The Cold Spring School District in Montecito held a presentation Wednesday night to address concerns about Measure L2020, its bond measure on the Nov. 3 budget. A total of 44 attended.
Cold Spring principal and superintendent Dr. Amy Alzina set the presentation after hearing misinformation.
The Zoom webinar opened with an overview of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics), a program that would benefit from the bond passing. STEAM Program Specialist Jean Gradias showcased the program’s projects, showing pictures of kids decked out in woodshop aprons sanding their custom ukuleles.
Cold Spring is partnering with Cleveland Elementary School’s sixth graders and building custom skateboards in coming days.
“We have a vision of it being state of the art to not just serve our kids, but also the community,” Dr. Alzina said in a News-Press interview.
Their last bond measure passed in 2008 but didn’t solve long-standing issues.
“At the time, the need was much greater but they only went with $2 million,” she said. “You can’t keep doing small bonds; we need to get things done.”
She feels uncomfortable asking to sell bonds during the pandemic, but she feels the improvements need to be made as soon as possible.
The school has had five water system failures in the last six months, Chief Business Official Yuri Calderon said during the presentation.
“It demonstrates our need to make these improvements on an urgent basis,” he said.
One leak occurred the weekend before online classes began and filled one of the two portable classrooms with a couple feet of water.
“It was already hurting to begin with, and now it’s literally on its last leg,” Dr. Alzina said.
She had to demolish a portable classroom a year ago after it became a safety issue. The floor was so rotten a teacher fell through.
The remaining two portables are in “horrible” condition, she said. They’re 19 years old and not salvageable. She doesn’t want to replace them with more portables and be back in the same position.
She also hopes to increase more outdoor classroom space, a need revealed by the pandemic.
Every classroom is full currently, and second-grade students are even learning in the library. She wants the new buildings to have room to grow.
“With great schools, comes increasing enrollment,” she said.
During her time as principal of Adams Elementary School in Santa Barbara, the school built a new library and STEAM classroom. She said student engagement increased, as well as enrollment.
When she became superintendent and principal of Cold Spring, the district only had 5% of its annual budget in reserve. Now, three years later, the district has its goal of 25%.
A portion of the presentation was dedicated to her impact on the school, including a video prepared by her daughter.
“I really love this school,” she said. “That’s why you see me out on the sidewalk greeting the kids everyday.”
She said she didn’t plan the presentation as a way to promote the bond measure but as an informational session for parents and the community.