A new era of public education begins in Santa Barbara as UC Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara School Districts announce the creation of the Harding University Partnership School. The mission of the Partnership School is to create an educational environment that is characterized by excellence, joy, a strong international focus, and limitless possibilities for all stakeholders. The Partnership School will: educate children; develop new and innovative practices; research and inquire into new and existing practice; support teacher candidates; facilitate professional development and advanced degrees for practicing educators; and create transformative and liberating experiences for people, schooling, and the community.
To celebrate this new partnership, the entire student body of Harding School will come to the UC Santa Barbara campus on Friday, January 22. The program will begin at 9 a.m. in UCSB Corwin Pavilion with a ceremonial signing of the memorandum of understanding. After that event, students will take part in grade-specific activities led by UCSB faculty, staff, and students. These activities range from a “Lagoon Walk” on which pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students will learn about the diversity of birds and other wildlife that use the lagoon while also learning about plants that live in and around the lagoon and how some of these plants were used by the Chumash Indians to “The Magic Planet, The REEF, and The Beach,” during which sixth graders will rotate through three activities that focus on astronomy, earth science and global ecology aligned with 6th grade standards.
“This partnership puts Harding School and the Santa Barbara Districts at the forefront of meeting national mandates for transformative efforts to serve the children and families of today,” says Dean Jane Close Conoley of UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz Graduate School of Education. “With the incredible talent available at Harding and at UCSB, we envision active outreach to parents, support for teachers, and many more resources to accelerate children’s learning.”
“Partnerships like the one we are developing with the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at UCSB provide the kinds of reciprocal pathways that we need to learn how to create high-quality learning organizations,” says Dr. Sally Kingston, Principal of Harding School. “Together, I believe that we can traverse the complexities of learning in the 21st Century. I am thrilled with this mutually-beneficial partnership.”
The Partnership School will implement the International Baccalaureate Program (IB). Its focus on 21st century skills puts the Partnership School at the visionary forefront of American schools as it promotes the following outcomes for students, parents, teachers, and staff members as described in the IB Learner Profile: Inquirers, Communicators, Caring, Knowledgeable, Principled, Open minded, Reflective Thinkers, Kindness, Risk-takers, and Balanced.
[Jane Close Conoley and Sally Kingston are available for interviews; to arrange an interview or attend the events, contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]
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Photo caption: The ceremonial signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on January 22, 2010. From l to r: Harding School Prinicipal Sally Kingston, Natalie Jimenez, Harding School Student Body President, Carol Schwyzer, representing the faculty of the Harding School, Chancellor Henry T. Yang of UC Santa Barbara, Brian Sarvis, Superintendent of the Santa Barbara School Districts, Willis Copeland, representing the faculty of the Gevirtz School, and Dean Jane Close Conoley of the Gevirtz School.