In a State of Education address held in Santa Maria Wednesday, Susan Salcido looked back on more than two years of pandemic-era education.
Salcido, the Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools, was the keynote speaker at the event hosted by the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce at the Radisson Hotel.
Salcido took an optimistic tone, looking at the pandemic as a learning experience for educators. She credited county schools and districts as well as students and their families for making it through the thick of COVID-19 lockdowns and their aftermath.
The period highlighted needs for educators—namely internet connectivity and in-person instruction.
"Connectivity is a resource that is a necessity like water and electricity," Salcido said. "We also learned that face-to-face instruction for [...] the majority of students and teachers and schools is the number one way to reach our students best."
In her address, Salcido shared attendance trends, the impacts of COVID-19, and the county's goals moving forward.
"We've learned about needing to move forward and up and onward for our students," she said.