Solana Beach Schools Foundation donates more than $100K to district

With school almost back in session, the Solana Beach Schools Foundation recently donated funds to help cover the costs of the past school year.

On behalf of the Solana Beach School District, the school board on Aug. 13 unanimously accepted more than $100,000 in donations from the district-wide nonprofit.

“We are grateful to all our parents and the greater community for supporting us with their donations,” said Patti Malmuth, executive director of the foundation.

Founded in 1987, the Solana Beach Schools Foundation raises funds to support school programs and students in the Solana Beach School District. The foundation supports six of the district’s seven schools. Solana Santa Fe has its own foundation.

Since last year, the funds have helped schools offer Discovery Labs, which focus on science, technology, research, engineering, arts and math, or STREAM, and supplemental physical education. Still, the foundation has always focused on supporting instructors in art, science and technology, Malmuth said.

“We were already doing a whole bunch of the pieces anyway, so it kind of dovetailed nicely in supporting STREAM,” she said.

The foundation, which raises close to $1 million each year, presents the district with quarterly donations. The foundation’s latest donation of $101,700.71 helped buy tinkering carts for all the district’s schools, including Solana Santa Fe. The carts support the district’s STREAM initiative.

The foundation again raised nearly $1 million this year, topping last year’s funds by about $80,000. Looking ahead to the new school year, Malmuth said the foundation hopes to raise even more to support the district, including the new full-time STREAM teacher.

“The foundation is helping to pay for that full-time credentialed teacher,” Malmuth explained. “That teacher will also help coordinate project-based learning units for the Next Generation Science Standards, which are the new science standards our schools implemented this year. We’re really excited about it.”

Most funds are raised through the foundation’s annual Fund Drive. Funds are also raised at a variety of activities and special events throughout the year, including school-based fun runs, a Halloween Carnival and the annual Solana Beach Bash.

As in previous years, the foundation is kicking off its fundraising with the annual Fund Drive. Through brochures and presentations, parents will learn about the foundation on Back-to-School Night at the different campuses.

“That’s definitely our biggest fundraiser,” Malmuth said. “We raise about two-thirds of our funds through our annual Fund Drive. It’s super-important that parents give.”

For more about the Solana Beach Schools Foundation, or to donate or volunteer, call 858-794-7180 or visit