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Each year, the results of MBEF’s fundraising success help to maintain reasonable class sizes, rigorous academics, and a breadth of educational experiences to inspire a love of learning from transitional kindergarten through high school. There are a number of ways MBEF raises funding to support its mission of providing more educational opportunities:

  • Annual Appeal Campaign
  • Endowment Fund
  • Community Partner Program
  • Manhattan Wine Auction
  • Community Events

The combination of this support has grown into a multi-million-dollar commitment that has an impressive impact on student learning. MBEF’s Grants Committee includes Board Members representing all school sites who work with district and school leadership, educators, parents and students to identify priorities that are most aligned with MBEF’s mission. While the vast majority of MBEF funding is committed to continuing successful long-term grants and teaching positions, MBEF considers the possibility of expanding or adding new programs if funding allows. MBEF’s commitment ensures our students have access to a strong, well-rounded academic program and an array of enrichment opportunities as reflected in the 2023-2024 grant programs.


$1,610,500 – 27% of Overall Funding

MBEF supports lower class sizes in general, and also allocates significant funding to ensure that the number of students is lower in specific core classes in critical grade levels. Few educational practices have the potential for greater impact than learning in a classroom with fewer students. Both parents and teachers consistently prioritize the importance of Class Size Reduction (CSR) as instrumental in a student’s educational experience.

General Class Size Reduction (4TH-12TH) – $510,500
While state guidelines provide for a maximum of 24 students per class in grades TK-3, there are no maximums in grades 4-12. Without support from MBEF class sizes in all subjects for grades 4-12 would be significantly higher.

Elementary Class Size Reduction (4TH-5TH) – $250,000
In addition to the General CSR, MBEF provides funding that ensures a maximum of 30 students per class in grades 4-5. Students at this age are beginning to define their strengths, as well as their challenge areas. Keeping class sizes smaller allows teachers to personalize their support of each student to ensure their growth and achievement.

English/Humanities & Math Class Size Reduction (6TH-8TH) – $250,000
MBEF directs CSR funding specifically to English/Humanities and Math in grades 6-8 to ensure that the average class size is 30 students or below. The transition to middle school can be challenging, and providing more space for differentiated learning in core subjects ensures our students have the support that they need.

English & Math Class Size Reduction (9TH) – $250,000
MBEF also directs CSR funding towards reducing class size specifically in English and Math in 9th grade to ensure the average number of students is 30 or below. This provides more individual attention in these critical core subjects to better equip them with a solid foundation as they progress through high school.

Zero Period (9TH-12TH) – $350,000
This grant provides all Mira Costa students with the option to add an extra period to their schedule to fulfill course requirements and benefit from the array of additional elective course options. More than 30% of MCHS students take advantage of the additional period each day.


$1,654,500 – 27% of Overall Funding

Elevated levels of stress, anxiety and depression in students throughout the country are at an unprecedented rate. In the 2021 California Healthy Kids Survey, a confidential survey of school climate and safety, student wellness, and youth resiliency, 29% of MBUSD students in grades 7, 9 and 11 had experienced chronic sadness in the past twelve months. It is more important than ever to provide our students with both the advocates and tools to help recognize and cope with their emotional wellness and academic success.

School Counselors (6TH-12TH) – $955,000
Counselors foster a sense of connection on campus and play an essential role in guiding students in their planning. The average student-to-counselor ratio in California schools is exceptionally high at 680:1, well above the American School Counselor Association’s recommendation of 250:1. MBEF’s growing investment in counseling has played a critical role in adequately supporting the needs of students. This year MBEF will continue to fund two additional counselors for both the middle and high school to decrease the student-to-counselor ratio to 300:1. Our counselors will have more time to mentor students on time management and organization, connect on individual needs, and monitor academic progress.

College & Career Center Counselors (9TH-12TH) – $325,000
MBEF funds the experts in the MCHS College and Career Center (CCC) who are devoted to helping our high school students navigate the college application process and define post-graduation pathways. From individual meetings and application assessment, to hosting college admission visits and other events on campus, to an abundance of resources and materials on hand at the CCC, this program is an essential part of helping students make the right personal choice for their next step upon graduation. Parents are welcome to take advantage of the extensive CCC services as well, with both day and evening appointments available.

