Friday, May 9, 2008

Home school program coming to S.B.


In order to help retain students and increase revenue, the Santa Barbara School Districts announced yesterday it will hold a series of information meetings for parents who are interested in home schooling their children.
District Superintendent Dr. Brian Sarvis said the home school program will be offered as a district service and will provide students and parents a number of support services, including a mentor teacher, distance learning programs, connections within the community and service learning opportunities.

“It would add to the long list of educational opportunities and choices within our elementary and secondary school districts and help us serve families who might otherwise look outside our districts for other options,” Sarvis said.
The announcement came two weeks after the School Board chopped $4 million from the 2008-2009 budget. Sarvis said the costs to implement the Home School Santa Barbara program are expected to be minimal and will come from the district’s categorical funds, which cannot be used for staffing or funding current programs, he said.
The program’s philosophy would, “Be based on the belief that children grow and learn in different ways,” a statement from the district said.
An information meeting for parents of elementary-age children will be held this Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Home School. A similar meeting for junior high and high school age students will be held the following Tuesday.
Registration for the program will begin June 3 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and again on Aug. 12 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Pat Morales, a former principal of Peabody Charger School, has been selected by district officials to oversee the program.
In a time when the district has seen steady declines in enrollment, the program is expected to boost daily attendance.
“While we do not have enrollment estimates at this time, we believe this new alternative program would generate additional average daily attendance, which means increased revenue,” Sarvis said.

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