The Harding University Partnership School brings its entire student body for a day of activities at UC Santa Barbara on January 27

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Harding University Partnership School (HUPS), which since January 2010 has been partnered with UC Santa Barbara and in particular UCSB’s Gevirtz School, will bring the entire school – students, teachers, and many parents, too – to the UC Santa Barbara campus on Friday, January 27 from 9 am – 12:30 pm. Students ranging from pre-kindergarten through sixth grade will take part in activities aimed specifically for their grade levels and designed to enhance the curriculum they’ve been studying in their Westside school. 
“We bring the Harding community to UCSB as a way to ensure that our children and parents feel they belong on a university campus,” Dean Jane Close Conoley of the Gevirtz School says. “In addition to the cutting edge learning opportunities they will experience during the visit, they will be welcomed by UCSB students, faculty, and staff as a way to invite them back as university students.”

The events during the day range from pre-K and kindergarten students attending a session entitled “Play with Purpose: Movement Education” that will be lead by the Departments of Exercise and Sports Studies to sixth graders attending a session entitled “MSI-Oceans-to-Classrooms (O2C): An Ocean View of Grade 6 Earth and Life Sciences.” Numerous opportunities will be available to talk to students and get wonderful footage of youth learning in action, while also getting a sense that college can be for them.

The historic Harding School – whose students are nearly 95% Hispanic, more than 90% economically disadvantaged, and more than 60 % of its pupils are English Language Learners – has been involved in major changes over the past five years. These efforts were punctuated by the January 2010 announcement of an unprecedented partnership with UC Santa Barbara. In fall 2011 the school achieved the second highest growth in 2011 Academic Performance Index (API) scores in Santa Barbara County. HUPS’ API score improved a remarkable 57 points.

The Harding University Partnership School is a place of joy, excellence, and international focus. Of particular distinction for the neighborhood is the University School’s new status as a candidate for the International Baccalaureate Program, making it the only Santa Barbara elementary school currently pursuing this highly acclaimed approach that emphasizes 21st century skills and international mindedness.

The stellar teaching staff is assisted by graduate level teacher candidates from UCSB providing greater support for students at every grade level with the latest research-based practices. Faculty researchers and UCSB undergraduate tutors partner with teachers to deliver the latest evidence-based instruction.

[Jane Close Conoley is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]