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SOS Campaign

Support our P.S. ARTS & Aides!

Our beloved Teacher's Aides, P.S. Arts and other programs will be affected next year!! 

Help us Bridge the Centralized Fundraising Gap

Our Instructional Aides & our P.S. ARTS programs will be significantly affected if we do not raise these funds before the school year. 

Our instructional aides & PS Arts

are funded by parent donations, not by the district.


While SMMUSD have backfilled our shortfalls in the past, with the budget crisis they are not able to do so for the upcoming school year.

If we want aides in our classroom and we want PS ARTS we need to donate to keep them.


We Need Your Help

Please make a donation 

Our Goal is 100% participation

We know these are difficult and unsure times but any donation big or small makes a difference

What is most important is that you participate in any amount

Our effort is proof to the School District and to the School Board how important 

our Aides and PS Arts Program is to us!

*7/31/2020 update: Goal Reflects Auction & current donations


Our Online Auction raised $15,100!

 Here is a recap of our fundraising efforts and plans for aides, arts, and tech for this upcoming school year.


Six weeks ago, the PTA boards of Webster and Malibu Elementary launched a joint emergency effort to raise $275,000 to save our instructional aides, P.S. ARTS and Planet Bravo(technology curriculum). Malibu Elementary Schools total cost for these programs and staff for 2020-21 is $207,716. During the school year, Malibu Elementary raised $41,000 toward these programs. In June, we were informed that Malibu’s central fundraising entity had folded, the district was unable to backfill any costs, and Malibu Elementary would need to raise an additional $166,716 to retain aides, arts, and tech. 


Through parent donations, an online auction, and a very generous grant from the Malibu Foundation, this is where we currently stand for the upcoming school year:

Planet Bravo(Technology Program):

FULLY FUNDED!!! by The Malibu Foundation


The Malibu Foundation, a non-profit that supports Malibu and the surrounding communities, has given the PTAs of both our elementary schools an emergency grant to allow us to continue to fund a STEM program in this year's curriculum. We are deeply appreciative that the Malibu Foundation has once again stepped in during a time of need in our community. Learn more about their foundation:


Instructional Aides: 36% FUNDED

We have raised $50,172 of the $138,018 needed.

We still need to raise $80,896 -$350 per student


The district has granted us a one extension to continue collecting donations. We are asking those who have not yet donated and are able to do so to please make a donation to our school at Aides will be essential for small group zooms during distance learning.

We Love our Aides & Art Programs!!
- Our Instructional Aides -

Juley Ausmus, Cheryl Calvert,

Leigh Anne Carriere, Dee Dee Davidson, and Sage Brown

They have been instrumental in supporting our teachers with distance learning during this unprecedented time. Here are some of the ways our teacher's aides have been helping and will support our students when school returns in the fall:

  • When our kids return to school next year, teacher's aides are essential to support the students since classroom volunteering may not be allowed.

  • Our kids will have had a some learning loss with the Safer at Home orders. The Aides will support students who need assistance at different levels.  

  • Our Aides will keep our kids safe and monitor their social distancing.  

  • Aides keep our teacher to student ration low in the classroom since they are regular additional support in the classroom. 



- P.S. ARTS -

Art With Nicole Fisher:

The robust art program at our school Is an art immersion program that explores various mediums drawing painting & even ceramics. The curriculum is based by grade level and lets the students explore artwork & artists of a variety of abilities, cultures, & eras. At the end of the year the families enjoy a school wide student art exhibit.

  • Students participate in City of Malibu’s Annual Student Art Exhibition and City’s Call to the Wall

  • School wide art projects for international Peace Days and Earth Days where student artwork is shared with the greater community and world

  • Visiting Artist Series welcomes art professionals for workshops & assemblies

  • Provides teacher “take-aways” to encourage art learning and connections beyond the studio art experience

  • Coordinates and promotes school art fundraisers and art events​


P.S. ARTS Music Lesson:

  • Weekly music classes for Kindergarten through 2nd Grade

    •  introduce music instruction and theory

    • Informance at end of semester ​​


This past school year grant covers the cost of Chrome Books for the upper grades. For 2020-21 School Year the there are plans was to bring a STEM program, Planet Bravo to Malibu Elementary School. 

art & aides

| FAQ |

The Facts:
  • Malibu Schools are now fully responsible to raise funds for our wonderful Instructional Aides, P.S. ARTS, and Technology for our students.

  • The centralized fundraising entity LEAD that was created to raise money for Malibu Schools has folded and the district is no longer in a position to back fill our costs as they have in the past, so the Malibu Elementary and Webster Elementary PTAs are stepping in to close the gap.

