Efficiency Begets Quality Time

The Efficiency Project, from 805 Living Magazine's Pulse section, winter 2021.

The Efficiency Project, from 805 Living Magazine’s Pulse section, winter 2021.

Founded by sisters Alia Glasgow, an event producer, and Casey Geeb, an interior designer, The Efficiency Project (theefficiencyprojectsb.com) helps families create time-saving interiors that free up more precious moments to do the things they enjoy the most.

Creating a drop zone for keys near the entry to a home, for example, can save time spent
looking for them.

“Design and organization really do go hand in hand,” says Glasgow, who specializes in the organizing side of the business, “and the fact that we can support and brainstorm with each other on both means Casey’s design is stronger. I help her with the functional [aspects], and she makes it look really great.”

They also offer help for those moving from one home to another and enhancing the appeal of a home to live in or to sell.

Click here to see this story as it originally appeared in the Winter 2021 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

Dreamy Bedding

Dreamy Bedding, originally published in the December 2020 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

Dreamy Bedding, originally published in the December 2020 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

Sleep is such an important component of our overall health and happiness, so why not gift your loved ones (or yourself ) with eco-conscious luxury bedding this holiday season?

Westlake Home (westlakehome.com) is a dream come true for brothers Charles-Etienne and Julien Roy, founders of the Westlake Village–based business, who spent more than two years traveling the world doing research to create luxurious bedding made from chemical-free, environmentally friendly products.

“Our dedication to creating heirloom pieces demands nothing can be overlooked,” says Julien. Not even the package. “The goal of our packaging is to convey reusability and reduce our trash impact,” he says.

Sheets, duvet covers, pillowcases, and bundled sets are all available online, and every purchase comes with two gifts—a 100 percent organic mulberry silk eye mask and a
striking agate coaster from Brazil.

Cover of 805 Living December 2020 Click here to see this story as it originally appeared in the December 2020 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

Holiday Gift Guide 2020

Where and What to Buy During This Holiday Season in the Time of COVID

If there were ever a year we could use some holiday cheer, it’s definitely this one. Our holiday gift guide for 2020 spotlights some of our favorite stores and shopping hubs, as well as some other ideas to help you get into the spirit of the giving season. You might even find a little something for yourself.

As Oprah Winfrey, one of our favorite Montecito residents, says, “Every gift I’ve ever given has brought as much happiness to me as it has to the person I’ve given it to.” In a year where supporting locally owned businesses is more important to our community than ever, here are some ideas to help get your generosity flowing.

Click here to see the gift guide as it originally appeared in print in the Santa Barbara Independent on December 3, 2020.

2020 Schools of Thought

SB Independent Cover, Schools of Thought, November 19, 2020.

SB Independent Cover, Schools of Thought, November 19, 2020.

Here are the links to all of the stories in this special section:

Introduction: Schools of Thought 2020

Crane Country Day School’s Flexible Approach

Montecito Campus Embraces Its Outdoor Superpowers

Laguna Blanca’s New Center for Science and Innovation

Hope Ranch Campus Provides Proper Home for Project-Based Learning

Coding Meets Community at Providence School

Students Create App to Connect Kids with Nonprofits

Big Learning on the Littlest Little Farm

O’Connor Family and AHA! Engage Students on a Hope Ranch Annex Property

Waldorf Education Honors the Head, Heart, and Hands

101-Year-Old Tradition Offers a Holistic Approach to School

S.B. Middle School Pedals Through the Pandemic

Riviera Campus Finds Creative Challenges to Keep Kids Active

Montessori Center School Creates Positive Kids with Positive Forces

Developing Well-Rounded Students with Time-Tested Techniques

S.Y.V. Charter School Grows Green Thumbs

Irises—and Intellect—Bloom When the Garden Is a Classroom

Midland Boarding School’s COVID Advantage

Historic S.Y.V. Outdoor School Is Great Fit for Today’s Teens

Marymount School Embraces a Broad New Vision

Independent School Welcomes Diverse Backgrounds

SBCC Foundation Delivers the Promise

An Update on the College’s Signature Project

SBCC Career Center Opens Job Pathways

Helping Students Begin School with the End in Mind

SB Independent Cover, Schools of Thought, November 19, 2020.

