The Santa Barbara Unified School District Board of Education is expected to approve academic and program evaluation research projects during its meeting tonight.
UCSB, the Léni Fé Bland Performing Arts Partnership, and Westat, a Maryland-based research firm, would be contracted to conduct the studies, according to an agenda report.
“In accordance with Board Policy 6162.8, SBUnified accepts applications by external partners to conduct research within the District once annually in a spring window,” reads a summary of the proposal.
Of the eight proposed projects, six would be conducted by UCSB staff.
Associate professor Dr. Matthew Quirk will study the culture and parental involvement of Latino children at district preschools. They will use parent surveys and analyze school-tracked data on the students.
The project is set to run Aug. 1 to Dec. 31, 2020.
Dr. Diana Arya will study community-based literacies at Harding University Partnership School, preschool through sixth-grade. Dr. Arya, who specializes in cross-discipline language and literacy, will use embedded assessments or exercises done in class that are used to provide data. The project is expected to run from Aug. 1, 2019, through July 2020.
Other study topics include how to create a professional community for science teachers, Healthy Youth Act curriculum implementation in high schools, and SciTreks’ effect on students’ understanding of scientific practices.
SciTrek is a UCSB program that helps second- through 12th-grade students “experience the scientific process first hand,” according to the program website.
The Léni Fé Bland Performing Arts Partnership was created in honor of the late philanthropist Léni Fé Bland. It provides Santa Barbara Unified School District students with access to performing arts and in-class workshops.
Dr. Rekha Rajan will study the impact of an in-school theater partnership on student learning by conducting student surveys and teacher interviews. District secondary schools will be allowed to participate in the study.
According to the report,
Westat was contracted by the U.S. Department of Education to study the use of educational technology for instruction.
Researcher Cindy Grey will survey school administrators. The study will run from Aug. 1 through July 31, 2020.
School district staff say the studies are not expected to have a fiscal impact on the district.
The Board of Education will meet in closed session at 5:30 p.m. at the district Administration Office, 720 Santa Barbara St. The public portion of the meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m.