Thursday, October 8 , 2015, 10:21 pm | Fair 80º

The Howard School Receives Commission Approval to Expand Enrollment

By Leigh-Anne Anderson for The Howard School |

After a unanimous vote by the Carpinteria Planning Commission to allow The Howard School to expand its enrollment capacity from 80 to 100 students, the pre-kindergarten through eighth grade organization will now be able to accept new families into its top-notch education curriculum.

The Howard School is the only school in Santa Barbara County that offers an education based on the Carden Method, a curriculum that cultivates development of the whole child and focuses on teaching students how to think rather than simply what to know.

“It is important for us to create a nurturing, sound environment that equips children with the skill sets they need in order to go out and thrive in the post-education world,” The Howard School Headmaster Joel Reed said. “The tenets of the Carden Method provide the ideal foundation for critical thinking, confidence-building, and a balance of self-reliance and cooperation with one’s community.”

Certainly, such a balance of self-reliance and cooperation with the Carpinteria community has turned out well for The Howard School, which has an exemplary record, according to the city’s Planning Commission.

“Anytime we’ve had any interactions with the school, they’ve always been very open with us in providing their annual reporting,” planner Shanna Farley-Judkins said. “We’ve found that they’ve continued to meet the requirements of their existing permit, and we feel that we can support he project under (the city’s) general plan.”

The Howard School’s record of fulfilling all permit requirements with no complaints from neighboring residents made the Planning Commission’s decision to issue the school a conditional use permit swift and undisputed.

Although no structural or environmental changes will be made, the new permit requires the school to provide additional services such as onsite bicycle parking and carpooling information for students, family, and staff.

The Howard School is made up of seven full-time teachers, nine part-time teachers and one staff person. The maximum ratio of one teacher to every 12 students will be maintained throughout the expanded enrollment capacity.

“We are grateful for the city’s blessing, and are very pleased to welcome more students into the Howard family,” Reed said. “We truly value our community — both inside and outside the school grounds."

The Howard School is accepting applications through mid-March, and the admissions materials are available online by clicking here as well as the school’s office.

— Leigh-Anne Anderson is a publicist representing The Howard School.

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