SB Independent Cover, Schools of Thought, November 19, 2020.

Originally published in the Santa Barbara Independent on November 19, 2020. To read the section as it appeared in print, please click here.

 

Marymount School Embraces a Broad New Vision

Marymount School Embraces a Broad New Vision, originally published in Santa Barbara Independent on November 19, 2020.

Marymount School Embraces a Broad New Vision, originally published in Santa Barbara Independent on November 19, 2020.

Independent School Welcomes Diverse Backgrounds

Founded as an all-girls Catholic school in 1938, Marymount School is an evolving educational story. Over the decades, according to Head of School Christina K. Broderick, the Riviera campus has made “this slow progression from an independent Catholic school to an independent school with a Catholic tradition to an independent school with a couple of Catholic traditions to now where we are as an independent school that really focuses
on the cultural and spiritual diversity of every background.”

Kaleidoscope, the school’s signature curriculum developed more than a decade ago in collaboration with UCSB, “uses the top 10 world religions to allow students to find out about how we decide on our moral decision-making and ethical decision-making through
the lens of different ethnic cultures and backgrounds, both religious and nonreligious around the world,” said Broderick.

“We are really here to welcome all faiths and traditions and to make sure that we have a very inclusive and welcoming community to all faiths and ethnic backgrounds,” said Broderick, who recently formalized the inclusive values of Marymount with new Mission
& Vision statements.

Discipline also looks a bit different than the old-school ways. “It’s not about disciplining kids — it’s about restorative communication,” she said. “My middle schoolers here at Marymount will always know that Mrs. Broderick will say ‘self-reflection leads to self-correction.’ We don’t really do detention here or punitive discipline. It’s all about how we figure out how we made a mistake based on our own ideas about something. And how do we then restore ourselves and the community and say I’m sorry, change your actions, move on.”

Marymount also recently announced a forward-thinking policy on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), while expanding its offerings to include 3-year-olds. A new director of student wellness and DEI and a licensed clinical social worker, a full-time learning specialist, a full-time school nurse, and a full-time director of student wellness are available
to work with all students and families.

“We don’t have a traditional org chart,” said Broderick. “We have learning and leadership teams, and we all make very collaborative decisions. It’s fun — it’s a lot of fun.”

Though she admits it sounds “super smarmy,” Broderick is proud that her favorite social media hashtag is #HappyKidsLearn. “If they’re happy, their brains are going to be open, and they’re going to be able to take in all the information we’re going to give them,” she
said. “But if they’re anxious or they’re worried about their social interactions or worried about stuff at home, they’re not going to be paying attention in class. There’s a ton of research to support that, but whether the discussion is inclusivity or social emotional wellness or the pandemic, we want these kids to feel comfortable and safe.”

marymountsb.org

SB Independent Cover, Schools of Thought, November 19, 2020.

SB Independent Cover, Schools of Thought, November 19, 2020.

Originally published in the Santa Barbara Independent on November 19, 2020. To read the section as it appeared in print, please click here.

 

Midland Boarding School’s COVID Advantage

Midland Boarding School’s COVID Advantage, originally published in Santa Barbara Independent on November 19, 2020.

Midland Boarding School’s COVID Advantage, originally published in Santa Barbara Independent on November 19, 2020.

Historic S.Y.V. Outdoor School Is Great Fit for Today’s Teens

While every school struggles with COVID restrictions, Midland School’s 2,860-acre campus and nine decades of outdoor-minded, college preparatory education lends itself to an easier pivot than most. Students returned to the boarding school for grades 9-12 in late October.

