Enhancing quality and choice for Carlsbad Public Schools

Aug 22, 2022 | Innovation, News, STEAM

Carlsbad Educational Foundation’s $14.5 million investment helps elevate the education in Carlsbad Unified School District

When Christine Willis and her family moved to California in 2016, the public school system was last on her list of options for her daughter to enroll.

“We were afraid of California schools,” Willis said. “The reputation wasn’t really strong compared to our experience on the east coast.”

That skepticism shifted to enthusiasm when she found Aviara Oaks Elementary in Carlsbad Unified School District (CUSD).

“I thought my daughter would be a number in a district of this size, but the education she receives goes above and beyond my expectations. The leadership and staff have personalized my daughter’s experience to meet our needs.”

Willis first noted the strengths of CUSD when she attended Science Day, a full-day science program funded by Carlsbad Educational Foundation (CEF) that brings STEAM concepts to life in ways not possible inside a classroom.

“Science Day at Aviara Oaks blew me away. I thought, ‘this doesn’t happen in public schools.’”

Since then, the quality of education keeps improving. Willis’ daughter is entering her junior year at Sage Creek High School and is thriving in the BioMed pathway. The family donates annually to Carlsbad Educational Foundation to help ensure impactful experiences are funded.

“I really believe in the work of Carlsbad Educational Foundation. I am a huge advocate of the programs the Foundation provides.”

Many of the district’s most recognized experiences, like elementary music class, BizTown, Science Days, high school musicals, and more are fully funded by the Foundation. Additionally, the district’s robotics leagues, Science Olympiad, and the high school Student Leadership Council are funded by CEF and managed by its staff.

What started in 1983 as a small, parent-led fundraising initiative has grown into a multi-million-dollar 501(c)3 that granted more than $1 million this year to Carlsbad Unified School District. In total, the Foundation has contributed more than $14.5 million, primarily for science, technology, and music programs.

Learn more about what we fund.

This article appeared in the August 2022 Carlsbad Business Journal.