MBMS Assistant Principal (6TH-8TH) – $150,000
Having an additional administrator at Manhattan Beach Middle School helps support the vast needs of a large, thriving middle school. From helping to manage the overall operations, to overseeing teachers and curriculum, to ensuring the safety of the students, the administration is an essential part of MBMS’ success. The additional support from MBEF ensures that there are more minds and hands at work to create a positive and healthy school environment.

Student Success Counselor On Special Assignment (COSA) (6TH-8TH) – $125,000
Middle school is a challenging time that requires significant mentoring and support as students explore their interests and focus on development. This COSA works on building academic success and a climate of care to better meet the diverse needs of our students at a critical transition in their lives. The Student Success COSA leads programs such as the nationally recognized mentoring program, Where Everybody Belongs (WEB), coordinates professional development for staff, develops learning experiences for all students, and strengthens parent partnerships.

Student Success Program Support (6TH-8TH) – $25,000
Program funding for curriculum, materials, guest speakers, and other essentials related to the implementation of the Student Success Program at Manhattan Beach Middle School.

Educator Grants (TK-12TH) – $70,000
The MBEF Educator Grant Program was created to support excellence in our schools by empowering MBUSD educators with funding to implement projects that will enhance teaching and learning throughout the district. The program provides educators with the opportunity to re-define best practices, explore innovative and inclusive approaches to instruction, collaborate and partner with colleagues, and connect the wealth of knowledge, expertise and talent within the MBUSD community. All MBUSD teachers, counselors and administrators are encouraged to apply for these small grants at the start of the school year, to be implemented immediately upon approval.

Teacher of the Year Awards (TK-12TH) – $4,500
Each year, MBUSD recognizes one teacher from each school as the Teacher of the Year, and one of those teachers is selected as the Districtwide Teacher of the Year. With this grant, made possible by an endowment fund sponsored by the Nickell Family, all of MBUSD’s Teachers of the Year receive a small monetary reward.


$565,000 – 9% of Overall Funding

Elementary Physical Education Teachers (1ST-5TH) – $565,000
MBEF is proud to support credentialed physical education teachers at our elementary schools to provide high-quality physical education and sportsmanship instruction each week. In addition to the physical health benefits, research shows that physical activity can help children improve their concentration, memory, and classroom behavior. Without certificated PE Specialists, MBUSD classroom teachers would need to incorporate the state-required 100 minutes into their weekly instruction. These specialized PE teachers also serve as mentors on the fields and playgrounds during recess and lunch, coordinating structured outlets for students to engage in organized activities and games.


$605,000 – 10% of Overall Funding

Literacy is a critical part of learning for all students and lays the foundation for future success. Our educators have prioritized personalized literacy support at every level. In addition to the curriculum in the classroom, our students have access to a dedicated campus library with additional resources to focus on developing this key tenet of learning.

Elementary Teaching and Learning Teacher On Special Assignment (TOSA) (TK-5TH) – $125,000
Every student learns at their own pace, especially those starting out on their educational journey. Helping teachers meet the various needs of these students is critical. The Teaching and Learning TOSA at the elementary level will continue to strengthen instruction in literacy and math by modeling teaching techniques and best practices, curating curriculum and resources, while also coordinating common student assessments to address student learning needs.

Literacy and Writing Teacher On Special Assignment (TOSA) (TK-12TH) – $125,000
MBEF helps ensure that MBUSD curriculum keeps pace with the changing world by funding a TOSA to lead continuous improvement efforts throughout the district in this important area of growth. Under the direction of the TOSA, student achievement is evident in participation in advanced courses and electives, including Creative Writing, Journalism, and AP English, as well as our exceptional scores on standardized tests districtwide.

Library Resource Specialists (TK-8TH) – $355,000
Having access to a school library and knowing how to access credible sources using technology provides endless discoveries for students. MBEF supports Library Resource Specialists at the elementary and middle school grade levels to help develop research and media literacy skills and foster a passion for reading, learning and research that will serve them throughout their lives. The libraries have become a hub of information on each campus, providing students with a quiet place to read during recess and lunch, and a vibrant center for research and learning.


