Better Together: ELMO & Providence Merge FAQs

Thursday, April 26th, 2018 -

Frequently asked questions about the merge of our two schools can be found by clicking this link. The FAQs will be updated every few days as information becomes available.


Friday, April 20th, 2018 -

April 19, 2018 by Elaine Rottman

Some things simply are better together: peanut butter and jelly, chips and salsa, movies and popcorn, and Batman and Robin, to name just a few. While great on their own, in combination they enhance each other, becoming better for being together.

By a unanimous vote on Monday, April 16, the boards of directors of El Montecito School San Roque (ELMO) and Providence, A Santa Barbara Christian School (Providence, SBCS) made the decision to merge, becoming better together. Both schools have served Santa Barbara for decades.

The mission, vision, and culture of both schools are fundamentally similar. The ELMO motto “where character meets wisdom” and the Providence, SBCS motto “Truth, Beauty, Excellence” pursue the same values for the same reasons, according to a joint statement issued by Mr. Randal Clark, Providence board president and Mr. Drew Dusebout, ELMO board president: “The mission of our combined schools remains to develop and nurture character grounded in God’s word, academic excellence, principled leadership, and a commitment to service in each and every one of our students.”

Providence, SBCS has operated since 1959, first as an elementary school (Santa Barbara Christian School) and then as a preschool–grade 12 school after a merger with Providence Hall in 2014. El Montecito School, founded in 1958, serves preschool–grade 6 students.

Coming together enhances stewardship by sharing resources—campus facilities, strong faculty and administration, and committed families. According to the statement, “in order for us to do our part in stewarding our school and to achieve sustainable greatness (excellence today, tomorrow, next year, and years from now), we must embrace change. We want to assure that our schools thrive in perpetuity. This merger assures our best days are ahead.”

As of July 1, 2018, the merger will be official and the new combined school, to be called Providence School, will serve two-year-old preschoolers through high school seniors. All accreditations and affiliations, including CIF athletics, will be maintained.

Students currently enrolled or accepted for admission for the 2018-19 school year will come together in classes ranging from 18-22 students per grade level. New applications will continue to be accepted, with the distinct possibility of waiting lists being created for some classes. Further details and procedures will appear on this website as they are worked out.

Preschool and elementary students will meet on the San Roque campus (3225 Calle Pinon) currently home to ELMO. Plans are being developed for middle school and high school students (grades 7-12) to move from the Canon Perdido campus to the current Providence, SBCS elementary campus (3723 Modoc Road). Improvements will be made at both campuses to accommodate and enhance the experience for the particular student population. According to the board presidents’ joint statement, “We believe this is a huge blessing as both campuses are centrally located and have secure leases with favorable terms.”

Providence will no longer pursue developing a property at the Pacific Tech Center in Goleta, which had been identified as a potential home for the middle and high school programs.

Current administration from both ELMO and Providence will lead the combined school. Dr. Tim Loomer (currently at ELMO and formerly at Providence) will be Interim Head of School; Mr. Scott Rockney will continue as Associate Head of School and Principal of Upper School; Mr. Matt Knoles will lead the Lower School as principal, continuing in his Providence, SBCS role; Ms. Cathy Rempe will direct the Preschool, continuing in her ELMO role. Dr. Scott Lisea, Head of School at Providence, SBCS for the past three years, will help lead a transition committee made up of board members from both schools.

“We are fortunate to have continuity of strong leaders and a community that already knows one another,” state Mr. Clark and Mr. Dusebout. “Santa Barbara is a small town and many of the people working at, serving, or attending either Providence or ELMO are already connected through churches, youth activities, and friendships. Now we have the opportunity to share in the education of our children together as one extended family.”

Family—brothers and sisters in unity—it’s one more thing that is better together.

Helping Others

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018 -

Dear ELMO Friends & Family,

We thought you might appreciate an update on how ELMO is working to help our community as Montecito literally digs out from the rain and flooding. Last Wednesday, our Parent Association met here on campus. We discussed ways ELMO could be a direct support to our community. One suggestion was to partner with schools in Montecito that would be closed. Immediately El Montecito Early School came to mind and we contacted their director, Suzy Dobreski. Several text messages and emails culminated in a planning meeting last Friday. As a result, this morning we welcomed just over a dozen students and three teachers from El Montecito Early School to our campus. We are glad to host these students and teachers whose school is not accessible. As you know, we began at El Montecito Presbyterian Church and so have a strong connection and shared history with them.

