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MBEF: Manhattan Beach Schools Excel Because of Community Commitment

Sep 08, 2021 04:46PM ● By Scott Rosenthal

Photo via Manhattan Beach Education Foundation

The pandemic has brought about some meaningful – and much discussed – changes to how people live and work. But judging from the crowds in town and the health of the local housing market, Manhattan Beach remains as desirable destination as ever. People are still moving to Manhattan Beach to take advantage of the sunshine, the sand, and the schools. Maybe our city seal is in need of an update?

Our schools play an important role in defining the character of our community; our elementary schools are in many ways the anchors of their neighborhoods and help Manhattan Beach retain some of its “small town” feel. In these classrooms, exceptional teachers deliver instruction with a personal touch designed to help each child maximize their potential. It is here where our youngest students develop a love of learning that hopefully never wanes.

Meanwhile, our secondary schools inspire and enable our children to reach for greatness in academics, the arts and athletics. Upon graduation our kids are empowered to face today’s challenges and seize tomorrow’s opportunities.

So how did we get so lucky? Why do Manhattan Beach schools succeed where so many other public schools unfortunately fall short? And why has this success proven to be durable, despite numerous headwinds along the way?

I think we can safely say that our success is not derived from something tangible like higher per pupil funding or superior facilities. Just the opposite, funding from the state is inadequate, which makes our schools’ achievements even more impressive.

In my opinion, Manhattan Beach schools excel because of a culture of dedication and collaboration that has developed over many years. There is a shared commitment to educational excellence, and a recognition that we can best achieve this goal by working together. Manhattan Beach educators handle their responsibilities with professionalism and care. They have earned our trust and respect because they deliver for our kids. Our community demands accountability, but also supports our schools and educators via an impressive external infrastructure. The resources provided by organizations like PTA, MBX and MBEF are high value-added, and exist because our community is exceedingly generous with both its time and money.

The road hasn’t always been smooth. Our schools have faced financial headwinds and experienced numerous other challenges. But commitment and collaboration have allowed us to overcome these difficulties. I have no doubt that new challenges will emerge in the years ahead. But I am equally confident that our community will again rise to meet these head on, ensuring the quality of our school well into the future.

Scott Rosenthal is president of the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation

DigMB Editor Jeanne Fratello is in Italy for her food blog Jolly Tomato. A series of Manhattan Beach guest columnists are filling in for her until she returns.

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