News 2014

End-of-Year Donations: Tax Break!

December 19, 2014

Dear Millbrae Families,

This holiday season, give the gift that truly keeps on giving: an investment in your child’s education. They will be thanking you for years to come. Donate by December 31st to lower your 2014 tax bill!

We are less than halfway to our 2014-15 goal to retain music and computer education in our 5 district schools. As of December 18, we have raised $168,000 of the $350,000 necessary to keep these programs going. If you have not already contributed on behalf or your student, now is the perfect time: MEF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, and your contributions are 100% tax-deductible! Donate one-time or monthly, or make a single contribution before the end of 2014 for tax purposes, and then setup affordable monthly payments to take care of your contribution moving forward!

The Millbrae School District eliminated elementary music and 2008 due to State budget cuts, and contributions to the Millbrae Education Foundation made it possible to bring it back to all of elementary students as well as expand the program at Taylor Middle School. Our contributors have also funded 100% of the computer education our elementary and Taylor Middle School students have been receiving since 2012, as well as teacher training in utilizing technology in the classroom. IF WE FALL SHORT, these programs will have to be reduced. However, our immediate goal is to INCREASE the frequency of music and computer education our students receive. We cannot do it without EVERY DISTRICT FAMILY contributing any amount they can.Your participation is the key!

Shopping on Amazon for holiday presents? Please use Amazon Smile for MEF, and 0.5% of your purchase will fund music and computer education in our 5 schools. Thank you to all of our families who joined us a the Barnes & Noble book fair, both in-person and online. View & share photos of our students and volunteers on our Facebook page.

On behalf of the Millbrae Education Foundation Board, I wish each of you a safe and happy Winter Break. HAPPY HOLIDAYS, and we’ll see you in the New Year!

Sincerely,

Karen E. Bettucchi

President, Millbrae Education Foundation

KarenB@MillbraeKids.org

Mills High School 2014 Winter Concert

December 18, 2014

Wow! Watch the extraordinary 2014 Mills High School Winter Concert, featuring many former students whose education was strengthened through Millbrae Education Foundation. In addition to the musical talent, the concert film itself was produced by the Advanced Art of Video Class, with the assistance and resources of Millbrae Community Television (MCTV).

The majority of students who attend one of Millbrae School District’s 4 elementary schools and Taylor Middle School go on to attend Mills High School, and this concert film is a testament to the power of music and tech education. Thank you, donors, for making moments like this possible. Enjoy the show!

Barnes & Noble Book Fair: Dec. 6th

November 17, 2014

Join us for our third MEF Book Fair at Barnes & Noble in Tanforan on Saturday, December 6th! Come and see students from Taylor, Spring Valley, Lomita Park, Meadows and Green Hills perform, and join School Board member, Denis Fama, for story time!

Download a voucher to present at checkout, and a portion of your purchase will benefit the Millbrae Education Foundation. Or, visit Barnes & Noble online from December 7-11 and enter Bookfair ID 11500303 at checkout.

The higher our total sales climb the higher the percentage back to the MEF will be…every dollar makes a difference! Purchases in EVERY department of the store count towards the Bookfair: that includes Toys, Games, Music, DVD, Magazines, Nooks, Cafe purchases…you name it! So, take advantage of Barnes & Noble’s everyday low prices and in-store specials!

You can pre-order Cheesecake Factory cheesecakes and holiday treats again this year! Be sure to pick your orders up on Saturday, December 6th Barnes & Noble in Tanforan.

Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to get a jump start on your holiday shopping, enjoy the talent of our own Millbrae students, decorate cupcakes, and more! Free gift wrap will be available, and the best part is that you will be supporting our schools!

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

  • 10:30am: Caroling by Spring Valley & Meadows 5th Graders
  • 11:45am: Caroling by Lomita Park & Green Hills 5th Graders
  • 1:00pm: Holiday Performance by Taylor Band Students
  • 1:00-3:30pm: Cupcake Decorating
  • 2:00pm: Story Time with School Board Trustee, Denis Fama
  • 3:00pm: Millbrae Kindergarteners Perform

SEE YOU THEN!

Teacher’s Union Negotiations

October 30, 2014

On October 29, MSD sent the following email to district families regarding negotiations between the district and the teachers’ union (Millbrae Education Association, or MEA).

Dear Parents and Guardians of Millbrae School District:

The District and MEA negotiations teams met today to begin to negotiate related to the 2014-15 school year. The parties recapped that progress has been made over the last two years with respect to salary (6% over two years) and improvements to District’s contributions to Health & Welfare premiums (an additional 2.5% over two years).

MEA has made a proposal for the following relative to compensation:

• An increase of 4% on salary schedule.

• Increase the District’s contribution to Health & Welfare premiums by $200 per month for unit member, unit member plus one, and family.

• Increase masters and doctorate stipends.

• Restructure salary schedule.

The District proposed the following:

• A two (2%) percent salary increase.

• Increasing the instructional year by 2 days without students to allow Staff Development to occur during the school year.

• If MEA agrees to redirect monies spent on supplemental insurance then MEA can allocate an additional one and a half (1.5%) percent of salary.

The parties are scheduled to meet again on November 17, 2014.

Sincerely yours,

Linda Luna, Superintendent

MEF Night Out: Nov. 5

October 28, 2014

*** PRINT A VOUCHER! ***

It’s time to support Millbrae business and our schools with MEF Night Out, on Wednesday, November 5!

Download and print a voucher for each location you plan to visit (copies will also available through your student’s school), and present it before your bill is totaled. A percentage (as indicated) of your bill will go to fund music and computer education in Millbrae’s schools!

