Visit Our Website

Superintendent's Newsletter

May 26, 2023

Dear MBUSD Parents and Community,

Today’s issue highlights MBMS, honoring our classified employees, and a few upcoming MBUSD music performances for the community!

Spotlight on MBMS (Special Thanks to Haley Viviani, Haley Petruescu, and Principal Jennifer Huynh)

6th Grade Science students are learning about body systems. In an effort to create an engaging and meaningful way to learn, Science Teachers Haley Viviani and Haley Petruescu crafted a lesson where their students participated in Body Systems Boogie. Students were expected to research the six body systems: circulatory, respiratory, digestive, musculoskeletal, excretory, and nervous. Then, students wrote a song with a catchy chorus that emphasized how all of the body systems work together to keep us healthy and the overall importance of body systems interacting! From using Rick Astley to Taylor Swift, students were super excited to show off their singing skills while teaching others about the importance of the body systems working together.

Here is a sample video.

Staff Spotlight: Iltze Guerra

This week we spotlight the Manhattan Beach Preschool Teacher of the Year, Iltze Guerra! She has worked with children for the past 15 years and started her career at MB Preschool in 2015 as a Teacher Student Assistant. She pursued an opportunity at MBUSD because of its reputation as a great place to work.

In 2021, she was given an opportunity to transfer to a teaching position. She says that great mentors and MB Preschool staff have paved the way for her success by encouraging her to pursue her passion for teaching to the next level. She currently teaches our older 4 and 5-year-olds’ Transitional Kindergarten preschool class with the goal of preparing each of her students for a smooth transition to Kindergarten. She assists them in becoming critical thinkers and effective communicators.

She strives to make learning fun and exciting with lots of hands-on activities. Her students enjoy science experiments, counting collectives, practicing their writing skills, and creating colorful art with mixed media. Iltze says, “I hope to make an impact on any child who walks into my room and to leave with endless possibilities of what they can become.” 

Iltze’s current career goal is to continue her educational success and complete her PK-3 Early Childhood Education (ECE) Specialist Credentials, and hopefully teach at an elementary level when that is completed. She also received the Classified Employee of the Year distinction in 2017.

Iltze has a 10-year-old who she says keeps her on her toes! She loves teaching, reading, listening to music, and going to Dodgers games!

Classified Employees Week (May 21-27, 2023)

Thank you to our 400 MBUSD classified staff! Each May, California salutes the important contributions of classified school employees. This year’s theme is “Classified Professionals: Indispensable, Inspiring, and Invincible.” Classified staff are essential frontline workers who keep our schools up and running while making a difference in the lives of the students they serve. 

While many classified employees work behind the scenes, MBUSD recognizes their commitment and appreciates their work. Each of you works side-by-side with administrators, teachers, and staff, making it possible for our District to maintain operations and serve our community. 

Please Take our Parent/Guardian Communications Survey!

The Manhattan Beach Unified School District is conducting a communications survey! The District wants to hear your feedback to better understand the communication channels most useful to you and also ensure communication efforts are effective. By participating in this short survey, which will only take about five minutes of your time, you have the opportunity to shape the future of our communication efforts!

Your valuable insights will benefit the District and have an impact on school site communications. Your responses are anonymous. We appreciate you taking the time to participate. The deadline is Tuesday, June 6, 2023.

MBUSD Unveils New MBMS Music Building!

We proudly unveiled the brand-new Manhattan Beach Middle School Music Building this week! The atmosphere was filled with excitement as attendees enjoyed the musical talents of our MBMS choir, flute duet, and string ensemble. 

The state-of-the-art facility is a true masterpiece, featuring a band and choral room, two offices, and three practice rooms. It has high ceilings as well as acoustical panel treatments on the walls and ceiling, providing a space where our students are able to hear themselves and their fellow musicians play. The building is equipped with top-of-the-line audio-visual systems and Wenger cabinets to allow for the storage of all types of instruments. The offices are equipped with specialized library systems to allow for the storage of sheet music collections. The building is designed to support the needs of the music programs and our youth. 

