Fundraising deadline looms in quest to save extended studies

The Del Mar Schools Education Foundation is facing a rapidly approaching fundraising deadline of Feb. 15.

As of Jan. 27, foundation president Chris Stevenson said they had raised $700,000 of the $1.7 million needed to keep all the Extended Studies Curriculum (ESC) programs intact at all eight school sites.

If the foundation doesn't reach the $1.7 million goal, schools could lose teachers in the ESC programs of art, music, technology, science and physical education. The PE teachers may be the first to go.

Last year, when the district faced a similar ESC shortfall, a trimmed ESC program was proposed that included science, technology and the choice for each school of music or art. Physical education teachers would be cut — two specialists would be saved to serve the entire district.

With that formula, Carmel Del Mar would be without PE teacher Katharin Roth, who happily jogged around the field with her students at a fundraising jog-a-thon last week, trying to keep up with her speedy daughter Stella. Sage Canyon would be without Trenton Tracy who, armed with a megaphone, kept students entertained and motivated as they ran circles around him.

The current fundraising shortfall is an unpleasant reality check, Stevenson said.

"We are expecting layoffs," she said.

"We're hoping for a least $1 million by Feb. 15," Stevenson said. "There [is] a significant challenge to get it in by then."

Danielle Roche, Del Mar Classified Teachers Association acting president, said that 100 percent of teachers in the district have donated to the foundation.

   
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