Foundation helps Solana Santa Fe lead in modern tech education

Amid statewide budget cuts, Solana Santa Fe School is keeping on top of advances in educational technology thanks to the support of the Solana Beach Foundation for Learning.

The mission of the nonprofit foundation (SBFL) is to bridge the gap between state funding and the needs of each of the Solana Beach School District’s six schools: Carmel Creek, Skyline, Solana Highlands, Solana Pacific, Solana Santa Fe and Solana Vista.

Contributions to the SBFL allow each of the district schools to enrich traditional state-funded educational programs with specialized instruction, materials and programs in science, art, technology and physical education.

The SBFL is meeting with each school’s site presidents to kick off its Annual Fund Drive, which will raise money for the 2010-11 school year. (Funding has already been secured for the current year.)

Located on El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe, Solana Santa Fe has tailored its SBFL funding to focus solely on supporting technology programs and training for its teachers, allowing the staff to stay ahead of rapidly evolving technological advancements.

“It’s very important our children grow up with technology in the classroom, and understand it’s not simply for playing games, e-mailing, or Facebooking,” said Marie Daniels, Solana Santa Fe site president and mother of Julia, a 9-year-old fourth-grader at the school. (Her daughter, Arriana, graduated from the school and now is a seventh-grader at Earl Warren Middle School.).This is Daniels’ first year as site president.

Last year, the SBFL funded computer and software upgrades for Solana Santa Fe, as well as instruction that allowed teachers to attend weekend workshops and set up Wikis, collaborative classroom Web sites each student can contribute to.

Classroom technology, Daniels said, allows teachers to prepare lessons and better manage resources, busy schedules and responsibilities that, because of budget cuts, have “stretched teachers thin.”

“Technology creates an efficient classroom,” she said. “Our children need technology — this is how the world’s going, and it’s not going to slow down.”

Daniels explained that donations to the SBFL can go into a general pot or be earmarked for a specific school.

The Solana Beach Foundation for Learning is at 309 N. Rios Ave., Solana Beach. For information or to contribute to the Annual Fund Drive, visit or call (858) 794-7180.

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