Category Archives: BCE Grant Impact

The Impact of Your BCE Donation

When you donate to BCE, you’re making a direct impact on every aspect of your child’s education. Donations to BCE provide the flexibility our district needs to direct public funds where they make the biggest impact. That funding and flexibility empowers our district’s experts to provide a rich and inspiring public education for all TK through 8th grade students.  

 This year, our current grant helps the district fund the following important programs:

  • teacher salaries to help keep class sizes as low as possible
  • teacher professional development
  • district math and science coaching/curriculum specialists
  • integrated technology specialist
  • TK-8th grade choral and instrumental music program
  • middle school musical
  • credentialed physical education specialists
  • TK-8th grade library specialists
  • 4th and 5th grade classroom instructional aides
  • integrated art program and professional development
  • lunchtime supervision

We have until June 30 to raise the final $360,000 of our $2 million goal to sustain our existing programs and hire a new Director of Innovation. Help us meet our goals by donating to BCE today.


FAQs for New Families to Burlingame School District

Welcome to Burlingame School District! Our school performance ranks among the top 10 percent in the state. Since 1981, our school district’s education foundation, Burlingame Community for Education Foundation (BCE), has been a critical part of that ongoing success. Today, BCE is the primary fundraising tool that Burlingame parents can leverage to make a measurable impact on their child’s public school experience.


The 2016-2017 BCE Board of Directors.

What is BCE?

BCE is a volunteer­-driven fundraising organization. Our mission is to help Burlingame School District sustain and enhance an exceptional public education for all TK­-8th grade students in our schools. Working together with parents, the district, and community, we provide BSD with financial resources to create a rich and inspiring education for our children beyond what is possible with public funds. BCE is a 501(c)(3) non­profit public benefit corporation so your donation is tax­-deductible.

Wait, why do public schools need private money?

California ranks 46th in the nation for per pupil spending on education. Even with the passage of recent legislation like Proposition 30, the Governor’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), local parcel taxes and bond measures, California is not currently funding public education at an acceptable level for Burlingame students. We believe our children deserve more. Our collective BCE donations provide flexible resources for our school district so they can do more for our children.

What does BCE do with the money it raises?

Thanks to our generous donors and volunteers, BCE granted $1,900,000 to BSD this academic year. Our grant is essential to augmenting public funds and delivering a high ­quality education to your child and more than 3,300 students across seven schools. BCE’s 2016-17 grant helps fund:

  • Science and math specialists and resources
  • TK-8 library and media services
  • Integrated technology specialist
  • Credentialed physical education program
  • Visual and performing arts
  • TK-8 choral and instrumental music program
  • Highly trained lunchtime supervision
  • Teacher professional development

What is the difference between BCE and my school’s Parent­ Teacher Association (PTA)?

BCE and PTA have different missions, and both organizations are important for your school to thrive. The primary focus of PTA is community building, while the primary focus of BCE is fundraising. Although the PTA may raise funds for its school’s site­-specific needs such as playground equipment and campus beautification, only BCE’s grant dollars can be used to fund accredited teacher salaries and educational programs. BCE’s grant to Burlingame School District ensures equitable programs and resources across all school sites, and maximum effectiveness of every dollar donated. A donation to BCE is a direct investment in all TK-­8th grade students.

How much should I give to BCE?

This is a personal decision for every family. Please join us and give what you can. Every gift at any amount is valued and appreciated. In helping you determine your contribution, you may want to consider data from the National Education Association, May 2016:

  • California spent $2,050 less per child than the national average
  • California spent $4,000 less per child than the state of Minnesota
  • California spent $6,300 less per child than the state of New York

We hope you’ll consider donating at our Scholars Circle level of $2,500 or greater.

Public funding is not enough to provide the kind of education our children deserve. Local parcel taxes and bond measures help significantly, but do not completely cover the need. Our foundation can. Remember that donations are tax­-deductible.

When should I give to BCE?

This year we are encouraging all donors to give in the fall to ensure that we can communicate our final grant early in the spring. In past years, many of our donations have come in very late, forcing us to make our grant commitments to BSD over the summer, well after the regular school district planning cycle that occurs in the spring. In cases where our grant supports staff, the timing of our grant means that BSD cannot effectively hire staff for the start of school.

Can I volunteer for BCE as a parent new to Burlingame?

