Saturday, July 23 , 2016, 10:37 pm | Fog/Mist 65º

  • Follow Noozhawk on LinkedIn
  • Follow Noozhawk on Pinterest
  • Follow Noozhawk on YouTube
 
 
 
 

School Board Approves New Entrepreneurship Academy at San Marcos

Board also OKs oversight committees for parcel tax Measures A and B

The Santa Barbara school board gave the go-ahead Tuesday night for San Marcos High School to start its Entrepreneurship Academy in the fall.

The academy will offer dual enrollment classes with Santa Barbara City College, Advanced Placement economics, and opportunities for students to develop business plans and pitch them to potential funders.

The school board previously encouraged Principal Ed Behrens and other officials to get a diverse student population for the academy, which has been a problem in other academies throughout the district.

Behrens said they are modeling the recruitment and application process after the school’s Health Careers Academy so the enrollment will represent the school’s population.

Every ninth-grade student will learn about the academy and be encouraged to apply, through health and AVID classes, and the school will also promote the message through bulletins, teacher announcements, back-to-school nights and PTSA newsletters, Behrens said.

Alex Sheldon, the academy’s director, health teacher and coach, will work with English-language learner and AVID counselors to identify underrepresented students for the academy and encourage them to apply.

Behrens said there will be a lot of support for students in the program, but they are hoping to take students with higher grade point averages.

“We plan to have good diversity in the academy but definitely want to make sure that the students who are entering can do well in AP Macro/Micro Economics and SBCC courses,” Behrens said.

They also plan to have mentors in the community and an entrepreneurship club at La Cumbre Junior High so students get interested early.

This was one of Behrens’ original goals when he first became principal in mid-2011.

“It’s very exciting to have the work that we’ve done hopefully coming to fruition, so thank you for the support,” he told the board.

Asked about cost-per-student, Superintendent Dave Cash said there is “no expectation that a student will be paying anything for this program.”

That is, until graduates become hugely successful entrepreneurs and come back to write a big check, Behrens joked.

. . .

The school board also approved oversight committees for parcel tax Measures A and B, which were passed by voters last November. The seven-member committees for Measure H and I, the expiring parcel taxes, will roll over come July, but some members may leave and need replacing, according to communications director Barbara Keyani.

Former Cleveland Principal Michael Vail and Open Alternative School Principal Karen MacDonald presented a report on the READ 180 program’s academic impacts on the district. The program is aimed at students two levels behind in reading, and there has been growth for all students in the program over the three-year period the district has been using it, they said.

In the 2009-10 school year, 998 students participated, which increased to 1,544 students in the 2011-12 year. Of those students, 75 percent were English learners, Vail said.

“Students who were in three consecutive years of READ 180 were achieving academic gains, as measured in the English language arts section of California Standards Test, higher rates of gain than either non-READ 180 English learners and English-only students,” Vail said.

From that original class of 998 students, only about 300 were in the program for all three years.

The overall performance is still lower, though, and Cash reminded the board that there is still a large achievement gap between different groups of students in the district. He said the district is heading in the right direction, but staff members need to keep asking whether the improvement is fast enough, or whether the interventions are working.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >