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Superintendent's Newsletter

August 18, 2023

Dear MBUSD Parents and Community, 

I hope this letter finds you well and that you had a relaxing and wonderful summer break with family and friends! We are excited to welcome you to another promising academic year at our schools. We have been preparing for our students’ return to campus and will continue our commitment to providing a learning environment where our students' full potential is reached.

Our Manhattan Beach Unified School District Board of Trustees, administrators, teachers, and staff are excited to welcome students back to campus. We remain committed to our five Board Goals and wish everyone the best for the upcoming school year - we know it will be filled with growth, success, and memorable experiences! We value your partnership in your student’s educational journey and look forward to engaging with you in various ways throughout the year.

Today’s issue highlights our schools, which were recognized as South Bay’s Best in all public education categories, progress on our recent facility projects, and our Girls Indoor Volleyball team, which brought home the win from the Ann Kang Invitational Volleyball Tournament for the second year in a row.

2023-24 School Year Calendar

This year we have four 2023-24 School Year Calendars: One each for Manhattan Beach Preschool, our elementary schools, MBMS, and Mira Costa. All calendars have the same holiday and break schedules. The only difference between each of the calendars is the minimum day and early release/late start schedules.

Click Here for the 2023-24 Elementary Schools Calendar
Click Here for the 2023-24 Mira Costa Calendar
Click Here for the 2023-24 MBMS Calendar
Click Here for the 2023-24 Preschool Calendar

MBUSD Schools Voted as South Bay’s Best

We are thrilled to announce that MBUSD schools were named the 2023 South Bay’s Best across all public education categories by the Daily Breeze and the Beach Reporter! For the second consecutive year, Mira Costa High was voted as the leader in the “Public High School” category. Meadows Elementary was voted as the best in the “Public Elementary School” category, and Manhattan Beach Preschool was voted the best in the “Preschool” category. 

For 32 years, the annual contest has collected votes from readers, both print and online. Congratulations and a round of applause for our staff and students!

In addition, other MBUSD elementary schools, including Grand View, Pennekamp, and Robinson, were voted as local favorites. Thank you to everyone who voted for our schools! 

Click here to see the announcements! 

Share your First Week of School Memories

We want to see your first week of school favorite moments! If you post a photo on social media, please tag us by using the hashtags #MBUSDFirstDay2023 and #WeAreMBUSD.

Mira Costa Senior Charlie Fuerbringer Plays on USA National Team

Congratulations to Mira Costa senior Charlie Fuerbringer for being part of the 2023 USA U19 National Team that won the gold against Turkey in the International Volleyball Federation Championships in Croatia this week. 

Charlie is the setter on the Mira Costa Girls Volleyball team and has many notable accolades. In 2022, she was part of the Girls U19 National Training team. Charlie has also won open-division national titles at USA Volleyball Girls Junior National Championship twice. 

Photo Credit: USAVolleyball

Mira Costa Indoor Girls Volleyball Team Named Ann Kang Invitational Champions

The Mira Costa Girls Indoor Volleyball team, for the second year in a row, won the Ann Kang Invitational Volleyball Tournament in Honolulu, Hawai’i! This year 16 teams, including Mira Costa, competed. 

The preseason girls tournament brings together top high school varsity teams from across the U.S. It is one of the largest high school volleyball tournaments in the State of Hawai’i. We look forward to cheering on all of our athletes this school year! Go Mustangs!

What’s New in 2023?

At the recent Board meeting, we shared what we are looking forward to in the upcoming school year. Highlights include:

  • Continuation of our #WeAreMBUSD theme
  • Our commitment to the five District goals
  • Annual District Retreat
  • Welcoming new administrative and staff members 
  • New secondary bell schedules
  • New classes at Mira Costa
  • Teachers & staff professional development 
  • Family resources
  • Progress on facility projects 
  • Peace Pole installations across the District 
  • No Place for Hate campuses
Click Here for the Presentation

MBUSD Leadership Retreat

We were excited to host our annual 2-day retreat for District and school site leadership before the start of the new school year. 

The first day of the retreat took place in Grand View’s new Multi-Purpose Room building and was an opportunity to connect with one another and focus on accountability through collaboration around District Board goals. Staff were able to reflect on goals for the upcoming school year.

Staff also focused on Professional Learning Communities (PLC) to enhance student success. We look forward to staff Opening Day on Monday, August 21, which will be a day dedicated to teachers and staff professional development. I am proud of the MBUSD team and their commitment to our students to prepare them for college, career, and life. 

New Teacher Orientation

I want to welcome the newest teachers to join our District! During the new teacher orientation today, we celebrated 27 teachers. The day was filled with activities and information sessions to prepare and support them as they start the new school year. 

I am proud and pleased that these talented individuals have chosen MBUSD to be part of their journeys as educators. 