Yes! One of the most important ways you can help BCE is by volunteering. This year we have more than 200 parent volunteers helping run the foundation and our events. We still need help in the following areas: school site support, administrative support, auction, IT, legal advisers, accounting, marketing, grant writers and events. We’ll find the right fit for your availability, interests and skills. Join our team and meet other parents from every school site who are making a meaningful impact on the entire district.

Think about it:

We have a strong public school district, but without a strong foundation, our schools do not have sufficient funds to provide the kind of education our children deserve. Help us ensure Burlingame children reach their potential by supporting BCE.

For more information about BCE at your school, please contact:


Together We Funded Critical Programs for 2016-17!

BCE President Angela Dubovsky.

BCE President Angela Dubovsky.

Welcome back! The beginning of a new school year is always exciting but this year I am especially thrilled to share that thanks to your tremendous support, BCE has granted $1.9 million to Burlingame School District this school year.

Our grant to Burlingame School District provides flexible funding that allows the district’s leaders to enhance our children’s educational experience beyond what would be possible with public funds.

Critically important, your BCE donations help sustain support for these essential programs and staff:

  • Physical education
  • Music education
  • Lunchtime supervision
  • Professional development
  • Visual and performing arts
  • Small class size
  • Science enrichment
  • Technology specialist
  • Library and media services
  • Math coach

This would simply not be possible without every single one of you who donated and volunteered last year and with deep gratitude I say THANK YOU for helping build better Burlingame schools!

I would love to hear form you; my email is Be sure to connect with BCE on Facebook as well.

Hope you and your family have a great school year and I look forward to seeing you at Spirit Run on Monday!


Gearing Up for the Start of School

BCE Logo As you’re getting the kids ready for the start of school next week and going through forms and fliers, you may be seeing more about BCE. For those who are new to our district, we’d like to welcome you and give you a brief introduction to who we are and what we do.

 Working together with parents, the school district and the community, we provide Burlingame School District with financial resources to create a rich and inspiring education for our children beyond what is possible with public funds.

 Want to know more about what we do? Learn about the basics of BCE.  Or check out this intro for families with incoming kindergarteners.

 We’re a volunteer-driven charitable organization, and we rely on the generosity of our volunteers and donors. We can’t do it without you! To get involved, contact us.


Welcome to Families with Incoming Kinders

If you’re a family with an incoming kindergartener in the Burlingame school district, you’re probably getting a lot of information about what to expect when school starts in the fall. With that in mind, here are just two things you need to know about BCE.

BCE is the nonprofit fundraising organization for the Burlingame school district. Last year, we raised $1.795 million that paid for all of the extras for our kids, which includes things like:

The second thing to know about BCE is that right now we’re raising money for next year’s school budget. So please consider donating to BCE today. All of the funds you donate will directly benefit your child and the experience they have in school starting in the fall.

We’ll be hosting some fun events for new families to the district after school starts, so be on the lookout for more information in the fall. See you soon!


Creating a Vibrant Learning Community

Manny Navarro, District Librarian.

Manny Navarro, District Librarian.

Haven’t made your annual campaign donation to BCE yet? Silicon Valley Gives Day is the perfect time to do it, and our district librarian Manny Navarro is yet another a great reason to donate. 

The 2015-16 BCE grant helps fund a specialist of Manny’s caliber in our district, enriching our children’s education in vital ways. On a macro level, Manny focuses on the important job of getting our kids excited about going to their school library. He’s recently had a key role in designing the new BIS library space so it inspires the kids, promotes free thinking and collaboration.

Sari McConnell, BCE VP of Marketing, recently caught up with Manny to find out what it means to be a school librarian in this day and age…

S: Manny, it’s great to meet you in person and find out more about you and your role. Tell me about it.

M: I oversee all libraries in the district including the library staff in the elementary schools.  While I’m primarily based at the BIS library, I check in on all the elementary schools on a regular basis. I am also lucky enough to decide which new books to order and I work with the principal of the five individual schools on the library budget.

S: Why is it important to have a district librarian?

M: Our part-time library aides are generally very busy with the day-to-day work: checking out books and interacting with the kids. The district role is important if the schools want to introduce new online research materials and tools and then teach the students how to use these tools. I also manage the book reading program where I run organized book clubs and BCE Read-a-thon coordination, as well as the new digital citizenship program.

S: I can see how online research is an area you must be deeply involved in with our kids. Tell me more about the digital citizenship program.

