Christy Lozano is launching the Honest Education Center.
The first informational meeting took place last Thursday at the Santa Barbara site, and classes are scheduled to begin there Sept. 5.
“There were community members, teachers interested in teaching and parents interested in signing up their kids, including special needs kids,” said Ms. Lozano, an experienced teacher who ran unsuccessfully for Santa Barbara County superintendent of schools.
“When you are building something, there are good questions asked in a meeting,” said Ms. Lozano, who has taught at schools in the Santa Barbara Unified School District. “It’s important to have a meeting where questions can be asked. We shared our ideas, and allowed the opportunity for questions. It generates vision,”
The new center is designed to emphasize educational transparency, healthy family relationships and positive student outcomes, Ms. Lozano said.
Ms. Lozano explained the education model. “It’s coming off of a small group of pods. It’s a model that has been used for the past two years: small group learning with an instructor that spends time working with students. The model is essentially small group learning with parental support and a good instructor.”
The News-Press asked Ms. Lozano if the model is comparable to a co-op.
“It’s something that has been happening in more of a homeschool setting during the pandemic,” Ms. Lozano said. “The local homeschool community took on the project. A local nonprofit acquired funding for scholarships for underprivileged kids. The model is in between homeschooling and public school.”
She said one key aspect is that the center is a consistent location for students. “It’s going to have sort of a co-op feel, but it’s rethinking education and building it from the ground up.
“We are looking at critical components and creating a culture where it is doable, really working on relationships between parents and kids, or kids and kids,” she said. “We want a transparent environment where parents are engaged in a positive and supportive way.
“I’m a solution person and a problem solver,” Ms. Lozano said. “My goal was achieved in running for superintendent. My goal was less about politics and more to do something to affect the culture of schools. I think we were very effective in accomplishing that mission.”
“We will have amazing teachers that want to be part of this culture, with a healthy school environment, healthy focus on relationships, and positive educational outcomes,” said Ms. Lozano, who has taught at schools in the Santa Barbara Unified School District. “We want to offer an opportunity for parents, teachers and the community to really and produce something amazing.
“We are looking for support in different ways, including funding. We want it to be affordable,” Ms. Lozano said. “We want to offer scholarships. We want it to be accessible to all types of kids. We are looking for long term funding as well. We need volunteers and employees with skill sets that can serve our program.
“We are developing this program within the community, so as much as our community wants to participate, that would be awesome,” said Ms. Lozano.
To register your child at the center, donate to it or apply to become a teacher or volunteer, email Ms. Lozano at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call or text her at: 805-252-3785.