Almanac

Schools - July 17, 2013

Foundation gives $2.8 million to schools

The Las Lomitas Elementary School District's quest to maintain small class sizes and support educational programs with new technology was given a big boost with the recent $2.8 million gift from the Las Lomitas Education Foundation.

The largest-ever gift — which is $400,000 more than last year's contribution and represents more than $2,000 per student — will "enable new technology to support academic excellence for our students at both schools," the foundation's president, Komal Shah, said in a message to parents and supporters.

The grant also will support 19 teachers at the two schools — Las Lomitas (K-3) in Atherton and La Entrada (4-8) in Menlo Park — to keep class sizes small, Ms. Shah said. A committee that set spending priorities for the grant allotted $1.41 million to teacher support, making it the single largest spending category.

Funds will also go toward specialists and counselors, and "enhanced" curriculum such as music, art, language studies and P.E., she said.

Technology support will include iPads for all sixth- through eighth-graders, iPad centers in 3-5 classrooms, funding for the Media Lab at La Entrada, and new student computers in Las Lomitas classrooms, according to Ms. Shah.

The two largest sources of foundation donations each year are direct contributions from district families and an auction.

Ms. Shah said the enhancements made possible by this year's gift are all due to be in place this fall. "Because of our demonstrated shared commitment to funding our kids' future, we can all look forward to the start of the new school year with renewed enthusiasm," she said in her message to the community.

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