Local schools receive $300k boost

The Mammoth Unified School District this week received $300,000 for alleviating problems and/or enhancing programs, according to foundation executive director Stacy Corless.

She said the money will go toward increased class offerings/ academic flexibility; technology; language path- ways, and visual/performing arts.

“It’s a win-win,” Corless said in a press release, “allowing MMCF to bring additional resources to Mammoth’s schools while also creating a program that supports student athletes on Mammoth Mountain teams.”

Schools superintendent Rich Boccia was enthusiastic about the gift.

“This ongoing fiscal crisis challenges us all to think creatively,” he said.

“The partnership among MUSD, the NOW Foundation, and the Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation (MMCF) has provided us with leadership opportunities that will allow us to continue to build programs that will meet the needs of our students.”

Both NOW and MMCF rely on private donations and operate with very low overhead so that more money goes into the schools, Corless said.

Through an annual fund drive and participation in the Mammoth Food and Wine Experience, NOW has raised $50,000.

Education is a cornerstone program for Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation, and for the last two years, the organization has committed to a $250,000 donation to Mammoth’s schools through the NOW Foundation.

Much of that donation comes to MMCF from Mammoth Mountain’s guests, Corless said. When skiers and guests stay at Mammoth Mountain lodging or buy a season pass, they have the option to donate a dollar or more to MMCF’s education program.

An important part of that donation is funding the Independent Learning Center at Mammoth High School, which provides flexible programming (through a combination of online and in-class learning) to district students and athletes.

“At Mammoth High School, the NOW/MMCF partnership funds two full-time teachers and online courses for the Independent Learning Center; at Mammoth Middle School, a full- time Spanish teacher; and at Mammoth Elementary, a part-time music teacher.

District-wide, funding supports an information technology specialist and K-8 software for multiple subjects that enable students to utilize computers in the classroom and at home.