The Manhattan Beach Education Foundation is a community driven fundraising organization, which supplements state funding for programs that inspire learning, enrich teaching, and promote innovation and academic excellence in the public schools of Manhattan Beach. We partner with MBUSD to ensure that we are meeting the priorities of district leadership, educators and parents to provide students with an excellent education from kindergarten through graduation.

The global pandemic has made educating students more challenging – there are concerns about the loss of learning to the social emotional health of our youth. We recognize the entire community, especially parents, is seeking information and we are determined to keep you in the know.

Join Dan Hellie, local parent and sports announcer, along with Ellen Padnos, MBEF Board member and parent, as they sit down with members of our community who are instrumental in the success of our Manhattan Beach schools and community. Each podcast will address important information, concerns, and updates about the issues impacting our schools and students.

October 7, 2021

Each school has its own unique priorities and culture…and behind them all is the school PTA. This week Ellen sits down with two district PTA leaders, District Advisory Council President Wysh Weinstein and Grand View PTA President Jennifer Cram to better understand how the PTAs function. Learn why join the PTA is important, how teachers are involved, and where PTA funding goes. Plus, get a better understanding of what membership in the PTA means to you and your family.

October 1, 2021 - The Future of MBUSD with Dr. John Bowes, Superintendent

Today Ellen sits down with Dr. John Bowes, the new Superintendent of MBUSD for our first In the Know Podcast of the new school year. In the conversation, we learn about Dr. Bowes’ experience and interests, how he plans to guide the district, the challenges we are facing, and how the schools are dealing with Covid at this stage.

Dr. Bowes is asking the community four specific questions to understand how he can best serve the community and our schools:

  1. Tell me something MBUSD is doing great.
  2. What are we doing that could use a second look?
  3. What’s something you’d like to see us try?
  4. What headline do you want to see on the Beach Reporter (about the district) 5 years from now?

The answers from the community will guide and shape his priorities. Please share your answers with him at [email protected]

Dr. Bowes also references a Covid dashboard, here is that url:

May 24, 2021 - Re-opening of Mira Costa classrooms with Dr. Ben Dale

Costa High School Principal, Dr. Ben Dale, joins Dan Hellie to talk about the re-opening of Mira Costa classrooms in person. Now that the majority of students and teachers have returned in some capacity, the attitude is markedly different than just one month ago. Dr. Dale shares his insights on student sentiments, and how academics and athletics are impacting their well-being. Plus, learn what is in store for Dr. Dale as he faces retirement and what he hopes for in the next leader at Mira Costa.

Feb 28, 2021 - Overcoming Learning Loss on Our Schools with Dr. Katherine Whittaker Stopp

This week Dan is joined by MBUSD Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, Dr. Katherine Whittaker Stopp, to discuss learning loss in students due to the pandemic. There is widespread concern across the nation that student learning has been negatively impacted and students will have fallen dramatically behind, especially in disadvantaged areas where students experience additional challenges like inadequate technology or lack of parental support. Even in our own community where resources and support are more evident, there are bound to be some shortfalls. Learn about the MBUSD’s plans to mitigate loss and ensure our own MBUSD students are on track. Plus, hear about the positive outcomes of the past year on learning that may change things for the better.

Jan 25, 2021 - COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution and Other BCHD Community Support with Ali Steward

This week In the Know podcast host, Dan Hellie, is joined by Director of Youth Services at Beach Cities Health District (BCHD), Ali Steward. BCHD has been instrumental in supporting the health and wellness of MBUSD students through a variety of significant programs. Now BCHD is leading the effort to bring the COVID-19 vaccine to the South Bay, including teachers. Learn about the process and what’s in store for the coming months.

Dec 15, 2020 - The Effects of the Pandemic on the Social-Emotional Health of our Students with Leah Niehaus, LCSW

Dan sits down with Leah Niehaus, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, to discuss how the pandemic is impacting the social-emotional health of children. With twenty years in the field Leah brings an experienced perspective on anxiety and depression and how that affects our youth, especially now. Leah shares her wisdom and practical advice for supporting our children in this challenging time.

Dec 1, 2020 - COVID-19 and Children with Dr. Alice Kuo

This week Dan is joined by Dr. Alice Kuo, Professor of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and of Health Policy and Management in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Learn about the impact of COVID-19 on our children the perspective of a medical expert, what the medical field has learned from the data of schools already opened, and future projections for school openings.

Nov 10, 2020 - Re-opening MBUSD elementary schools with Dr. Mike Matthews

In our first In the Know podcast, Dan Hellie sits down with Dr. Mike Matthews, Superintendent of Schools, to discuss the recent approval of waivers for the district’s five elementary schools. Learn about the plans for students returning to school in the hybrid format, what it took to get here, and what is in store for the future.