The Healdsburg Education Foundation (HEF) is a local nonprofit, established in 1985, that acts as the fundraising arm for the Healdsburg Unified School District (HUSD), by providing crucial financial support and striving to increase public awareness about the importance of high quality public schools.
Of the more than 13,000 school districts that exist in the United States, only about 4,000 are lucky enough to have the support of a local Education Foundation- and Healdsburg is one of them.
The mission of HEF is to bring our public schools and generous community together to promote and invest in the programs and initiatives that will have the greatest impact on student learning, and that will help equitably prepare all of our K-12 students for college, career, and citizenship.
Serving more than 1500 students each year, HEF has prided itself on backing efforts that not only bring more enriching opportunities to our classrooms, but close the achievement gap and increase equity among our students as well.
What does the Healdsburg Education Fund?
In 34 years of community fundraising, HEF has been able to support an array of needs for our public schools: from restoring the libraries on both the Healdsburg Junior High and High School campuses, to funding field trip costs for students who can’t afford to attend otherwise. Below are some of the areas HEF has historically focused on thanks to the incredible generosity of its donors.
Pilot Programs are those that without HEF funding, the District would otherwise not have the means to explore. With this added flexibility, our schools have the ability to introduce programs like Robotics and “Mouse Squad” to the Junior High- which teaches students about programming, the impacts of E-waste on the environment, and how technology can be used creatively to solve an array of problems and assist individuals with disabilities.
Instructional Coaching for our Teachers:
To ensure our teachers are being kept up to date with best practices in education and are equipped with the tools to be the most effective instructors they can be, HEF has made substantial investments in instructional coaching. This has made the greatest impact in the area of English Language Development, where our teachers from preschool through 12th grade are trained in a methodology that has significantly improved the learning outcomes for our English Language Learners, leading to higher graduation rates and enrollment in AP classes.
Career Technical Education:
If you’ve taken a tour of Healdsburg High in recent years, you’ve most likely walked away in awe of the class offerings available to our students compared to when you were in high school. From a state of the art culinary kitchen where our students learn not only to cook and bake but also manage a restaurant, to the Construction and Sustainability Academy (CASA) where students are building tiny homes, our students are developing skills that give them a substantial head start in their future careers.
Education today relies on the use of technology, and having access to the devices that enable our students to collaborate on projects and conduct research independently. In the 2016-2017 school year, HEF was able to provide Chromebooks for every single student on both the Junior High and High School campuses, as well as devices at a 2:1 ratio in our elementary schools. Other technology needs have included classroom monitors and Wifi Hotspots for students who lack internet access at home.
Junior Academic Internship Program:
Famous in the community for the way in which it connects our students with local mentors in a field of their choosing, HEF has been proud to support the award-winning Junior Internship Program at HHS since 2012. This amazing program gives our students insight not only into what careers they may wish to pursue in the future, but also informs what they decide to study in college, providing them with invaluable insight and confidence in their choices.
Music, Arts & Enrichment:
No education would be complete without ample opportunities for students to develop their creativity, social-emotional and problem solving skills. HEF has historically funded arts and music at every grade level, most recently raising over $50,000 for K-5 Enrichment classes in the 2018-2019 school year- which in addition to arts and music, includes classes on gardening and nutrition, yoga, cartooning, creative writing, and chess.
None of this would be possible without the steadfast support of HEF’s incredible donors. HEF is thankful not only for the community’s dedication to making our Healdsburg schools a point of pride, but to the Healdsburg Unified School District, who works tirelessly to individualize every student’s education and provide them with the support they need to thrive and succeed.