“I’ve never seen a senior class that’s more vested in our collective good,” said Head of School Christopher Barnes, who’s been working round the clock for months to make their return to the Los Olivos campus possible. “The seniors are like, ‘Yeah, we’re going to make sure everybody wears their mask.’ Inside of these challenging moments are also these incredible opportunities for students to learn how to tolerate adversity, to find the grit and really evaluate what the needs are versus the wants, and really discover the very best version of themselves. That is profoundly exciting as an educator.”

Clearly Midland’s experiential, place-based curriculum is more desirable than ever right now. With health guidelines in place, students will still be able to work on the farm and in the garden, ride horses, go hiking and camping, and all of the other special things they normally do.

Enrollment is up at least 10 percent from last year. “The phone was ringing through the summer, and we definitely had to tell some people no,” said Barnes. “As much as I would love to welcome even more kids, we’re sort of at capacity relative to the situation we find ourselves in now. It leaves us with a few spare cabins for isolation or quarantine if needed; we need to reserve some of that bandwidth for that.”

They’ve gone “very deep into the four Ws,” said Barnes. “Wear your mask, watch your distance, wash your hands, and, finally, we are in this together.”

He’s excited to be an educator at such a pivotal time. “We are living through some major inflection points in history, and at the same time we’re not just dealing with a global health pandemic,” said Barnes. “We’re dealing with Black Lives Matter and a profound shift in perspectives with regard to social justice issues — and we are and want to continue to be a participant in that. We are in the midst of a straight-up economic depression, and we’ve had to dole out lots more financial aid and double down in terms of supporting our families
and make sure that we can honor our promise for them.”

SB Independent Cover, Schools of Thought, November 19, 2020.

SB Independent Cover, Schools of Thought, November 19, 2020.

Originally published in the Santa Barbara Independent on November 19, 2020. To read the section as it appeared in print, please click here.

 

Montessori Center School Creates Positive Kids with Positive Forces

Montessori Center School Creates Positive Kids With Positive Forces, originally published in Santa Barbara Independent on November 19, 2020.

Montessori Center School Creates Positive Kids With Positive Forces, originally published in Santa Barbara Independent on November 19, 2020.

Developing Well-Rounded Students with Time-Tested Techniques

Dr. Maria Montessori would be 150 years old this year, but her teaching methods have managed to stay relevant for more than a century. Here are a few reasons why Montessori continues to be prized by so many of today’s parents.

Development of a Lifelong Love of Learning
“Children are encouraged to develop a love of learning for their whole lives,” said Melanie Jacobs, head of school at Montessori Center School. “We try to hook into their motivations and interests so that their learning is guided by that and they’re wanting to
learn from inside. I think that’s how self-motivation is formed. We want it to be a lifelong love of learning, so that they’ll be inspired to continue to learn throughout their whole lives.”

The Importance of Independence
“We also focus on independence and self-sufficiency and resilience, which this year especially, I think is actually very important,” said Jacobs. One of the Montessori
sayings is “Never do for a child what they can do for themselves.” “We certainly guide a child that needs help, but then we step back and allow them to do as much of it as they can so that they become advocates in their own learning, especially as they get older. There is a lot of creative thinking and thinking out of the box, and there’s also a lot of collaboration with their classmates, which I think is really important right now because in their future work endeavors, collaboration is a big part of how companies encourage their employees to work.”

The Peace Curriculum
Strategies vary depending on the level of the children, but there’s a peace shelf or a peace corner in every Montessori classroom. “It basically helps children to learn conflict resolution skills really early, so even in our 3- to 6-year-old classrooms, you might see something like a talking stick or a love light,” said Jacobs, who has been with the school for 27 years and is in her fifth year as head of school. These tools are used to talk out conflicts and to
learn to listen to what the other person is saying, “and then together they try to find some sort of compromise to solve their conflict. When they’re younger they need more guidance, but then as they get older into the elementary grades, a lot of the time they’re really able to work out what the problem is on their own.”

