California Public Schools Need Your Help TODAY. Funding for education is impacting districts throughout the state, including our own.
MBEF Newsletter
    June 11, 2020  

The Virtual Manhattan Wine Auction Raises $1 Million!
Because of you – our generous and committed community – this year's Wine Auction raised $1 million for our Manhattan Beach public schools. Year after year, the Wine Auction comes together because of the contributions of so many and this year was no different despite the virtual platform. We are deeply grateful to our Sponsors and SupportersWine Auction CommitteeWine Advisory Board, Silent and Live Auction Donors, and our Virtual Tasting Partners who all contributed to making this event a huge success. We would also like to thank the many Paddle Raise Donors who helped raise over $575,000 in mere minutes for our schools in the 2020/21 school year. If you didn't have the opportunity to donate, it's not too late to Support Our Schools with a Donation. To revisit the fun had by all at the virtual Wine Auction, view the Livestream Program and Social Media Photos posted throughout the evening. 


California Public Schools Need Your Help TODAY
Funding for education is impacting districts throughout the state, including our own. Losing critical programs and educators is directly associated with the state's structural funding challenges, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The California State Assembly and Senate have agreed to a budget that will help restore the cuts proposed by Governor Newsom. Full funding will help our schools avoid massive layoffs and bring back teachers and students safely in the Fall. Assistance from the Federal Government through the Heroes Act is also critical for our schools. Here is how you can advocate for our schools:

1. Get informed on the California State Budget, its impact on the MBUSD Budget, and other Budget Considerations for our schools.
2. Take time NOW to call Governor Newsom at 916-445-2841 and request that he agree to the Legislature's proposed budget to restore the cuts to education. Use this Sample Call Script.
3.  Call Senator Feinstein at 310-914-7300 and Senator Harris at 310-231-4494, and Submit a Statement to the White House to request support of the Heroes Act to provide federal aid for education to all states.


Considerations for Reopening School in the Fall
With the 2019/20 academic year coming to a close, the question as to how schools will open in the fall is on the minds of teachers, parents, and students. While parameters are still expected to fluctuate, MBUSD's recent survey will help determine how to best meet the needs of all involved. At last week's MBUSD board meeting, Dr. Matthews presented the results in his presentation, Distance Learning Survey Data and Next Steps. Virtual Town Halls, held earlier this week, helped to address challenges and answer questions from parents and teachers. Two Steering Committees (Elementary and Secondary) made up of parents, teachers, administrators, board members, and representatives from all departments, will work together over the coming month to develop and coordinate reopening guidelines. To stay informed, be sure to read the weekly Communications from Dr. Matthews and visit the MBUSD updates on Reopening Our Schools. A decision on how to proceed will be made by the MBUSD Board no later than late July or early August.


Congratulations to the Resilient Class of 2020
The graduating class of 2020 has experienced more challenges during this pivotal transition than any other – and handled it with stride. In the fall, Mira Costa grads are attending over 158 colleges and universities in 37 states and 5 countries, as well as pursuing other vocational or service pathways. The MCHS College and Career Counselors help support Costa students as they determine their next step and are fully funded by donations to MBEF. To see where our grads are continuing their education, check out our College Map in detail or explore the Photo Gallery of students sharing their college commitments. Thank you for partnering with us to create exceptional educational opportunities. Stronger Schools, Stronger Community, Stronger Together. 


MBEF Legacy Award Presented to Rod Spackman of Chevron
Rod Spackman was honored with MBEF’s first-ever Legacy Award at the virtual Manhattan Wine Auction on May 30th. Rod has been instrumental to the growth of the Manhattan Wine Auction, as well as the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation. He recognized early on that a truly phenomenal public-school system requires a partnership with the local community and was ready to lead the effort as a founding sponsor of the first annual Manhattan Wine Auction in 1994. As the Manager of Policy, Government and Public Affairs for Chevron, Rod has directed over $1.5 million to MBEF, and more than $4 million to the Manhattan Beach Unified School District. Rod will be retiring from Chevron after 40 years of service to our community and, although he will certainly be missed, he will never be forgotten.


