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Manhattan Beach Students Head Back to School

Aug 26, 2015 05:36PM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Students crowd the plaza on the first day back at Manhattan Beach Middle School. Photo credit: Luke Fratello

The 7,000 students in the Manhattan Beach Unified School District returned to school on Wednesday, ending their nine-and-a-half week summer break on an unusually warm August day. The district's eight schools are now in full swing on their regular schedules.

"In spite of all of the things our children say, I know that our students are quite ready to come back to school, be with their friends, meet new people, and learn something new," Superintendent Mike Matthews told parents in his back-to-school bulletin.

The Manhattan Beach district is comprised of Mira Costa High SchoolManhattan Beach MIddle SchoolGrand View Elementary SchoolMeadows Elementary SchoolPacific Elementary SchoolPennekamp Elementary SchoolRobinson Elementary School, and Manhattan Beach Preschool.

Across the district, there are 26 new teachers and counselors, three new administrators, and 24 new classified staff members this year.

On the district's list of priority programs for 2015/2016 are mathematics, with a shift from a more procedural focus to a balance of conceptual understanding, application, and procedural fluency; as well as the Writers’ Workshop (K-8) program, where students are coached on self-selected topics within a specific genre.

MBUSD is also continuing to integrate technology into the curriculum. According to Matthews, hundreds of teachers observe MBUSD teachers each year to learn how to implement tech in the classroom.

On the facilities front, the district is installing solar carports in the student parking lot at Mira Costa, additional solar panels on top of the new math/science building, and water heating panels near the pool; and energy-conserving LED lighting will also be installed this year. The district is also in the process of installing air conditioning in all classrooms at MBMS, a project expected to be completed in October.

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