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Laguna Beach

LBUSD COVID-19 Dashboard

LBUSD COVID 19 Dashboard 12 30 20

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Courtesy of LBUSD

For more information and to access the dashboard, visit


LBUSD COVID-19 Dashboard

LBUSD COVID 19 Dashboard 12 24 20

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBUSD

For more information and to access the dashboard, visit


LBUSD COVID-19 Dashboard

LBUSD COVID 19 Dashboard 12 19 20

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBUSD

For more information and to access the dashboard, visit


Catching up with LBHS alumni Blair Conklin

By Tess Booth, Brush and Palette newspaper

Many of us know Blair Conklin as the small-town “grom” who worked his way up to becoming a world-class athlete and professional skimboarder; however, it may come to us as a surprise that Conklin put his professional career on pause when he moved to San Francisco to pursue an Environmental Studies degree at one of the most distinguished colleges in the nation, the University of California, Berkeley. As the United Skim Tour Champion of 2018 and Berkeley graduate, Conklin continues to give back to his community and environment by sharing his passion of skimboarding and using his social media platform (click here) to promote sustainability. 

How old were you when you first fell in love with skimboarding?

“I first fell in love with skimboarding at about five or six years old. I was lucky enough to grow up in South Laguna, where I spent as much time as my parents would allow me at the beach. In doing so, I became fascinated by the pro skimboarders that I just happened to watch. From that point on, I knew I wanted to try, and not long after, I was gliding down the slopes of the beach and into the shore break on the cheapest skimboard my parents could find.”

Catching up exile

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Photo by Bob Booth

Conklin lays back on his home turf Aliso Beach. This break is home to the Vic, the most prestigious skimboarding contest in the world, where Conklin took three consecutive victories from 2016 to 2018.

 Where is your favorite wave to skimboard?

“My favorite wave to skimboard is located in Ubatuba, Brazil. The wave here is much like The Wedge in Newport (click here for video), but it breaks in the opposite direction. Not only is the wave incredible, but the forest that surrounds and the topography of the landscape is like nowhere else on the planet. Massive boulders protrude out of the ocean and are topped by one of the most diverse forests in the world, the Atlantic Rainforest.”

San Francisco is not the ideal place to skimboard compared to Laguna Beach. When you were accepted to UC Berkeley, was it a difficult decision to move up north knowing that you would be momentarily putting your skimboarding career on pause? 

“It wasn’t that difficult of a decision because it was by far the best school that I was accepted to. I didn’t get into a lot of the schools that I wanted to attend, and applying to Berkeley felt like shooting for the stars at that point. When I learned that I was accepted and considered my second-best options, it was a no brainer for me to go.”

How important is a college education to you personally?

“The importance of a university education is much greater than I had ever imagined. Going to UC Berkeley and befriending people with much different upbringings than myself was the most important part of my education. My friends there were so much different than myself and so much different than any of the friends I had at Laguna Beach High School. Learning about their backgrounds and their family’s history gave me such a different perspective on life and how fortunate I was to be raised in the area I was raised and by the family that I have.” 

Catching up red shirt

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Photo by Bob Booth

Blair Conklin 

With your degree in Environmental Studies, what are your next steps relating to your passion for the environment and your skimboarding career?

“I would like to encourage more sustainable products with the companies I represent and ride for. I think I am in a unique position where I can have an influence on the brands that sponsor me and what they decide to produce. I think that is also true for any individual who purchases goods on a day-to-day basis. I think that as an individual, we have the power to support food that is sustainably produced or brands that are striving to give back to the environment rather than take and take.”

What would be your advice to graduating seniors from high school?

“Leave Laguna. Get out of your comfort zone through travel or education. That is when you learn most.”

Stu News Laguna is proud to feature LBHS students’ writing in partnership with the high school’s journalism class and the Brush and Palette student newspaper. To read more stories from our local students, visit

LBUSD alumni oppose racism in schools

By Diego Lapayese-Calderón, News Editor, Brush and Palette newspaper

On August 1, 2020, a group of LBUSD alumni publicized and distributed a thorough letter to request that the School Board take action against racism. After receiving over 250 signatures and multiple testimonies from current students and alumni, the letter was sent to the School Board on August 10, where it was met positively.