$1,190,000 – 19% of Overall Funding

Project-based learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) for students at the elementary, middle and high school levels has been a significant priority for our community. The important foundational concepts learned in STEAM-based classrooms and programs promote strategic critical thinking and creative problem-solving to ensure our students can navigate and engage in a 21st century global society.

Secondary Math Teachers On Special Assignment (TOSA) (6TH-12TH) – $80,000
With the recent adoption of the new California Mathematics Framework, our educators are tasked with the continued challenge of prioritizing student-centered learning, experiential learning and conceptual understanding over the traditional algorithmic set of principles. MBEF funds two classroom educators to serve as part-time Teachers on Special Assignment (TOSAs) to collaborate on best practices in instruction with teachers across the mathematics departments at the middle and high school. This attention on instruction during a transition phase within the discipline will help foster student success in math.

STEAM Teacher On Special Assignment (TOSA) (TK-12TH) – $125,000
The Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) leads the districtwide efforts in STEAM, builds in elements of art and design, collaborates with all STEAM educators to create synergy between the school sites, and ensures the natural progression from elementary to high school with articulated pathways.

STEAM  Specialized Program Support (TK-12TH) – $125,000
Program funding for curriculum, materials and collaboration related to the implementation of districtwide STEAM programs.

MakerSpace Specialists (TK-5TH) – $180,000
The unique MakerSpace environments throughout our elementary schools provide innovative lab experiences for our students in grades TK-5. Empowering students to learn problem-solving skills through trial and error helps develop a student’s ability to think creatively and visualize solutions. MBEF funds MakerSpace Specialists who support program implementation by preparing materials, facilitating lessons, and organizing the Maker Labs.

Science Lab Teachers (TK-5TH) – $455,000
This grant supports credentialed science teachers to provide all elementary students with hands-on lab experiences and project-based-learning opportunities that strengthen the passion for science. Trained in nationally recognized Project Lead the Way (PLTW), the specialists engage students in real-world learning that connects the classroom science curriculum with engaging, hands-on activities, projects and problems.

MBMS STEAM Pathways Program Support (6TH-8TH) – $150,000
MBEF has been at the forefront of pioneering programs that challenge even our youngest students with hands-on learning in MakerSpace and Science Lab. As students progress to middle school, their passion for STEAM can continue to flourish with new and exciting pathways that will bridge into advanced high school programs. MBEF supports a year-long STEAM elective for students in grades 7-8 funded by Northrop Grumman, as well as a STEAM wheel option with a focus on FabLab, Marine Biology and STEAM specific unit.

Science Lab Assistant (9TH-12TH) – $75,000
The Science Lab Assistant at MCHS provides critical support for our advanced lab science teachers by preparing materials and resources to make lab instruction organized, efficient and innovative.


$515,000 – 8% of Overall Funding

A quality visual and performing arts education is an essential part of a comprehensive academic program for all students. Art education fosters lifelong learning skills — creativity, collaboration, communication, critical[1]thinking, and problem-solving — and improves the psychological and creative aptitudes of all students. Our students have the option to participate in sequential and comprehensive arts education programs that encourage active learning and a deeper appreciation of the arts.

Music Program (1ST-12TH) – $415,000
MBEF supports music instruction in grades 1-12, and as a result, the music program at MBUSD has flourished. Students in grades 1-5 are introduced to a comprehensive music program with instruction in vocal, wind and string instruments. Taught by certificated music instructors, the program fosters a love of music and serves as the foundation for our award-winning middle and high school programs. At the secondary level, students can specialize in the instrument of their choice and participate in a variety of award-winning programs.

Arts Elective Enhancement (6TH-12TH) – $100,000
The enhanced elective program in middle and high school offers students a wide range of course options. Specialized courses in visual and performing arts, such as Advanced Film, Ceramics, Cinematic Arts, Drama, Graphic Design, Printmaking, Technical Theater, and Yearbook, are offered to encourage interest in either exploring or becoming proficient in an art.