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How to Support Your Burlingame Public School

New to Burlingame Public Schools? We're so happy to welcome you! We REALLY need you! Our schools thrive on parent involvement, whether it's volunteering at the school, volunteering behind the scenes, advocating, fundraising, or donating. There is a way for every family to get involved. Read on to find out about the many ways to support and engage, and find contacts to connect and learn take the next step!

There are three primary avenues for families to get involved in their local school:


  • The Burlingame Community for Education Foundation (BCE)

  • The Parent Teacher Association (PTA), and

  • School Site Council (SSC).


BCE raises funds each school year to pay for 20 teacher salaries in mental health, music, world languages, and physical education. Beyond the generous fiscal support of BCE, each of our seven school sites also has its own Parent Teacher Association (PTA) partners to aid in building community and promote volunteer opportunities within the schools. Each school also has its own SSC, a legally-required committee made up of staff members and parents, to deveop and monitor the school's improvement plan. All of these efforts are critical to the health and welfare of our award winning school system.


"Please reach out to folks listed here with questions. We need you to get involved in your childʼs educational journey! By joining forces and fostering a strong partnership, we can ensure the continued excellence of our schools. Together, we can make a significant impact in shaping an exceptional educational experience for each child." Marla Silversmith, Superintendent

     

Burlingame Community for Education Foundation (BCE)

BCE is the primary fundraising organization that enables an exceptional education for our TK-8th grade students. 


Why does BCE Exist?

Passed in 1978, Prop 13 changed the way California funds our schools, capping property taxes, and gutting public school funding. Schools could no longer be supported through public funds alone. They were forced to cut music, art, electives and staff. Class sizes soared, until the concerned community founded the Burlingame Community for Education Foundation (BCE) in 1981 to fill the gap in state funding and provide the kind of education our children deserve.


Donations to BCE (a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization) provide crucial funds to every school, and make a difference for every child. BCE raises more than $2.7 million each year through parent and business donations to provide an unrestricted grant to boost our school budget. The funds are applied towards additional teachers and specialists who improve the classroom experience; music and performing arts education; physical education to keep body and mind healthy; and academic enrichment such as music and world languages. This funding supplements the amount received from the State of California, bond measures, local parcel tax, and federal funds. 


What You Can Do

It is only with your investment that we can take good public schools and make them into great public schools. We suggest an annual investment of $1,700 per student every fall, or $170/month if you start in September. We also recognize that many families may not able to contribute at such a level. Any amount is appreciated and will make a difference to all of our students. Please consider making an annual contribution every fall to BCE.



We are also proud to report that our education foundation is almost entirely run by 200+ parent volunteers. If you're interested in volunteering for BCE please visit https://www.bcefoundation.org/get-involved for more info on our ongoing needs. You can also contact your BCE School Site Director or email the BCE office at info@bcefoundation.org for more info about our organization. 


“Volunteering with BCE is immensely gratifying. You get to raise dollars that go directly to the Burlingame School District. You get to work with the school district and all of the school sites in Burlingame, including all of their principals and all of their PTAs. You really come out of the job with very meaningful cross-district relationships." Jen Faber, BCE President

BCE Contacts 

Jen Faber, BCE President

president@bcefoundation.org

Meredith Dunn, Executive Director

meredith@bcefoundation.org




Parent Teacher Association (PTA)

The PTA is a volunteer-driven, community-building organization that focuses on child advocacy, parent education, plus classroom and teacher support.


How It Helps

By strengthening the community among teachers, parents and children, PTA aims to provide a vital link between school and families to make our school community stronger. Each schoolʼs PTA helps coordinate volunteerism in the classroom, plans family social events and supports parent communication. Additionally, PTA Council includes representation from all BSD schools, the Board of Trustees, Principals, and the Superintendent, meeting once a month for the purpose of collaboration, leadership training, coordination of District-wide projects, and trouble shooting.



PTA Impact

There are a wide variety of events and volunteer opportunities throughout the year, day and night. PTA support is school-specific, including:


Community Building:

  • WeeklyNewsletter 

  • Education Nights (ie. Math, Science, Art Nights) 

  • Parent Education Speakers


School Celebrations:

  • Teacher & Staff Appreciations 

  • Fifth Grade Promotion Celebration 

  • Special events and school traditions 


Supporting Students and Teachers:

  • Volunteering in the classroom, library, and at lunch duty

  • Assemblies

  • Classroom and art supplies for projects

  • Book Fair


Burlingame PTAs are prohibited from paying teacher or staff salaries. PTAs hold their own events at each school site with the primary function of community building, and may also raise smaller funds for things like field trips, school supplies, and playground equipment. 


What You Can Do 

PTA plays a vital role in supporting our students and school. Please become a member to show your support. Stay informed and read your school newsletter! Check out your schoolʼs website for the link to join PTA and sign up for communications.  Get involved by volunteering to help organize or support one of the many school-specific events during the year. Attend events with your family and come check out a PTA meeting. Your school newsletter should provide PTA meeting and event updates. 


“Volunteering in our schools is not one-size-fits-all! There are opportunities for every schedule and skill set, and the help is deeply needed if we want to continue to have the special programs and community events that have become school traditions.” Nicole Mustafa, Washington PTA President and BCE Board Member

PTA Contacts 

PTA Council (includes representation from all seven Burlingame public schools)

Carrie Chen (2023-24) or Rebecca Hopkins (2024-25)


Maya Scofield, BIS PTA President


Alana Kleinerman and Aimee Yip, Franklin PTA Co-Presidents


Pri Carr and Sheela Krothapalli, Hoover PTA Co-Presidents


Vidya Nathu, Lincoln PTA President


Pooja Shah, McKinley PTA President


Erik Der, Roosevelt PTA President


Nicole Mustafa, Washington PTA President




School Site Council (SSC)

Each school has an integrated group of parents, school leadership, and school staff that comprises the School Site Council: the principal, one staff member, three teachers, and five parents. School-wide parent voting selects parents who serve three-year terms. Teachers are selected by other teachers and also serve for three years. Parent elections are held in the spring.


How It Helps

Throughout the school year, the SSC creates annual and long-term plans for school-wide improvements based on the Burlingame School District goals, including new academic programs, staff development, parent outreach strategies, or other student development programs. The SSC develops a three-year School Improvement Plan which is to be approved by the Burlingame School Board. They review the plan regularly to see how well it is meeting studentsʼ needs and modify the plan as necessary. In addition, they develop an annual school budget and monitor it on an ongoing basis. SSC also establishes and maintains communications with BSD, school district personnel, and the community for the benefit of our studentsʼ educational experience.


What You Can Do

Non-members are invited to attend the monthly meetings, pass their concerns on to an SSC member or write a letter to the Council. The more voices heard, the better the SSC can do its job as representatives of the whole school community. The regularly scheduled time is determined at the beginning of the school year and will be announced in each schoolʼs newsletter. If you are interested in becoming an SSC member, please submit your name to the school office for elections held in the spring. There are openings for new parents every year. 


"Volunteering is a service to the community, but it also enriches your school experience. You will build relationships, and start to understand processes and community history in ways that help you become a more effective advocate for your kids." Amy Ng, PTA Council Secretary and BCE Operations Manager


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