“I thought the letter was very well-spoken! Passive racism has been an active issue in our town for a while now, and I can appreciate that the LBUSD alumni are willing to combat these issues,” said current LBHS senior Jacob Kuiper. “I have heard stories about incidents in our town revolving around racism and how people of color have spoken out about it. Since our school has a lack of diversity, we must educate students about race and how people of color can be treated.”

The letter’s main purpose was a call to action for the School Board to take a formal stance regarding systemic racism in the United States. An anti-racist stance goes beyond multiculturalism in that it acknowledges the history of white supremacy and its continued effects in our society today. The letter also pointed to the different ways racism exists in our district, using testimonies of witnesses and victims of racist acts. The alumni also addressed a menu of options, including 10 major concerns, that could be considered by the Board in order to make the district a better place for BIPOC1 students. In its study sessions, the Board expressed some alignment with the “actions” the alumni mentioned and has been working to develop new anti-racist policies. Their intentions, overall, match the actions the alumni indicated in their letter to the Board. 

“The Board members acted with great care, sensitivity, and openness in their discussion of anti-racism and their review of the anti-racist resolution,” said LBUSD Against Racism member and LBUSD alumnus Aviva Meyers. “I’m thrilled that they included some of our letter’s suggestions – or ‘Actions’ – in the new draft of the resolution, such as convening an anti-racism task force and collecting data on the results of their anti-racist efforts.” 

As the BLM movement continues, a greater number of people are becoming aware of the illogical inequality that exists in society, and more is being done. Multiple parents, students, and staff members have spoken up and affirmed the need for more diversity throughout the curriculum. 

Racism is everywhere, whether we recognize it or not. It is ingrained in everything from political policies to law enforcement practices. Racism exists in Laguna Beach. It is the responsibility of the community to come together and try to erase it. Because most of the high school student population is non-BIPOC, increased efforts must be made collectively as a school community to ensure that the perspectives and experiences of all students are not overlooked. 

“I think racism was also manifested [within LBUSD] in a lack of awareness of race-based privilege, and how racism is embedded in our nation’s history and continues today. And racism is entrenched in our district just by virtue of this being a well-funded, majority-white district and community with wonderful educational opportunities, while other communities in Orange County and beyond do not share in the same privileges,” said Meyers. “Overall, I think people in LBUSD who engaged in or allowed racist behaviors were more ignorant than bigoted. But that ignorance is exactly what needs to be addressed.”

These LBUSD alumni made a major impact that’s going to benefit BIPOC students, or rather all students, for years to come. If every student, teacher, and staff member of the LBUSD committed to anti-racist ideals, we would be able to make Laguna Beach a great place for everyone. As of October 8, 2020, the LBUSD School Board has officially passed a resolution declaring our district actively anti-racist. Only time, and arguably our community, will tell of what happens next.

BIPOC is an acronym that stands for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color… BIPOC is meant to emphasize the particular hardships faced by Black and Indigenous people in the U.S. and Canada – especially because Indigenous people often get forgotten in social justice causes and that anti-Black racism is particularly virulent. – 

To see the full letter, click here. There you can also share your story if you’ve ever witnessed racism in the LBUSD first-hand, and you can sign the letter. Testimonials are very important to help the cause, so please feel free to share your story. When you go on the link, scroll down to “Make Your Voice Heard” and click “Share Your Testimony.”

Stu News Laguna is proud to feature LBHS students’ writing in partnership with the high school’s journalism class and the Brush and Palette student newspaper. To read more stories from our local students, visit

School Board to select new leadership at Thursday’s meeting, new members sworn in

The agenda for Thursday’s regular Board meeting has been posted here. The meeting will be held virtually (link and public comment directions below). At 5 p.m., newly elected members Kelly Osborne and Jan Vickers will be administered the Oath of Office. The Board will adjourn into closed session and then reconvene for open session at 6 p.m.

The Board will consider acceptance of the annual audit report as presented by auditor Eide Bailly, LLP. The Board will also consider temporarily increasing the certificated substitute rate of pay and approve contracts for student COVID-19 testing.

The Board will also conduct its annual organizational meeting, electing a president, clerk, and several representative appointments to outside organizations and committees.

Viewing the meeting and Public Comment via Zoom:

To view the meeting, go to and then click on the appropriate link for closed or open session.

