In the first meeting of the new school year, the Carpinteria Unified School District board approved a raft of memoranda of understandings (MOUs) covering field trip requests, partnerships with Girls Inc., the Santa Barbara County Education Office and the purchase of Chromebooks for third graders at Canalino Elementary School. The board also voted 4-1 to accept a $63,000 donation from the Cannabis Association for Responsible Producers (CARP Growers) to fund a Therapeutic Youth Service Support Specialist at Carpinteria Middle School.

Board chair Andy Sheaffer, noting the “great start to the school year so far,” oversaw the passage of multiple MOUs endorsing a field trip for fifth graders to the Catalina Island Maritime Institute, professional development programs for faculty and staff, and renewed funding for NurseCore, the health services provider for the district. Board members voted unanimously to accept contributions from the Rotary Club to transport fourth-through-sixth graders to the Santa Barbara Symphony Concerts for Young People.

The board also accepted, 4-1, a three-year commitment from CARP Growers at $63,000 a year to fund a youth service support specialist at CMS. The position and services will be administered by the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (CADA). Trustee Rogelio Delgado was the sole dissenter. Board members unanimously supported a similar position, funded by the Santa Barbara County Family Service Agency, for students at Carpinteria High School.

The board began the meeting with a closed session to discuss the details of the sale of district property at 1103 Bailard Avenue to the Santa Barbara County Housing Authority. Sheaffer was pleased to announce a tentative agreement to sell the seven-acre property for $4.2 million. The Housing Authority will use the land to construct “much-needed rental housing” for area residents. The project will include both affordable and market-rate housing.

Gloria Flores of Girls Inc. of Carpinteria thanked the board for their continued support.  Flores manages the elementary programs for Girls Inc., including elementary school programs and a Healthy Sexuality program targeted to both boys and girls at Carpinteria Middle and High schools.

Members also celebrated the on-time, on-budget completion of this summer’s Measure U projects. According to the superintendent’s report, the improvements include new “flooring, ceilings, heating systems, fans, window shades, lighting, communication systems, technology, paint and furniture that were replaced in the outdated, worn classrooms at CHS, Aliso and Canalino.”

Superintendent Diana Rigby encouraged parents and community members to come out for Back to School Nights at CHS on Wednesday, Sept. 4, Summerland on Thursday, Sept. 5, and CMS on Thursday, Sept. 26. All board members looked forward to the 27th annual Carp-A-Cabana fundraiser, set for Saturday, Sept. 7, from 5 to 9 p.m. at CHS. All funds will go towards support for district visual and performing arts programs. Elise Unruh, the long-time performing arts teacher at CHS, will be honored for enriching the cultural lives of area students.

Rigby also praised the impact of extended day schooling for kindergartners, pointing to significant increases in on-grade level performance in comparison to 2017-18 numbers. The superintendent pointed to the district’s status as the first in the state to maintain support for all CUSD parents in understanding social-emotional skills development in local students. She noted that all faculty have undertaken active shooter training protocols, and that social-emotional curriculum are taught in every classroom, at all grade levels.

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