Cabrillo Education Foundation Allocates $90K to Local Public Schools

Proceeds from the $2 million endowment will support new opportunities that local schools can’t afford to support on their own.

The Cabrillo Education Foundation (CEF), a nonprofit organization that operates independent of the Cabrillo Unified School District to benefit local public school students, announced this week the details of the first annual endowment allocation of $90K to Cabrillo schools.

These proceeds from the $2 million endowment will support some of the extras that are usually the first on the chopping block when it comes to budget cuts like fields trips, technology, science programs, and enrichment and elective classes.

“Keeping more opportunities like this alive at local public schools will improve students’ overall education,” said CEF president Michele Hannegan. “While this first allocation of $90,000 is impressive, it is just the beginning. The larger the endowment fund, the bigger the check and broader the impact. Every additional dollar makes a difference.”

The timing couldn’t be better. The CEF allocation comes during a time of resolute uncertainty at local schools as the state continues to cut funds for public education. It also rolls out the same week Coastside voters decided on Measure S, an $81 million tax bond measure that would help upgrade and maintain district facilities. And it also comes a couple of weeks after Cabrillo Unified School District (CUSD) board members unanimously agreed to call off portions of a previously agreed budget plan and bring back two assistant principals and two counselors at Half Moon Bay High School who were set to be eliminated.

“From now on, every year there will be an allocation coming from CEF that will be bigger and have more impact as the endowment grows,” said Hannegan. “This is one of many ways our community is coming together to support our schools. Together we are making a real difference to our kids.”

The specific allocations were determined after collecting ideas and insight from key constituents, including parents, teachers, CUSD administration, the community at large, and education experts from around the state, said Hannegan. 

Along with this input, decisions ere based upon long-standing CEF allocation principles and the following seven allocation themes: reinforcing academics, science, technology, enrichment, whole child, paths to the future, and teachers.

Each allocation has a detailed set of guidelines and oversight to ensure that the money is providing the opportunities as intended. CEF board members will closely monitor throughout the year, and will use the information to further inform their allocations for future years, said Hannegan.

“We are excited that now not only has our first allocation been released, but also the details of where this money is going makes it even better. Science, technology, teacher training, academic field trips, animation elective at the high school, and this is just the beginning,” said Hannegan.

So far public school parents are impressed, relieved and thankful for CEF’s mission and initiatives.

“The idea of a unified science program across all the elementary schools will ensure our children are prepared for science classes at Cunha and beyond,” said Leslie Conaghan, El Granada and Hatch parent.

“Cunha has done a remarkable job recognizing student achievement. Especially for incoming 6th graders, the fun field trips they've provided for honor roll are a great incentive for academic success. But CEF's allocation for an academic based field trip is a valuable way to bring classroom concepts to life for an entire grade level of students,” said Wendy Pedua, Cunha parent.

Greg Merkes, a Half Moon Bay High School parent, says that now with a funded high school animation elective at the high school thanks to CEF, kids learning animation and other computer software skills will actually be in the running now when they apply for coveted Silicon Valley jobs later.

“We believe that giving to the endowment is truly an investment in our children’s’ future,” said Hannegan.

CEF will sponsor the following initiatives for the 2012/2013 school year:


Elementary Science: $36,000 to augment the existing science curriculum at each of the "big three" elementary schools.  Individual school sites will propose how to spend the allocation to best enhance their existing science program.


Science Collaboration: $4,000 to fund substitutes or stipends to provide collaboration time between all four elementary schools and Cunha science teachers to coordinate curriculum and approach, and to make a recommendation for a unified science program across all elementary schools and eventually all the way through to the high school.            


 Technology Pilot(s): $15,000 to fund technology pilots within one or more classrooms in CUSD to learn the best way to incorporate technology into the curriculum.  The goal is learn this year and then broaden over future years to more classrooms.


High School 21st Century Elective: $20,000 to enhance the schools technology program by providing an elective on Animation to prepare students for 21st century careers


Cuhna Field Trip: $6,500 to fund one new academic field trip for an entire grade at Cunha to enrich curriculum. 


High School Teacher Collaboration Fund: $2,500 for a discretionary fund to be used specifically for substitutes to enable teacher planning, collaboration, and training. 


Assessment Pilot: $3,000 to fund a pilot at Kings Mountain for student assessment technology.  The goal is to test the technology’s ability to provide ongoing insight into student learning, enabling individualized education plans, improved academic outcomes, and freeing up teacher time from rote testing. 


Pilarcitos Smart Board: $1,000 to partner with the district to purchase a smart board for Pilarcitos alternative high school.


Pilarcitos Field Trip: $2,000 to fund one or more field trips either to colleges or to a curriculum based destination. 


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