The Santa Barbara Unified School District’s meeting Tuesday should address concerns regarding its latest reopening policy. On Sept. 14, the district announced it would not apply for a reopening waiver but would welcome small cohorts into schools.
Groups must be 14 or fewer students per classroom, and the district will be catering the groups to the community’s needs, Superintendent Hilda Maldonado said in a News-Press interview. Students invited to small cohorts are those identified to need extra help, like high school seniors behind on credits or special education students.
Football, cross country, volleyball, water polo and sideline cheer practices begin today. Athletes must stay six-feet apart and bring their own equipment.
The district will also address its solar-energy project Tuesday. It plans to discuss contracting ENGIE Services, a sustainable energy company that’s worked in private and public sectors. ENGIE has provided services to local school districts, like South San Francisco Unified, and businesses like Walmart.
The project would allow the district to power all school buildings through stored energy, in case of a power outage.
Following a 5 1/2-hour meeting on Sept. 8, the board released a new policy on public comments. The period for public comments is limited to 20 minutes per agenda item, and controversial issues will be discussed in separate board meetings. COVID-19 updates will be given at 7 p.m. each meeting.
In other school- district news, the California Department of Public Health approved waivers Friday from the Dunn School in Los Olivos, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and the Notre Dame School in Santa Barbara.
Cold Springs School in Montecito opens Tuesday. St. Raphael School in Santa Barbara and St. Mary of the Assumption School in Santa Maria open Wednesday.
Providence School will open to kindergarten today and will welcome one additional grade each day starting Wednesday. Sept. 30 will be the first day with K-6 in the building.