The Shift to STEM: Project Lead the Way

by Hilary Mahan, MBEF Board Member

At the forefront of STEM education is Project Lead the Way (PLTW). Currently reaching students in over 6,500 schools nationwide, PLTW is the leading provider in comprehensive STEM programs. Using activity, project and problem-based curricula, PLTW gives K-12 students the opportunity to identify problems and apply their knowledge to find unique solutions. Students are challenged to lead their own learning, preparing them for the real world. → Read the rest of this article

Peer Tutoring: All Mira Costa Students Benefit

by Hilary Mahan, MBEF Board Member

PeerTutoringPeer tutoring is available to MCHS students in the library Monday thru Thursday between 3 and 5 o’clock in the afternoon. Qualified tutors are available in most academic subjects, with consistent coverage in math and science. In order to become a peer tutor, the student must be an ‘A’ student in advanced courses. The student is then qualified to tutor for students in the course level below. Tutors track their hours and are provided community service credit for their work. In some cases, a tutor may be working on their own homework while waiting for a student with a tutor request. Throughout the course of the year, the students are asked to provide feedback on their tutors, in an effort to ensure the quality of the program. Any student interested in becoming a peer tutor should see the supervisors, Mr. Alan Zeoli or Mr. Michael McAvin, for an introduction and brief training session. → Read the rest of this article

Most Likely To Succeed – The Future of Education


The students at High Tech High seem to be flourishing, growing, leading, ready for the challenges of an innovation economy. But some parents and educators share the concern that students are not getting the academic rigor they will need for college. With college admissions offices looking at the number of AP courses and scores on the SAT, where does PBL fit in? The debate is far from over. But what can we do to invoke the discussion in our community? Is there a place for teaching students about character and reaching their full potential in school curriculum? Does it have to be an either/or proposition? → Read the rest of this article

Nurturing the Mind for Healthy Success

by Hilary Mahan, MBEF Board Member

MindUpMore often than not, when we think about the success of our children during the first 18 years of their life, we turn to their academic achievements. We tend to lose sight of the fact that our purpose as parents is to nurture capable, thoughtful, kind, secure and independent citizens of a greater society. Instead we look to API or SAT scores, the number of AP courses on the schedule or even individual project grades to assess success.

But are we doing our children a disservice by neglecting the importance of mental health and wellbeing? Anxiety and stress are common threads among students today, and equipping them with key social and emotional skills at an early age will lead to smarter, healthier and happier lives well into the future. More and more schools, and even public service organizations, are realizing that embracing the development of these tools is essential now more than ever. → Read the rest of this article

2015/2016 Grants – Putting the Dollars to Work

DollarsDonations to MBEF’s Annual Appeal are used to make grants to the District to pay for programs and educators at our seven schools. The grants, totaling over $5 million annually, amount to approximately 10 percent of the school district’s budget. Most of this funding is already committed to teachers and programs from the previous year. However as some programs close or shrink in size or if we are able to increase funds raised, we may have a little bit of additional funding through which we can consider implementing innovative new programs that align with parent and educators’ priorities. → Read the rest of this article