We are grateful to all those who contributed to this vision and to each individual who joined us during this momentous occasion. This wouldn’t be possible without our current and former MBUSD Trustees, administrators, Band Director Denise Haslop, Choir Director Kate Crellin, our current staff, families, students, and community.

As part of this special day, we also unveiled a memorial plaque in honor of Sandy Casey, an incredible MBMS educator who lost her life during the Route 91 Harvest Festival tragedy. Balfour Beatty donated a plaque in her honor to mark a tree that had been planted in her memory.

We also want to thank DLR Group, Sandy Pringle Associates, and Silver Creek. Most importantly, we want to thank the residents of Manhattan Beach for supporting our facilities. Thanks to the passage of Bond Measure C we were able to make this project a reality. The event truly celebrated a community effort. Click here to check out more pictures!

The MB News Story

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) Update

Manhattan Beach Unified School District currently has a 95% and above completion rate for our 2023 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) Summative Tests and a 90% completion for our CAST (California Science Test). Our testing program wraps up on Friday, June 9. These tests are an essential tool for schools, educators, and parents/guardians when it comes to developing a better understanding of their student’s academic strengths and areas where they may need improvement. This data assists in evaluating their instructional programs and ensuring that our students are meeting rigorous academic standards.

In addition, for our secondary students, the test results provide valuable information about how well MBUSD prepares students for college and careers and helps to identify areas where students may need more support. Additionally, the results can be used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the online school to all educational partners, such as parents, educators, and community members. Our participation rate in these tests is crucial. They qualify MBUSD schools for the California Distinguished School Award because a school must have a 95% participation rate for both English Language Arts and Math tests two years in a row.

Just a reminder that you will receive your student’s results prior to the next school year. More information will be provided once test results are released. For more information, visit here

Pacific Hosts Inaugural Literacy Bowl!

The first ever Pacific Literacy Quiz Bowl took place this week! The competition consisted of two separate bowls. One had fifty-four 4th graders and another took place featuring ten fifth graders vying for victory. As part of the preparation, students read 13 books from a designated reading list! The Quiz Bowl consisted of 47 thought-provoking questions, divided into two parts, and the interactive Kahoot app served as the platform for answering these questions. In 4th grade there were fourteen teams and 5th grade had three teams.  

Students were awarded points based on the accuracy of their answers and the speed at which they responded. Congratulations to the 4th grade winners Kaiden C., Mila H., Ava N., and Brielle V. The 5th grade champions were Ashley G., Darien M., Sydney L., and Emily B.

MCHS Strings Perform at District Office 

Our talented musicians from Mira Costa Strings said thank you to our District Office staff with an electric performance. They performed the classic "Tchaikovsky: Waltz from Serenade for Strings" and the popular pop song "Toxic" by Brittney Spears. Click here to watch a clip of the performance!

We are Enrolling! 

Join our District! MBUSD is a destination district that offers award-winning programs, personalized learning, excellence in teaching, and opportunities for college and career success. Some of the highlights of our programming include music and STEM starting in elementary.

For the 2023-2024 school year, children who turn five years old between September 2, 2023, and April 2, 2024, will be eligible to enroll in Transitional Kindergarten. MBUSD is following the State of California’s Transitional Kindergarten expansion program recommendations for the 2023–24 school year. Students are eligible for TK if they turn 5 years old between September 2, 2023, and April 2, 2024.

MBUSD will work with families to determine the best grade-level placement for students matriculating from a five-year-old preschool or Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program (students entering MBUSD at age five or six who have not yet completed a Kindergarten program). Kindergarten placement will be allowed for these students.

Any student, regardless of age, who has completed Kindergarten will be enrolled in Grade 1 unless an appropriately documented Kindergarten Continuation Meeting has resulted in a recommendation for another year of kindergarten. This practice will be updated to align with any  State of California attendance regulation changes. 

Learn more about enrollment here!

MCHS Community STEAM Night

It was an evening of exploration! The MCHS Community STEM night provided attendees with a hands-on experience in the world of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. The gym was buzzing with booths, each representing STEM-related MCHS clubs, activities, companies, and organizations. One booth focused on anatomy and physiology, where students conducted dissections and shared information about the functions of white blood cells and more!