M: Superintendent Maggie MacIsaac and Ashley Sullivan (Integrated Technology Specialist) asked me to build a curriculum on digital citizenship, using the Common Sense Media Program for Educators. The cool thing about the Common Sense program is that it is tailored for each grade level. We adjust some of the programs that we think are not quite on point for our kids, but for the most part it works well for the grade levels. This is the first year we’re rolling this out. I gave my first lesson at Lincoln with librarian Brandy Fleming earlier this year so it’s really fresh. It was interesting that the students were already way more aware than I thought. They were fifth graders and basically knew not to use their real name on the internet.

We have two main goals for the program: 1) privacy, security and safety — kids can learn how to be more responsible online, and conscious of what they are doing on the internet. We’re also giving them tools to recognize cyberbullying.  2) Information ethics — how to research online, how to cite research they find online and how to know if they’re plagiarizing. I’ll be teaching the program to the library aides for the elementary schools and I teach the class directly to BIS students.

S: Where are you from originally?

M: I’m from Weed, California, right by Oregon border near Mt. Shasta, population 3,000. I’m a small town kid and love nature, naturally! After school I went to Chico State. I’ve always loved the Bay Area — my dad is from Oakland — the weather, the people, the Raiders, the vibrant lifestyle — but funding and jobs for school librarians are hard to find. I’m really lucky to be here in Burlingame. I got my first librarian job at Napa Valley Unified, but they didn’t have the funds to sustain that position the following year. So then I found a job at Burlingame School District and this is my third year. I’m really lucky to be here.

S: What do you love most about your job?

M: I love talking to kids about books, the themes and morals in books. We have a very accepting culture here in the Bay Area and it’s rewarding having conversations about these life themes. I have never worked at a school that is so open-minded and accepting. We are very driven as a district…it’s definitely a learning culture. I think this is why you don’t see the problems that the other schools see.

S: So, how do you get kids excited about using the school library?  

M: We want to motivate kids to visit the library and read, so I like to make sure it’s a fun and happening spot. At the BIS library I’m always approachable and we have a few laughs – that way they’re more likely to visit again.  hey don’t need to be quiet in the library – they aren’t in college yet. We now have over 100 kids showing up over recess and lunch when the library used to average 30!

The library is the one place on campus where everything they learn in their classes comes together. The library is also a safe place and it’s fun: kids get together, let loose and don’t feel judged. We talk about our successes and our frustrations and the things that make us happy. If the kids didn’t have that, I don’t know where they would go.


The Sound of Music in Our Schools

The musical talents of our students are in the air. That’s the sound of our BCE dollars at work!

Check it out!  It wasn’t too long ago when Burlingame School District implemented a comprehensive TK-8th grade music curriculum with the financial support of BCE. And you’ll hear the benefits at the concerts this month:

  • December 1, 7:00 pm: Roosevelt 4-5th Concert
  • December 2, 7:00 pm: Lincoln 4-5th grade concert
  • December 3, 7:00 pm: Franklin 4-5th grade concert
  • December 9, 7:00 pm: Washington 4-5th grade concert
  • December 10, 7:00 pm: BIS Jazz Band and Choral concert
  • December 15, 7:00 pm: McKinley 4-5th grade concert
  • December 17, 7:00 pm: BIS symphonic bands concert

Did you know that BIS has seven bands and three chorus groups? Did you know that over 2300 students grades TK-5 sing weekly in chorus? Last year, 472 students in grades 4-5 received weekly instrumental instruction? All of this is under the direction of an incredible accredited music teacher staff, and you will hear the difference at the upcoming music concerts.

That’s music to our ears!

-Sari McConnell, Vice President of Marketing, BCE


The BCE Basics

Sari McConnell, BCE Vice President of Marketing

Sari McConnell, BCE           Vice President of Marketing

Thank you to all of you who have already sent in your fall pledge to let us know what you plan to contribute to BCE this year. Your pledge allows Burlingame School District to better budget for next year’s programs and staff, and gives you the opportunity to fulfill your pledge during any of the fundraising events throughout the school year. 

Here are a few more things to know about how BCE works:

1. BCE is the primary fundraising vehicle for parents and community members to help provide an excellent education for TK-8th grade students in Burlingame School District. 

2. BCE’s grant provides flexible funding, not earmarked funding, to the district budget so that it can be applied where needed. That’s why the list of what BCE funds can change year to year.

Thanks to last year’s annual campaign, this year’s record-breaking grant of $1.795 million from BCE will fund teacher salaries to help keep class sizes low, teacher professional development, district math and science coaching/specialists, TK-8th grade comprehensive music program, BIS drama productions, credentialed PE specialists, library specialists, grade 4 & 5 classroom instructional aides, and all NEW: an integrated art program, a technology integration specialist, and a partnership with UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science. 

