Pixel Tracker

Monday, December 10 , 2018, 10:11 am | Mostly Cloudy 51º


Host Sites Keep School in Session for Crane Students

Congregation B’nai B’rith, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Boys and Girls Club open doors to displaced pupils

Second graders Poppy Kono and Aidan Ball at Crane’s Congregation B’nai B’rith campus.
Second graders Poppy Kono and Aidan Ball at Crane’s Congregation B’nai B’rith campus.

After a weeklong hiatus following Montecito’s devastating mudslides and tragic loss of life, Crane Country Day School students headed back to class on Jan. 18.

Unlike too much of Montecito, Crane’s San Leandro Lane campus came away from the disaster unscathed. Nonetheless, the facility will remain closed until all utilities have been fully restored at the school, Crane said.

Thanks to the efforts of Joel Weiss, head of school; Don Cook, director of finance and operations; and Crane’s administration and board of trustees, alternate sites throughout Santa Barbara County began welcoming Crane students last week.

The goal was to accommodate all of Crane’s 254 students and maintain its commitment to small class size and feel of community, the school said.

To that end, the Crane opted to use four different host sites, each of which opened its doors to the school.

In an information meeting for Crane families held last week at the Granada Theatre, Weiss said: “We, the people here, this community, we are Crane, and Crane is more durable than anyone can imagine.”

Despite the larger, fancier venue, the event largely followed the format of Crane’s daily assembly. Birthdays were celebrated with the singing of "Happy Birthday,” accompanied by Crane music teacher Konrad Kono on piano.

Student Council President Charlotte Weis delivered an eloquent speech, the school said. Third-grade teacher Donna Brown played guitar and sang Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend,” then led the audience in a sing-along.

Debbie Williams, Crane’s director of development, presented a slide show featuring a glimpse of Crane’s nearly 90-year history. Included were anecdotes of some of the school’s more difficult moments.

“Crane’s path shows perseverance, grit, determination and flexibility,” Williams said, noting one point in the school’s long history when a hat was passed to collect funds to pay teachers’ salaries.

Through its ups and downs, Williams said, “Crane has stayed true to its mission of giving our students the best academic education possible, with an emphasis on experiential learning and creative expression.”

Each temporary site is carrying on the Crane tradition of the daily assembly, evidence, the school said, that Crane's sense of community transcends the bounds of its San Leandro campus.

Congregation B’nai B’rith is hosting Crane’s kindergarten through third-graders. The B’nai B’rith facility has multiple classrooms, as well as playgrounds and outdoor space.

Crane said it thanks Rabbi Steven Cohen, the B'nai B'rith Board of Trustees, Elizabeth Gaynes and Jennifer Lewis, as well as temple member and Crane trustee, Nancy Sheldon for the arrangement with Congregation B’nai B’rith.

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s McCormick House now serves as Crane’s campus for its fourth- and fifth-graders. McCormick House contains plenty of classroom space and is walking distance to a host of cultural and outdoor resources.

Crane said it acknowledges Patsy Hicks, SBMA director of education and a former Crane parent; and Cyndee Howard, SBMA trustee, Crane trustee and grandmother, for their help in bringing Crane to McCormick House.

Crane’s Upper School (grades six through eight), has found an ideal temporary home at 27 E. Cota Street. The downtown, multi-story building houses Kaplan International and Activelife, along with an abundance of classroom and activity space.

Crane said it is grateful to both organizations for their welcome of the school’s oldest students.

The United Boys and Girls Club of Santa Barbara County — Carpinteria is hosting those Crane students and faculty who were south of the Hwy. 101 closure before it reopened on Sunday.

Beginning Monday, Jan. 29, however, all of Crane’s Upper School students (grades six-eight) who have been attending at the Boys and Girls Club in Carpinteria will be integrated into the Cota Street campus.

Lower School students (grades K-five) will have the option of continuing at the Carpinteria site or joining their classmates at either Congregation B’nai B’rith or McCormick House.

Finally, although Crane’s drop-off and pick-up locations have changed for the time being, Weiss said, “I have no doubt that our culture and education are thriving while we are away from our beloved campus.”

For more information about Crane, contact Erin Guerra, director of admission, 969-7732, ext. 106.

— Elizabeth Karlsberg for Crane School.


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 using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

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 >