Mon10202014

Schools

LAEF raises $3.3 million for LASD schools


Colleen Hawk/Special to the Town Crier 
The Los Altos Educational Foundation funds music instruction in elementary schools in the Los Altos School District.

The Los Altos Educational Foundation recently reached its annual fundraising goal of $3.3 million for the Los Altos School District.

The foundation raises funds to supplement the financial resources of the district to support additional academic and enrichment programs that improve the overall education of students in district schools.

“This past school year marked the most successful fundraising year ever for (the foundation) because we are a community dedicated to quality public education,” said Marilyn Stanley, foundation co-president. “I would like to thank all of the parents, grandparents, community members and local businesses that have contributed to delivering the superior education that we all want for our kids. Giving to the Los Altos Educational Foundation is our way of investing in what we value: our children’s education.”

The grant will continue to benefit the following elementary and junior-high programs.

• Los Altos Art Docent lessons.

• Twenty-five hours of library operation per week per elementary school.

• A library coordinator.

• K-3 class-size reduction through small-group literacy aides.

• Elementary school music and physical-education programs. In the next school year, kindergartners will receive lessons from a PE specialist.

• Junior high class-size reductions to 25:1 in English, math, social studies and science courses.

• Elective offerings – seventh- and eighth-graders will choose two electives.

• A junior-high library program, open five periods per day and after school.

The second part of the foundation’s grant, the Innovation Grant, is designated for K-8 programs that promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.

The Innovation Grant includes the CSTEM program, which adds computer science education in sixth grade. Nancy Davis, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, said the goal is to expand the CSTEM program from sixth grade into the junior highs.

In addition to CSTEM, the foundation’s Innovation Grant supports the district’s technology integration coach, STEM coach and STEM teacher on each elementary school campus.

New executive director

Stanley and Brooke Schiller, fellow co-president, introduced new Executive Director Amy Peabody to district trustees May 27. Peabody replaces Shobana Gubbi, who resigned from the position earlier this year.

Following a search process, the foundation board hired Peabody from among a pool of candidates. Peabody, who brings more than 14 years of nonprofit fundraising experience to the post, served on the board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and previously worked for TheatreWorks, American Musical Theatre of San Jose and the German International School of Silicon Valley.

“I care a great deal about education, and I’ve always been involved in organizations with strong communities and passion for their mission,” Peabody said. “The commitment of this Los Altos School District community to advancing its schools is amazing. I’m thrilled to be a part of that, and to help develop the Los Altos Educational Foundation even further.”

The foundation is accepting donations for the 2014-2015 school year. Donations may be made online as a one-time gift or via automatically deducted installments.

To donate and for more information, visit laefonline.org.

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