  • We are short $275,000 for the 20-21 school year. The cost of our additional staff and programs across the 2 Malibu elementary schools is $380,000, as of June 2020 we have raised $105,000 towards that goal.

  • We have until July 31st, to raise money to bridge the shortfall or we will lose some portion of our Instructional Aides, our P.S. ARTS programs, and the Stretch Grant

  • Going forward this will be an annual cost, we will need to raise the funds for the following year's additional staff and programs.   Our PTAs are working together to develop a long term plan in support of that goal.

  • Our school superintendent, Dr. Ben Drati, did his best to prevent the loss of our programs, but because of the significant budget cuts across the district it's up to us to close the gap.  While SMMUSD and SMEF have backfilled our contribution shortfalls in years past, they will not be able to do so going forward.

How are the Schools funded?

  •  Three ways:

    • The District pays for core staff, facilities and operations equitably across the district.  These funds come from the state, property taxes, the cities and other sources of income.

    • The PTA raises money to fund stuff in a specific school.  Things like spirit wear, assemblies, our maker space, field trips, labs, extra teacher supplies.   For the coming year, both elementary schools have decreased their operating budgets by roughly 44% to $150k - and added the fundraising need until a new organization is established.*

    • Centralized Fundraising funds additional staff that serve to enrich the school experiences at Webster and Malibu Elementary School - paying for Instructional Aides, PS Arts Programs, Music Programs, Planet Bravo and Technology.   In the absence of a central fundraising entity, the PTAs have been provided with an exception to raise funds and donate directly to the district for next year's costs.


What happens if we do not meet the full budget before the school year?​

Our programs and Instructional Aides will be altered. The amount of money we raise will determine how affected they will be.  Our administration, superintendent and district staff will have to make hard decisions on what will be cut. 

What happens if we raise more money than need for what the district decides to keep? 

All of the funds are raised by the PTA. So we are required to place all reimbursements to a vote through the association. So any raised funds would become part of our general fund and would be allocated based on the needs within our school. The funds can be ear marked for the following years reimbursement. 

Questions from the Zoom Sessions: 

If you don’t see your question here, please send it to - so we can share it, along with a response, with other parents who may have the same question!


It's difficult to consider donating to this campaign to keep our aides, arts and tech programs in the Fall - when we don't know what Fall is going to look like at Malibu Elementary. What if I choose to change schools?  Malibu Public  Schools are so integral our community, and there are three core reasons to support this campaign.

1: Our Aides, PS Arts and Stretch Grant are prepping for a distance learning scenario and will provide important support to our teachers and students.

2: If you choose to attend a different school in the Fall, you can still donate. Case in point from a parent donor note received this week "Unfortunately our daughter won't be returning to Webster <in the Fall>, but we still want to support this great school and these important programs."

3: Strong schools translate into strong property values.

We should all be investing in our schools. As Marian Write Edelman, founder of the Children's Defense Fund said, “Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.”  


If we cannot pay for the aides or programs this year, will it be difficult to get them back in 21-22 if we are able raise the funds next year?   The fact is that is difficult to find educators willing to travel to Malibu.  If we need to reduce staffing and programs for the upcoming year, there is a good possibility we will not get the same staff back and may have trouble finding staff at all.  Additionally, we're working on long-term customer rates for P.S. ARTS which may reset and increase if we skip a year.


Why do we need to pay for aides, especially if we are distance learning again in the Fall?  During distance learning this spring, the instructional aides helped to gather materials, run breakout and study sessions for students, reach out to parents, pack up students items and more.   If we continue with distance learning in the Fall, or a hybrid model, the instructional aides will have a bigger role to play as we try to keep everyone at the same pace and level within a grade level AND as parents will not be allowed in classroom to volunteer.   When we return to classroom learning, instructional aides become even more critical as we work to acclimate students back into the learning environment and get them all to the same learning level.  We need our aides!


How did we get here?  Can you provide a brief history of why this is suddenly an urgent ask?   In 2018, a central fundraising entity (The Shark Fund, dba LEAD) assumed the responsibility for raising the funds for additional staff and staffed programs in Malibu.  Previously, the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation (SMMEF) fundraised and contributed over $2M/year towards this need across the district, and with low participation from the Malibu community (we contributed just 19% towards the cost of our programs).  Over those years, SMMEF and the district backfilled our costs.  Malibu Leadership believed creating a Malibu centralized fundraising entity - with funds raised in Malibu supporting Malibu Schools - would yield better community participation.  Unfortunately, LEAD did not raise the full funding and has recently folded.   The funds raised on behalf of the schools by LEAD (along with a $48,300 donation from Webster PTA) will be donated to the district - $105k total - but do not cover the cost of the 2020-21 programs - and the district is no longer in the position to backfill for Malibu (or Santa Monica) with their current budget challenges.