3. BCE encourages communication between Superintendent Dr. Maggie MacIsaac and parent donors regarding priorities funded on a year-to-year basis. 

4. BCE seeks 100% family participation. And our grant impacts 100% of TK-8th grade students in BSD.

5. The BCE grant helps smooth over the unpredictable state funding cycle, helping to ensure consistent school quality and staffing over time.

6. Donors who pledge in the fall (and pay later) provide administrators with vital time to make the best plan for these resources for the following school year.  

Have questions? Please contact your BCE school site director. We want to hear from you!

–Sari McConnell, Vice President of Marketing, BCE BOD (BIS, Roosevelt, preschool)


Time to Celebrate!

Today we’re celebrating BCE’s record-breaking $1,795,000 grant to Burlingame School District at all school sites. Generous donors like you deserve a day of celebration!

The $1,795,000 grant that we’ll be spending on our kids this year is the result of our 2014-2015 BCE Annual Campaign. Thanks to you, our grant will help fund the following important programs:

  • teacher salaries to help keep class sizes as low as possible (24 max in grades TK-3)
  • teacher professional development
  • district math and science coaching/curriculum specialists
  • TK-8th grade choral and instrumental music program
  • middle school musical
  • credentialed physical education specialists
  • TK-8th grade library specialists
  • 4th-5th grade classroom instructional aides

And new this year:

  • integrated technology specialist
  • integrated art program and professional development

Today is also our official 2015-2016 BCE Annual Campaign Kickoff. The moment our proceeds are distributed to BSD, we start at zero again to raise money for next year’s grant.

California places 46th in the nation in education funding per student, so Burlingame’s strong public schools do not happen by accident. Quite the opposite. BCE is the primary fundraising vehicle for parents and community members to help BSD create a rich and inspiring education for all TK-8th grade students. And this community rises to the occasion every year!

Many thanks for your continuous support year after year.


A McKinley mom thanks parents at drop-off for donating to BCE.


Washington 2nd and 5th grader help celebrate BCE Annual Campaign Kickoff Day 2015.

PSST!  Join us at the Vinyl Room, 221 Park Road, on September 21 at 7:30 pm for more celebrating at the BCE Annual Campaign Kickoff and Public Board Meeting featuring special guest speakers and a very social night!


Welcome Back to School!

This is an exciting time of year for our community as we reunite after a summer full of family, friends, and fun. I had an amazing summer with my family, but the enthusiasm of a fresh start and a new adventure is contagious. A renewed focus on home, school, and community serves to remind me of our shared values and how they unite us into the amazing tight-knit community we are.   

Our excellent Burlingame schools are proof of our shared value placed on public education.  We are fortunate to have an established, mature education foundation to serve as a vehicle for us to act collectively. This is Burlingame Community for Education Foundation’s 35th anniversary, and I am honored to be serving as BCE’s new volunteer president.

Special thanks to our talented team of 200+ volunteers who dedicate so much time to keep our foundation running strong. I also want to thank our generous donors and Burlingame business partners who made possible this year’s record-breaking $1,795,000 grant to Burlingame School District (BSD). Our annual grant provides flexible resources to help BSD create a rich and inspiring education for all transitional kindergarten through 8th grade students. Public funding is not enough, and this community rises to the occasion every year.

California places 46th in the nation in education funding per student, so Burlingame’s strong public schools do not happen by accident. Quite the opposite. And as we head back to school, I feel so fortunate that our school district can rely on funding from BCE Foundation. For 35 years, BCE has been the fundraising vehicle that empowers our community to help our school district deliver the kind of public education our children deserve.

Every district family is a stakeholder in our mission, so we ask every family to donate as generously as possible on behalf of your child’s education and all families who share the same dreams for their children. Every dollar counts.

I encourage you to learn more about BCE at where you can get the facts on our mission and how our grant makes a powerful impact on your child’s education. There are many BCE experts at your child’s school. Talk with our team members about BCE, many of whom are parents you already know. Our volunteers make the work fun, and our children keep us inspired.

On behalf of BCE’s Board of Directors, welcome back to school! Cheers to an unforgettable year and another record-breaking annual campaign for our children.

Angela Dubovsky__president

Angela Dubovsky, President, BCE Foundation and BIS and Franklin parent.

P.S. See you at the Burlingame Spirit Run for BCE on Monday, September 7th! And don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook “BCE – It Takes a Town” for the inside scoop on our school community.