We see this opportunity as the result of God’s work. Last summer we opened a second PreK classroom. Community Care Licensing unexpectedly approved our campus to serve 72 preschool students; we never anticipated exceeding 60 students. Then, John Davies (an Alum parent and former president of the PFCE board) and Ken Marshall (who works for Dudek Law Firm) helped us work with the city to increase our preschool Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to match our license. Since on our busiest day we have 55 preschool students, we can legally host the displaced children.

As I look back on the process of opening a fourth preschool classroom and the approval for increased enrollment, I see that God’s hand orchestrated things for this exact day. This time last year, we would not have been in a position to help.

Our partnership with El Montecito Early School is both a step of faith and one of showing love to our neighbors in a time of need. We are incredibly proud of the willingness of our preschool teachers to embrace this endeavor. Although we never anticipated operating with 72 preschool students, we feel this is something we must do and are excited for our time together!

During the Parent Association meeting we talked of additional ways to support families. Since Thursday we have been collecting canned food to help stock the shelves of the local Santa Barbara Foodbank. Also, last Friday we hosted a few elementary students who normally attend public school in Montecito. These students needed a day out of the mud and muck and we were glad to welcome them. We may well host additional elementary students in the next week or two. If you happen to know families with elementary-aged students who need to temporarily be here, please contact me or call the school office, 962-3091.

Last Tuesday, I came across Romans 12:12 which says “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” While sometimes it may feel hollow to say, “I am praying for you” or to say “please be in prayer for …” this is exactly what Paul tells us to do! And so I finish by saying again, please continue to be in prayer for our community and those affected by the fire and flood.

Thank you

Tim Loomer, Ed D
Head of School

AB 500 Faculty Interactions With Students

Thursday, January 4th, 2018 -

Pursuant to CA AB500 and Education Code 44050, El Montecito School posts this link to the section in the employee handbook that guides employee interactions with pupils.


Thursday, October 12th, 2017 -

PRESCHOOL CAMP ELMO June 19-23 & June 26-30

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017 -


June 19-23 and June 26-30, weekly or daily registration available
Click the link above for the registration form.

TECHSPLORATION DAY: Friday, Feb 3, 2017

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 -


Our ELMO students are eagerly looking forward to Techsploration 2017 scheduled for Friday, February 3rd.  Both elementary and preschool students will have time to engage and explore several hands-on technology and science related experiences organized by parents, local schools and businesses, and community members – discover what’s in a TV, program and drive Lego robots, manage water, check out a 3D printer, and more.  Techsploration Day is a great way to excite students about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and get them thinking about future careers. Preschool Techsploration will occur by class between 10:00am and noon. Elementary Techsploration will be by groups from 12:30-2:30pm.

K-6th SEMESTER SHOWCASE & OPEN HOUSE on Sunday, January 22, 2-4pm

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017 -


Current and prospective families are invited to the K-6th Semester Showcase & Open House, SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2017 from 2-4pm (rain or shine!)  Explore the classrooms & first semester projects, meet teachers, hear student reflections & presentations, enjoy the chorus and worship band performances, play math games in the Library and do art projects in the Art Room.  Our sixth grade “ELMO experts” are waiting to give school tours.  We look forward to your visit!


Friday, October 2nd, 2015 -
outdoors 15-3
The Outdoor Classroom Project of Santa Barbara County has designated El Montecito School San Roque, 3225 Calle Piñon, as a member of the OCP Demonstration Site Network.  This selected group of programs supports the widespread implementation of Outdoor Classroom practices and environments.  El Montecito School San Roque is happy to be sharing int his mission to increase the quantity, quality and benefit of outdoor experiences for children.  To find out more about the Outdoor Classroom Project, click here.


Friday, September 11th, 2015 -

Our next Open House will be Tuesday, October 6, 2015, 9-10am. Guests will join Jeannine Morgan, our Director and current parent hosts for a school tour and Q&A. We welcome all. Help us plan for your visit by sending an RSVP to: or call 962-3091

OPENHOUSE October 2015