Business and community partnerships for education

Carlsbad Unified School District was recently recognized by the website Niche as one of the Top 25 School Districts in California (and in the top 2% in the nation). This exceptional ranking is a tribute to the dedication of our school board, teachers, staff, students, and our supportive Carlsbad Unified community. Our success in providing high-quality educational programs is made possible by the substantial contributions of time and resources from the Carlsbad Educational Foundation (CEF), Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs), and our business and higher education partners.

This year, CEF will generously donate a record $1.5 million to support over forty K-12 programs and experiences for our students. Thanks to this support and new Proposition 28 art and music funds, Carlsbad Unified will have a full-time music teacher at every elementary school for the first time in over 20 years.

We deeply appreciate our enduring partnership with CEF as we strive to offer an extraordinary educational experience for Carlsbad students. Similarly, our PTAs support school-home partnership and family involvement in our school communities. They host engaging events like parent/child dances, pancake breakfasts, Hope Elementary’s Monster Mash, and Calavera Hills Elementary’s Winter Fest — and many more — as well as fundraisers, such as jogathons and spirit wear sales, and volunteer opportunities such as school garden projects and Pacific Rim’s parent-run “Copy Cats.” Last year over 2,600 PTA parents raised more than $500,000 in direct donations and contributed thousands of volunteer hours to support their schools.

Our booster clubs, school-based foundations, room parents and classroom volunteers also make invaluable contributions to our instructional programs and extracurricular activities. Just as importantly, thanks to strong partnerships with our business and industry collaborators, students benefit from handson, real world exposure to careers in our community. For example, last month our Carlsbad High School Construction Technology students attended San Diego Trades Day at Palomar College, an event introducing students to career opportunities in construction, sub-contracting, construction supply, heavy equipment, engineering, and related trades.

In addition, three students from the Sage Creek High School Biomedical Science program were selected to be part of Scripps Health’s Summer Student Internship program. Assigned for five weeks to one of five Scripps hospitals, they rotated through various departments to learn about different health careers, and later demonstrated what they had learned by completing relevant projects.

Also, in August, students from the SCHS Biomedical Science pathway attended the Society of Neurointerventional Surgery’s Annual Symposium in San Diego. There they shadowed neuroscientists and learned about the latest advances in the field. High school students, such as those in teacher Katie Maglia’s English classes at Carlsbad Village Academy, expanded their career-readiness knowledge through the Student Opportunities for Career Awareness and Learning (SOCAL) website. This resource, developed in partnership with Tri City Medical Center and the Chambers of Commerce of Carlsbad, Vista, and Oceanside, informs students about local job opportunities in high-demand, high-wage industry sectors.

Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce CEO Bret Schanzenbach and Carlsbad Unified Career Education Specialist Nicole Moersch were on hand to capture the lessons on a video that then was featured at the Carlsbad Chamber’s Centennial Gala on October 13th. Internships and experiences such as these help equip high school students with the tools they need to make informed decisions about their career paths. Our partners, including parents, community members, business leaders, and many others, play an essential role in the education of Carlsbad Unified students. We express our gratitude to all for their valuable contributions.