Young girls, wearing colorful long skirts that twirl as they move, dance onstage as teacher in front directs them.
Students rehearse on stage as part of Academia de Folklorico de Franklin. Credit: Courtesy photo

Franklin Elementary was named one of 19 schools to win the California Exemplary Arts Education Award. Franklin Elementary is in the Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD).

The California Department of Education selected schools that demonstrated an exemplary commitment to providing adequate resources and funding for arts education.

Franklin earned the award by showing it provides a high-quality arts education that is culturally responsive for all students, including English Learners and Special Education students.

“We are honored to be recognized by the California Department of Education,” said Principal Casie Killgore. “Our relentless focus on student-centered programs and implementation of innovative and relevant high-quality arts education programs has created passion and K-12 pathways for students who excel in this area.

“We are extremely grateful for our assistant principal, Xochitl Tafoya, who has been the leader of these efforts in incorporating the arts into the school day.” 

Franklin Elementary will be honored with the award at the California School Recognition Program Ceremony in Anaheim in February. 

“Congrats to the staff at Franklin Elementary. This faculty and staff work hard to provide a high-quality, equitable arts education for all students, such as the Academia de Folklorico de Franklin,” Hilda Maldonado, SBUSD superintendent. “This program is an example of ways to make learning relevant and inclusive.”