The Cybersecurity Club educated visitors with a show and tell, emphasizing the significance of cybersecurity in today’s world. Attendees were able to interact with robots from Beach Cities Robotics, MCHS Vex Robotics, and a motorized car from Northrop Grumman. 

Moreover, the event provided an invaluable opportunity for our students to explore diverse career pathways in the field of STEM. Google, Southwest, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) showcased their involvement and offered glimpses into their respective industries. 

Other highlights included Cal State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) Esports, three inspiring keynote speakers, and a booth by the Dinosaur Institute from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. 

Many of our community partners also joined in on the fun. Chevron brought their four-legged robotic friend Spot 2.0 that interacted with visitors and Beach Cities Health District brought a bike blender for people to ride. 

Mira Costa’s Grades of Green Team Leads a Marina Clean-Up!

As a Green District, we are very proud of the efforts being undertaken on and off campus to make a difference in our environment. MCHS junior Claire Koerber serves on our Green Committee and is passionate about reducing our community’s trash and carbon footprint. From hosting a clothing swap on campus, implementing recycling bins on campus, to most recently for a second year in a row hosting a Marina cleanup at the Redondo Beach Harbor, Claire hopes to continue reducing waste. 

Last year, Claire in collaboration with Sam Torres came up with the marina clean-up idea because they wanted to do more than a beach cleanup. This year, the event proved to be successful once again! Ten MCHS students, who are part of the Grades of Green team, collected trash in and around the harbor using kayaks and paddle boards. Claire shares, “As a beach community, I know that the students at Mira Costa feel strongly about keeping our oceans clean and being able to take hands-on action to make the marine ecosystem healthier is really impactful on the community.”

They partnered with Dive N' Surf and Algalita, a marine research group, who donated resources to help them pick up the waste. After sorting the collected trash, the team discovered they had picked up approximately 144 pieces of litter. We are proud of the actions our students are taking to make a lasting impact on our environment. 

2023 MCHS Graduation Website 

As we get closer to celebrating our graduating Class of 2023 and their achievements, our Mira Costa staff have created a graduation website with all of the important dates and events. Check it out!

Click Here for Graduation Website

Upcoming Events

Click images below for flyer!

POPS Concert - June 1 | 7:00 p.m.

Spring Sing - June 2 | 6:00 p.m.

Rejoice & Sing - June 6 | 7:00 p.m.

Mental Health Awareness Month Celebrations

This week MBMS and Mira Costa hosted opportunities for students to learn more about mental health resources. MBMS had its 2nd Annual Mental Health and Awareness Fair sponsored by the Social and Emotional Learning Committee. There were more than a dozen different booths including one represented by our community partner Beach Cities Health District, MBMS counseling, and the Los Angeles County Office of Education.

At Mira Costa, the event was organized by students and led by Jenna Leopard. In Mustang Mall, students wrote positive messages by creating chalk art, visited the flower table to pick up free stems of flowers, and engaged in origami paper art opportunities. 

The Beach Cities Health student committee leaders shared valuable tips on reducing stress. 

MBUSD Partnering with Beach Cities Health District for Mental Awareness Month 

We are proud to partner with Beach Cities Health District during May for the community-wide “Mental Health is Health” campaign. The campaign’s message aims to decrease stigma, increase help-seeking behaviors, increase awareness of and access to resources for mental health, and build community capacity to support individuals who need mental health resources.

BCHD staff delivered mental health awareness toolkits last week to all MBUSD campuses and offices. We are very grateful for this partnership.

Click flyer below

You can navigate our health and wellness resources page here.

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

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  

The next Superintendent's Newsletter will be published on Friday, June 2.

As Memorial Day approaches, we remember and honor the United States military personnel who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. I wish everyone a safe and peaceful.


Dr. John Bowes
MBUSD Superintendent
Manhattan Beach Unified School District

325 S. Peck Avenue
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Contact Us
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram