, reading gardens where students can curl up with a book under a tree, celebrity guest readers in classrooms, and a multicultural festival that celebrates reading and opens windows on the world.”

San Marcos High School Junior, Kavya Suresh was invited to the stage to give a student perspective on life in today's schools.

For the first time since 2007, all elementary teachers will have a common set of materials to teach reading through the Wit & Wisdom/Foundations curriculum.

Article Topic Follows: Education
Carrillo Recreation Center
Dr. Hilda Maldonado
Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Unified School District
State of Our Schools

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