Superintendent's Newsletter
November 22, 2019
Special ed graphic
MBUSD Board Workshop 12/4/19 : Special Education

This summer the Board authorized Strategic Consultation for Schools LLC to undertake a study of our Special Education program. We want to continue to offer a high-quality Special Education program, but we wanted a third-party team to examine what we do and how we do it, compare our program to programs across the state, and analyze our staffing and our budget. In my last newsletter , I wrote to you about our serious budget concerns for the upcoming years. One of the main causes of our increased deficits has been unpredictable increases in our Special Education spending. We would like to stabilize our Special Education budget and to be better able to predict our future needs. We are hopeful that this study will shine a light on what we are doing well, what we can improve upon, and how we can best utilize our best resources. The Board will be holding a Special Education Workshop at 4:30 pm on Wednesday, December 4. We encourage anyone interested in this topic to attend and participate.
Facilities and Construction
Gym in November
Our bond measure projects are still moving forward at a steady and productive rate. Anyone who drives by the Mira Costa campus can see our gym structures rising above the stadium. We are less than one year away from completion of that facility and it is going to be fantastic for our students and our community!

We completed our Pacific renovations this summer, and now we are planning for modernization of classrooms at Robinson, Meadows, and Grand View. We will be ready to commence work on the first day of summer 2020. For those of you who want more information, Dr. Murakawa-Leopard is keeping us all up-to-date on our Facilities website. You can click here to see where we are, where we have been, and what's next.
Suzanne Webb
Dr. Suzanne Webb, Assistant Superintendent, HR
I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Suzanne Webb as Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for MBUSD. Dr. Webb comes to us from the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District where she served for 23 years, the last four of which as the Director of Human Resources.

T o read more about Dr. Webb, click here for the press release.
Meet our Student Board Representatives

MBUSD has a longstanding tradition of inviting student leaders to serve alongside our Board of Trustees to provide student voices from across the District. Student Board members are allowed to participate fully in Board discussions of all items before the Board of Trustees and may cast advisory votes on items before the Board. This year's representatives are John Darcy and Mary Clare Powell, both seniors at Mira Costa who serve on the Associated Student Body (ASB) and enjoy participating in a variety of sports and activities at Mira Costa.
Mary Clare
Mary Clare Powell
Mary Clare is a happy and active member of the Mira Costa and Manhattan Beach community. On campus, she has loved working hard in ASB, planning and attending school sponsored events and showing her Costa pride in any way, shape, or form! In addition to that, she has also spent many hours in the Costa Drama Room. She has had the best time performing in several school musicals, participating in high school theatre festivals, and also performing in bi-annual benefit shows. Outside of school, Mary Clare enjoys playing instruments with her siblings, coaching young girls in volleyball, and traveling with her family.
John Darcy
John Darcy
John is excited to serve on the school board this year, and also proud to have been elected ASB Vice President. A lifelong resident of the South Bay, he also plays on the varsity football and rugby teams. During his time with Costa Rugby, he's played teams from England, Australia, Wales, and New Zealand. These games have opened his eyes to cultures and people from around the world. John had so many eye-opening experiences during his time at Mira Costa, and he's excited for the rest of his senior year. When he isn’t busy planning the next big school event, you can find John working on cars (antiques are his favorite), surfing, or working as a lifeguard at the local pool.
Thoughts on Thanksgiving
I write you every year about my appreciation for the Thanksgiving holiday. With its focus on family and gratefulness, it is always my favorite holiday of the year. I have seen many of our elementary classrooms having activities focused on gratefulness and Thanksgiving. Our kids have produced some wonderful projects, and I know you’re all looking forward to being together. I actually received one of those projects from Ms. Glassman’s 2nd grade class at Grand View, and that project is now proudly displayed on my family’s Thanksgiving tree! I do want to share one way I have refocused my gratitude this year. I have been listening to a podcast by Dr. Laurie Santos. Dr. Santos is a Yale professor who taught the most popular class ever offered at Yale called Psychology and the Good Lif e. Her podcast, The Happiness Lab , focuses on the science of how our brain tricks us into thinking that certain activities will make us happier, but the truth is that they don’t. It is science-based evidence on what will actually give us a fulfilling life. One of those acts is being grateful as often as possible. If we are consciously grateful each and every day, we will be more happy. It’s a great podcast, and I encourage you to check it out. I am grateful for the Manhattan Beach community and all the support that you provide. I’m grateful for our amazing employees in the Manhattan Beach Unified School District. And I appreciate all the work we do on behalf of our students. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families and friends, and I will see you in December! 
With thanks,
Mike Matthews
MBUSD Superintendent
Manhattan Beach Unified School District

325 S. Peck Avenue
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266