MBUSD Virtual Concerts 
During distance learning throughout COVID-19, the Mira Costa Bands have been diligently practicing...and performing. The Jazz Band was showcased throughout the virtual Wine Auction and Instructor Joel Carlson also created a series of virtual concerts to showcase the talents of students. You can enjoy them all here:
#CB3 Prelude – Are You Ready for This?
#CB3 Dance – I Want You Back
#CB3 Finale – The Power of Love 
Elementary Choir Instructor Krista Giffin has also compiled a virtual concert featuring 4th and 5th-grade students from all MBUSD elementary schools. 
Fourth Grade Virtual Choir 
Fifth Grade Virtual Choir


Odyssey of the Mind – Pacific's 4th Grade Team Ends Strong! 
Pacific's fourth-grade Odyssey of the Mind team recently competed in the Virtual World Finals for Odyssey of the Mind, along with over 800 other teams from around the world. Pacific's team placed 10th out of the 129 teams in their division, and 3rd overall in the spontaneous portion of the tournament! For the spontaneous problem, the Pacific team safely social distanced in a back yard to provide creative answers to one question in a 25-minute time period, which they then submitted online. The team was coached by Michelle Lautanen, a Pacific 2nd-grade teacher, and included Reagan Ertman, Cary Geida, Cameron Geida, Natalie Held, Brady Lange, Rehaan Mehrotra, and Jack Schneider. Congratulations to Pacific's 4th-grade team!


Thank You to the MBEF Student Ambassadors
MBEF would like to thank our Student Ambassadors, Andrew Cormack and Emily Krigsman, for representing MBEF and sharing their personal stories as MBUSD students throughout the year. Both Andrew and Emily were critical to explaining school funding and the positive impact that support of MBEF had on their academic journeys. Andrew will continue his adventure at Rice University and Emily will attend the University of Wisconsin, Madison. We wish them well in their next steps!


Parenting in Place – Helping Families Thrive in Challenging Times
With summer camps being canceled and travel restricted, parents are trying to figure out how to manage the family unit. Add months of quarantine, social distancing, remote learning, and a climate of heightened racial strife, and you have a desperate need for practical strategies to help children and families thrive. PARENTING IN PLACE is a 9-week masterclass series starting on June 10th with a group of parenting experts, therapists, authors, educators, and neuroscientists who feel passionate about helping families navigate these challenging times. MBEF Guest Speakers, including Julie Lythcott-Haims and Madeline Levine, are among the featured presenters. All presentations are recorded so you won't miss the helpful tips and strategies. Click here to register.


Upcoming MBUSD and Community Events 

Mira Costa Graduation from 10am - 6pm
School's Out For Summer!
First Day of School!
  Like Us

In the News and Parent Resources 
Please find below a round-up of the most widely read and shared articles from MBEF’s Facebook Page. MBEF is proud to be a resource for our families to interact and learn from experts and each other. Join our Facebook Community and join the conversation.

Our local businesses support our schools in so many ways, including through MBEF and the Manhattan Wine Auction. Check out the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce for local stores that are opening their doors and support them!

Just What Exactly Does It Mean to Be Good? Check out this NY Times Article to get different perspectives on being good and bringing our best to everything we do, every day.

Feeling Needed is key to staying positive during difficult times. Screenagers offers ways, both on and off-screen, to help support others while helping yourself feel good in the process.

MBEF would like to recognize the following Community Partners
for their outstanding commitment to our schools:

Benefactors $10,000 Level

Leaders $5,000 Level

Thank you to all of our Community Partners. Click here for a full list and to learn more.
Manhattan Beach Education Foundation

About MBEF:  Manhattan Beach Education Foundation is an independent non-profit established by parents and community leaders to financially support the seven public schools of the Manhattan Beach Unified School District.  Since 1983, MBEF has granted much-needed funds to supplement state funding and has helped MBUSD continually rank in the top 1% of school districts in California.  With over 5,000 donors and annual grants exceeding $6 million, MBEF is one of the oldest and most successful educational foundations in the state.  Any questions or concerns about this communication should be sent to

Manhattan Beach Education Foundation P.O. Box 1110 Manhattan Beach, CA 90267
Phone: 310-303-3342  |  Email:

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