I already donated, do I need to donate again?   If you made a direct donation during the school year, please consider making the other.  Please do what feels right for your situation.  The reality is that we wouldn't be asking if the potential of losing some our our beloved staff and programs was not real.


I have a 5th Grader, why should I donate if the staff donation is to fund next year?  Webster's teachers and staff have guided your child successfully to transition to Middle School. Leave your school as well-endowed for the next families as it has provided for yours. The graduating middle school families are making contributions to ensure your child's best experience at Middle School. Please consider this kindness.  Also, keep in mind that once we establish a strong central fundraising entity – it will raise funds for the coming year, remember that the mandate of central fundraising is to raise funds for all schools. 


Where can I go with my questions?  Please visit the PTA's website ( for more complete answers to your questions, or to submit your question. If you need further information, please send us an email (, or as you know many of us, just ask. We will be adding to the FAQ list on the website as questions come in.


What is the benefit of joining forces with Webster Elementary?  The alignment gives us access to a larger group of smart parents to create - and implement - the short and longer term plan.  We can also work together with a unified message around a shared vision, rather than competing and confusing parents and businesses in our small community.   We are better together.


How will the funds be split between the two schools?  For this short-term initiative, funds raised by each school will be allocated to that school - for the shared elements (business partnerships, entity donations, shared auction items), the funds will be split 50/50.  So, parents of each school are supporting the retention of staff/programs at their school.  As we look towards our long term plan, we will enable a true centralized fundraising approach where the efforts support equity across schools.


What if we don’t hit our goal of $207k for Malibu Elementary, or $380k for both elementary schools?  We will only be able to retain what we can afford to fund.   Malibu Elementary has raised $41,300 to date and must raise another $167k to maintain all staffing and programs.  We have collectively raised $105k against our goal of $380k, leaving $275k to raise for both schools to retain their programs.  The elementary school principals will align on their plans, and the PTAs are working together to help each other reach our goals.


I'm confused by all the asks.   Can you provide some contest around who funds what?   Our schools are funded by:


  • The District funds core staff, facilities and operations equitably across the district.  These funds come from the state, property taxes, the cities and other sources of income.

  • The PTA raises money from parents and the community to fund stuff in a specific school.  Things like spirit wear, assemblies, our maker space, field trips, labs, extra teacher supplies.  

  • Centralized Fundraising:  Raises money from parents, the community and beyond to support additional staff who enrich the school experiences at Webster and Malibu Elementary School - including Instructional Aides, PS Arts Programs, Music Programs and Science and Technology at both schools.   These additional staffed programs create the exceptional experience for which Malibu Schools have become known. 



What is the annual budget for these two PTAs/Webster PTA?  Both elementary schools worked to reduce their PTA budgets by roughly 44% this year - recognizing this significant amount that will need to be raised again next year - and both are now at roughly $130k for Malibu Elementary & $150k for Webster for the 20-21 school year.   Both schools have approximately the same number of students.


Do other districts pay for these additional programs and aids or is this always up to the PTA? Whether run by the PTA or a centralized fundraising organization, the bulk of donations in all cases come from parents, who have a vested interest in their child's educational experience..  The intent, long-term, is to establish another centralized fundraising organization - but, we want to be thoughtful in our approach.


Is this the only year we need to do this?  This is the first year, and we hope to establish a plan to stand up a central education fundraising organization to bear the burden of fundraising.


E-Mail if you’d like to be involved in that effort, we need parent participation to make this work.


We still need to raise $35,952 -$156 per student


We have not raised the funds needed to cover the $35,952 cost for P.S. ARTS for 1/2 year. However, the PTAs are working to develop exciting, offline alternatives for the fall that we will be sharing soon!


Our online auction is closed, but we have items remaining. We will be reaching out to the donors and hope to relaunch an auction this fall to raise additional funds!



Better Together!
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The Webster Elementary and Malibu Elementary School PTA’s are banding together to raise funds quickly for this year, and to come up with a solid plan for next year. To address the immediate need we will:

  • SOS Campaign:  We are asking families to contribute in any way they can, Participation is what Matters Most. We would close the gap. Please consider giving what you can during this financially challenging time.

  • Online Auction:  Our schools will be hosting a joint online auction between July 17th and July 26th.  With If you have an item to donate, please email

  • Local Outreach:  We are working with local parents, businesses and media outlets to collect additional donations and promote our fundraising efforts to the community at large.

mes & webster
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