Respect and Appreciation for Differences
A big Montessori theme is to encourage a lot of respect for and curiosity about other cultures. “In today’s world, I think that’s very relevant,” Jacobs said. “Families are encouraged to share their culture in our community, and then it allows the children to
sort of see the commonalities across all of the races and cultures for better understanding and respect.”

SB Independent Cover, Schools of Thought, November 19, 2020.

SB Independent Cover, Schools of Thought, November 19, 2020.

Originally published in the Santa Barbara Independent on November 19, 2020. To read the section as it appeared in print, please click here.

 

Coding Meets Community at Providence School

Coding Meets Community at Providence School, originally published in Santa Barbara Independent on November 19, 2020.

Coding Meets Community at Providence School, originally published in Santa Barbara Independent on November 19, 2020.

Students Create App to Connect Kids with Nonprofits

Challenged by their teachers in their coding class to create some sort of an app, Providence Engineering Academy junior Sydney Whited and sophomore Ruby Kilpper created the Santa Barbara Volunteer Opportunities (SBVO) app, matching service-minded students to volunteer-seeking nonprofits.

Coding wasn’t either one of the girls’ favorite aspects of engineering prior to the project. But Kilpper explained, “I like to tackle each problem on its own and each assignment on its own, so I kept an open mind, and I really ended up enjoying it.”

Inspired in part by Whited’s experience with the National Charity League’s sign-up program for volunteering, the pair designed the SBVO to improve on that concept with an easier interface and a bit more emphasis on the types of work (homeless services, elderly, special
needs, children, animals, etc.) that might interest students. The idea is to find a service opportunity with the best fit for you.

“Especially in the beginning of the app, I was definitely the brainstormer,” said Whited. “But Ruby was the go-getter the whole time,” she said, recalling the various challenges they went through to create the project. “Having a one-step signup was something we thought would really increase the amount of student volunteers in Santa Barbara.”

The girls were recognized for their creative efforts by Representative Salud Carbajal, who presented them with the Congressional App Challenge award on January 6, 2020, and invited them to a reception at the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. “My office and I looked at all the entries,” Carbajal told them. “It was a very competitive pool, but your app rose to the top very quickly. It was innovative, practical, and user friendly. Concept-wise it is very strong, but the way you approached it was very well executed.”

The students were excited to go to D.C. to participate in the annual #HouseOfCode on March 24, but that was canceled due to the pandemic. Additionally, work on the app, which is still in the development and testing stage, was derailed a bit when school went online last spring. But with Providence students back in class as of mid-October, Whited
and Kilpper are hoping to continue to fine-tune SBVO and eventually make it available for the whole community to use.

providencesb.org

SB Independent Cover, Schools of Thought, November 19, 2020.

SB Independent Cover, Schools of Thought, November 19, 2020.

Originally published in the Santa Barbara Independent on November 19, 2020. To read the section as it appeared in print, please click here.

 

S.B. Middle School Pedals Through the Pandemic

S.B. Middle School Pedals Through the Pandemic, originally published in Santa Barbara Independent on November 19, 2020.

S.B. Middle School Pedals Through the Pandemic, originally published in Santa Barbara Independent on November 19, 2020.

Riviera Campus Finds Creative Challenges to Keep Kids Active

Getting teens and tweens outside and active is particularly challenging during the days of COVID, so Santa Barbara Middle School (SBMS) — well known for embarking on pedal-powered learning adventures — challenged students to ride at least 26 miles during the month of September, while they were still learning from home. (They returned to in-person
classes in October.)

The 26-mile marker is approximately the same distance students normally ride for their two-day orientation bike ride, explained Communications Manager Merritt Bauer. Since the pandemic restrictions shut down that activity, they decided to use the Strava app to
challenge students and families to ride at least 26 miles.

