Junior High School

Universal Access

Universal Access FAQs: Junior High 2023-24 School Year



What is Universal Access?


Implementing Universal Access means grouping students heterogeneously within class sections. These classes provide all students access to grade-level content and rigor (defined by state standards), as well as higher-order critical thinking and academic vocabulary. 

All students in Universal Access classes have the opportunity to access learning and demonstrate achievement that exceeds grade-level standards.


What is the goal for universal access?


We believe that all students should have access to high expectations, rigorous curriculum, and standard-aligned assessments, with differentiated supports and extension opportunities as needed. Universal Access will contribute to our goal to meet the mandates in the SB Unified School Board’s January 2021 Resolution on Justice through Equity Driven Practices.


What is the model that is being implemented in the 2023-24 school year?


In the 23-24 school year, the following courses will be implementing Universal Access:

  • 7th Grade English: Goleta Valley, La Colina, La Cumbre, Santa Barbara Jr High

  • 8th Grade English: Goleta Valley, La Colina, La Cumbre, Santa Barbara Jr High

  • 7th Grade* Math: La Colina

  • 8th Grade* Math: La Colina

  • 7th Grade Science: Goleta Valley, La Colina, La Cumbre

  • 8th Grade Science: La Colina

  • 7th Grade Social Studies: Goleta Valley,  La Colina, La Cumbre, Santa Barbara Jr High

  • 8th Grade Social Studies: La Colina, La Cumbre, Santa Barbara Jr High

*This does not include the math compaction sequence.


Which courses earn honors credit, with a weighted grade in SB Unified?


At the junior high level, there are no classes that earn a weighted grade, even if they are designated honors. Furthermore, honors designation is not required for enrollment in advanced high school courses, nor for high school academy or special program admission.

In high school, Honors and AP, IB, and Dual Enrollment courses earn a weighted grade on the SB Unified transcript.


How will teachers be supported in this transition?


We have created a professional learning plan that uses existing time and structures prior to school starting in August 2023, and we are planning for innovative approaches to professional learning and collaboration to support teachers throughout the 23-24 school year. 

All teachers implementing Universal Access in 23-24 will receive extensive professional learning in Universal Design for Learning over the course of the school year.


What supports and extensions are available to students?


School sites and teachers will provide supports through proactive, in-class strategies, as well as through tutoring and flexible times built into the schedule

Teachers will use specific strategies to ensure each student has access to grade-level content and skills, and has opportunities to extend beyond the grade-level standards.