MBUSD Public Information Office Wins Six National Awards 

Manhattan Beach Unified (MBUSD) celebrates the achievement of the 2023 National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) Publications and Digital Media Excellence Awards in the categories of E-Newsletter (external audience), Branding/Imaging, and Video. Additionally, the District received Awards of Merit for social media, excellence in writing, and an honorable mention for in-house video production.

Manhattan Beach Unified Public Information Office received the following awards and recognitions:

Six NSPRA 2023 Publications and Digital Media Awards, which recognize outstanding education publications, e-newsletters, digital media programs, radio/TV/video programs, social media, infographics, blogs, and websites as follows:

  • Award of Excellence for the weekly Superintendent’s Newsletter.
  • Award of Excellence for MBUSD’s marketing Branding/Image Pkg for its 2022-23 enrollment campaign.
  • Award of Excellence for the “We Are MBUSD” video (produced in-house) series.
  • Award of Merit for social media growth and impact.
  • Award of Merit for Excellence in Writing. Public Information Officer Hibah Samad’s piece featuring Meadows Elementary Garden.
  • Honorable Mention for a video (produced in-house) about the new leadership team at Manhattan Beach Middle School (MBMS).

The Award of Excellence is the highest award by the National School Public Relations Association. MBUSD hired its first Public Information Officer in January 2022. The prestigious recognition honoring the success of the new role showcases the commitment and innovation to provide strong two-way communication and sharing impactful content and information with the MBUSD community and beyond. 

We congratulate MBUSD Public Information Officer Hibah Samad on these awards! (If you didn’t know, Hibah attended Grand View, MBMS, and Mira Costa!)

Back-to-School Traffic Safety Tips

As we prepare for the first week back to school, the Manhattan Beach Police Department is reminding drivers to slow down around schools, and be especially mindful during drop-off and pick-up times. Motor Officers will be conducting school zone enforcement and continuing to visit our schools to make sure everyone stays safe.

For Parents:

  • Plan your route ahead of time.
  • Always keep an eye out for children, especially during pick-up and drop-off times.
  • Avoid distractions such as texting, talking on the phone, getting ready, or eating while driving.
  • If your child is biking or walking to school, map out the safest route, such as safety spots to ask for help, the best places to cross, and the most direct path to get to school. 
  • Teach children about traffic signals and signs, urge them not to wear earbuds, and stop and look both ways before using crosswalks.
  • If your child takes the bus, remind them to line up five steps away from the curb and to always look for cars before getting on or off the bus.
  • Always buckle up. Practicing proper seat belt safety instills good habits that protect yourself and those you love.
  • Look for school buses and know what to do when around them. Overhead flashing yellow lights mean you should prepare to stop, flashing yellow lights means drive with caution, and overhead lights flashing red mean stop.

For Everyone:

  • Always use the crosswalk at an intersection with a stop light or stop sign.
  • Turn down the volume on your earbuds, and don’t text while walking.
  • Stop and look for oncoming traffic before crossing.
  • Obey all traffic laws, including following the posted speed limit, which is usually 25 MPH in school zones, but may be as low as 15 MPH.

No matter how children get to school, it is important that everyone pays attention, looks out for one another, and takes these necessary safety precautions. We appreciate our partnership with MBPD and our School Resource Officers!

Health Corner

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) reminds us that COVID-19 is currently less risky for most individuals than it has been in the past, but reducing transmission of COVID-19 remains an essential strategy to help protect those most vulnerable to severe illness, to minimize disruption at schools, and to reduce the chances of experiencing Long-COVID. For more information, please visit the LACDPH webpage on Reducing COVID Risk.

Stay Updated! Download MBUSD App!

If you haven’t downloaded the MBUSD app, don’t forget to do so before the start of the school year. 

You can either go to an Apple or Google Play store to download the app by searching Manhattan Beach Unified or MBUSD. Once you download it, you will see a home page asking you to set up the schools you would like to have access to and announcements from, including the District.

From the top of the app, you can toggle between the District and each school site screen. All elementary school sites have the same buttons, while MBMS and Mira Costa’s features cater to our families and students there. The app offers 42 languages for our community to choose from.

You can update your app settings, but every morning you have the ability to learn what is happening at the District and school site level by push notifications!

Join the MBUSD Family!

We are hiring classified and certificated staff. We’re looking for individuals with a passion for helping students discover the joys of learning and creating a safe and engaging learning environment. If you are looking for a meaningful career with excellent benefits, flexibility, and stability, MBUSD is the place for you! 

Click the links below to learn about the variety of MBUSD job openings currently available.

Classified Job Opportunities

Certificated Job Opportunities

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Have a wonderful weekend! We look forward to seeing your students at school this coming Wednesday. The next Superintendent's Newsletter will be published on Friday, August 25.


Dr. John Bowes
MBUSD Superintendent
Manhattan Beach Unified School District

325 S. Peck Avenue
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
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