“Families were very into it,” said Bauer. Providing even further incentive, they had the kids vote on what the prize would be if they hit their total goal of 5,000 miles of activity within the month. “Prizes were everything from a dunk tank to having our headmaster dress up in a pink gorilla suit for a week, which is exactly what ended up being the winning choice,” she laughed.

The challenge — which allowed other physical activities such as surfing, hiking, walking,
and even golf to be logged — ended up exceeding their goal by almost 800 miles. “We had all of our families participate in over 800 individual activities, which I think is pretty incredible,” said Bauer.

As a celebration when the Strava challenge was complete, and with strict and complicated
health and safety mandates firmly in place, staff and students were able to do some bike rides in small groups. “We actually ended up driving through Goleta on our bikes and seeing a lot of SBMS alums and families who know our school and were screaming as we biked past, ‘We’re so happy to see you guys back on the road,’ ” said Bauer. “It was definitely positive feedback all around just seeing people in the community and our families who had just been dying to get our kids back together.”

When they ended their rides at Goleta Beach, as promised, Head of School Brian McWilliams was there to greet them in a pink gorilla suit, jumping hairy feet first into the
ocean with the kids on the final day.

SB Independent Cover, Schools of Thought, November 19, 2020.

SB Independent Cover, Schools of Thought, November 19, 2020.

Originally published in the Santa Barbara Independent on November 19, 2020. To read the section as it appeared in print, please click here.

 

SBCC Foundation Delivers the Promise

SBCC Foundation Delivers the Promise, originally published in Santa Barbara Independent on November 19, 2020.

SBCC Foundation Delivers the Promise, originally published in Santa Barbara Independent on November 19, 2020.

An Update on the College’s Signature Project

The SBCC Promise — which provides regional high school graduates the opportunity to attend Santa Barbara City College full-time, free of charge, for up to two years — started its fifth year this fall, with 5,000 students projected to have benefited by the end of the year.

SBCC Foundation CEO Geoff Green gave us an update.

Have there been any changes to how the SBCC Promise works? We’ve been adjusting the offerings of the Promise based on feedback, so for us it’s a real-time experiment. One of the things we’re trying to figure out is how many students complete two or three years of the Promise but still have to stay one or two or three more semesters to be ready to transfer.

We’ve also gotten requests from a few students saying, “I’m ready to go, but I can’t afford to pay for all of these transfer applications.” So we just added that if they go to a counselor and say, “I need help with this,” we’ll pay for their transfer apps. We’ll do that for students who were Promise students in, say, 2016-17 and are just now completing what they need for transfer.

You also changed the program so students who have a unit load accommodation, and take fewer classes because of a disability, can stay in SBCC Promise for longer. Yes, as we learn about different things, we’ve been doing that kind of stuff as we’ve also tried to measure and monitor.

Does SBCC Promise pay the college the same amount it would get if the students were paying individually? Yes, and in fact this was one of the unanticipated benefits that [former SBCC president] Jack Friedlander told me about the first semester we did this, before he retired. He said, “Do you realize you actually generated a half million dollars last semester for the college? All of those students, who based on previous data would not have been full-time, they went full-time so they could take advantage of the Promise. Because of those additional units they paid for, that equaled half a million dollars of revenue for the college.”

How are you doing right now in terms of funding? It’s tough. We have now sustained it for 4.5 years. [Initially,] we raised about $3.5 million within six months. So we raised enough money to get all the way through year one and two and part of year three very early and then it sloughed off. Basically, we were excited, we put all our energy into the program, and now we have to circle back and kick up our fundraising. So you can expect after the pandemic moment starts to shift back to whatever our new normal is, you’ll see a big public campaign around funding the Promise.

SB Independent Cover, Schools of Thought, November 19, 2020.

SB Independent Cover, Schools of Thought, November 19, 2020.

Originally published in the Santa Barbara Independent on November 19, 2020. To read the section as it appeared in print, please click here.