THANK YOU, PARTICIPATING RESTAURANTS!

Sixteen Mile House

Naked fish

Pancake House

Cafe Roma

Big Mouth Burgers

El Super Burrito

2014 Donation Days Total

October 23, 2014

Thanks to the many families and community members who participated, we matched and exceed our $28,000 Community Challenge Grant during Donation Days!

Overall, we raised $148,000 in donations and monthly pledges from October 1-16! We are really pleased to announce that we DOUBLED the number of monthly donors who have opted to fund our schools’ computer and music programs through regular monthly payments. BECOME A MONTHLY DONOR

The $148,000 raised during Donation Days is about 42% of the amount needed just to keep our music and computer programs intact next year. Currently, our elementary students only receive instruction in music and computers one time every 2 weeks, because that is all that $312,000 raised last year was able to fund (along with our 5th grade band program, a supplemental band period at Taylor, and a district-wide technology program).

Let’s do better for our kids by raising the $500,000 we need to expand these programs to weekly instruction with additional teachers. Or, even better, let’s reach 100% participation and raise $1,000,000 to expand our programs and fund classroom size reduction! Our neighbors are doing it, and so can we!

A big THANK YOU to those who have already donated this year to keep Millbrae schools strong! For those of you have not yet donated, consider donating today!

Sincerely,

Karen Bettucchi

President, Millbrae Education Foundation

KarenB@MillbraeKids.org

Status of 5th Grade Band

October 22, 2014

What’s happening with our elementary band program? We think it’s important that all of our donors stay aware of the program’s status. This drives home the importance of funding our programs fully and robustly, rather than barely sustaining them each year.

Due to the District’s contract with the teachers’ union (Millbrae Education Association, or MEA), the band instructor position had to first be posted and made available to credentialed teachers. No one applied for that position, so now the District is able to move forward with finding a band specialist to instruct 5th grade band students. Superintendent Luna sent out the following email to 5th Grade parents on October 21.

Dear Parents and Guardians of Interested 5th Grade Band Students:

First, I want to begin with my sincerest apologies for our inability to hire a part-time band teacher. Since our last update, we have advertised for a credentialed band teacher to teach our 5th grade students, and we have not received one application. We have even contacted the universities around us to find interns that may be interested in this teaching opportunity, and still no interest. We are currently looking at private instructors who would be willing to teach beginning band at our schools.

Meanwhile, I will be meeting with our 5th grade students who are interested in participating in band in the next two days. From these initial meetings, I will create a schedule to get the beginning band program started.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) I will meet with interested 5th grade students at Lomita Park and Green Hills Schools. I will meet with the interested 5th grade students at Spring Valley and Meadows on Thursday. Please, no instruments this week. I will create a schedule and send it to you so that you know what day of the week your student should bring his/her instrument to school.

I am so very sorry that we have had this delay. As a former music teacher with a current single subject music education credential, I’m happy to step in and get this program started until we find an instructor for beginning band.

Sincerely,

Linda Luna

Superintendent

MCTV Interviews MEF at Art & Wine

October 14, 2014

MEF president Karen Bettucchi and elementary computer teacher Tom Wachs chat with MCTV about the importance of music and computer education in the Millbrae School District.

Back-to-School video

September 18, 2014

It’s a new school year, and with the generous support of Millbrae Community Television (MCTV), we’ve created a Back-to-School video. Meet our new music teacher, see donations in action, and learn about MEF goals and funding for 2014-15.

Status update: September 2014

September 9, 2014

Welcome to a new school year in Millbrae! The Millbrae Education Foundation is thrilled to fund music and computer education again this year, thanks to contributions from district families and the generosity of our community donors. Here’s where MEF is as of today:

STATUS OF 2013-14 DONATIONS

  • MEF raised $312,000 from July 2013-June 2014.
  • Our expenses were only 4.5%. For nonprofits, operating expenses of 10-15% are considered outstanding ~ thanks to our volunteers & sponsors, MEF financials are better than outstanding! We are committed to ensuring that MEF donations go DIRECTLY to improving education for our kids.
  • Since our 2013-14 music teacher was unable to start until well into the school year, there was $22,000 left over from our MEF donation to the district last year. We are utilizing this carryover amount to fund this year’s programs.
  • On September 2, 2014, MEF gave $270,000 to the Millbrae School District. This amount, combined with the $22,000 carryover (for a total of $292,000), will fund our elementary music teacher for all K-5 students; our computer teacher for all 1-5 students; our computer educator for all Taylor students and teachers; and zero-period band practice for Taylor students for the current (2014-15) school year.
  • We now have $28,000 remaining from the $312,000 raised in 2013-14 for further improvements in our current school year. Our Board is working with Superintendent Luna, the Board of Trustees, and our technology and music teachers to determine how best to use these funds to expand programs this year. We always want to hear your input and ideas at donations@millbraekids.org. MEF will keep you updated regularly on the distribution of these funds.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR 2014-15

BACK-TO-SCHOOL VIDEO

Those of you attending your Back-To-School nights will have an opportunity to view our new video, generously filmed & edited for free by MCTV. If you can’t make it (or just can’t wait!), watch now to meet our new music teacher, hear about our goals for 2014-15, and more!

NEW LOGO

As you may have noticed, we have a new logo and website address (MillbraeKids.org). This volunteer-created new look (which cost no donor money) represents MEF’s commitment to every one of our 5 public schools and to Millbrae’s most valuable asset: our children.

THANK YOU to those who have joined us in the ongoing effort to keep Millbrae’s schools strong this year and beyond! Our kids, our future, our choice.