Public Comment:

Public Comment is accepted in writing prior to the meeting, or by phone or webinar during the meeting. Live public comments will be accepted during the designated public comment periods of the meeting. The time for live comments will be limited, so prepare your remarks accordingly.

Public Comment via electronic submission may be submitted no later than Thursday, Dec 17, 2020 by 12 p.m. via the following link: December 17, 2020 Public Comment Request Form.

If you would like to make a comment and you are viewing the meeting via Zoom webinar, raise your hand during the designated public comment period, and un-mute your microphone once recognized to do so.

Closed Session Public Comment via phone at 5 p.m.: Members of the public may call in using the Zoom meeting phone number: (669) 900-6833; Webinar ID is: 958 2074 3570. Press *9 on your phone if you would like to comment during the designated comment period. Once recognized to make your comment, press *6 to un-mute your phone. When you hear “your phone is un-muted,” please proceed with your comment.

Open Session Public Comment via phone at 6 p.m.: Members of the public may call in using the Zoom meeting phone number: (669) 900-6833; Webinar ID is: 921 4978 1061. Press *9 on your phone if you would like to comment during the designated comment period. Once recognized to make your comment, press *6 to un-mute your phone. When you hear “your phone is un-muted,” please proceed with your comment.

Laguna soccer player Francis Jacobs featured in OCSC Rangers FC documentary Path to Glory

Local Francis Jacobs, the youngest male soccer pro in U.S. history, appears in the OCSC/Rangers FC documentary Path to Glory, which has been picked up by CBS Sports Network. Episode One will air today, Tuesday, Dec 8 at 3:30 p.m., and Episode Two will air on Wednesday, Dec 9 at 3:30 p.m.

The documentary was specifically chosen by CBS Sports Network to complement its UEFA Champions League and overall soccer coverage in the U.S.

The four-part documentary follows the professional journeys of three young players from each club as they cross the Atlantic to live and train far from home in the other’s country (Glasgow and Orange County), with the goal of advancing their careers and someday playing for Rangers first team in front of 55,000 fans at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow. 

Laguna soccer jersey

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Submitted photo

Francis Jacobs makes his professional soccer debut at the Championship Soccer Stadium in Irvine on September 18

Ultimately, all the players return to the U.S. to compete for minutes in the USL with OCSC during a global pandemic. Over the course of the season, all of the players featured in the documentary made appearances for OCSC, culminating with the historic transfer of Orange County SC goalkeeper Aaron Cervantes to Rangers FC, the transfer of Danny Finlayson to Scottish Premiership club St. Mirren FC, and the loan of Cammy Palmer to Clyde FC.

The three featured Orange County SC players are all from Southern California: Francis Jacobs (Laguna Beach), Aaron Cervantes (Chino Hills), and Diego Lopez (Chino).

To watch the Path to Glory trailer, click here.

Changes afoot for CIF scheduling as fall sports put “on hold”

The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) announced earlier this week that due to a surge in COVID-19 infections, all full practice and competition start dates for fall high school sports are “on hold” until after January 1, 2021 as it waits for state health officials to issue updated guidelines on youth sports.

According to the CIF, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) postponed the release of updated guidance for youth sports – with new guidance not expected until after the start of the new year.

Additionally, the CIF also announced the cancellation of all regional and state playoffs for this year’s fall sports.

“By canceling Regional and State Championship events, more student-athletes will have the opportunity to participate in a longer season, rather than a truncated season with Regional and State post-season play for a limited number of schools,” the CIF said in a statement.

Another significant change – boys volleyball will be moved from Season 1 to Season 2 Sports to avoid the loss of another season. An updated Season 2 calendar to include boys volleyball will be released sometime in January, according to the CIF.

“This revision to the CIF State 2020-21 Season 1 Sports calendar offers our Sections and Leagues the flexibility and needed time to plan for the return to practice and competition once updated guidance is provided by the CDPH,” the CIF said.

Since early August, high school sports across the state have been prohibited from competition and limited to modified conditioning and skill training workouts.

LBUSD COVID-19 Dashboard

The Laguna Beach Unified School District provides ongoing information to our community regarding COVID-19 cases while maintaining confidentiality for students and staff. The COVID-19 case data below is updated regularly to indicate any currently confirmed COVID-19 positive case in staff members or students by school site. The data below shows currently confirmed cases. Upon learning of an individual with a confirmed COVID-19 positive test, the District notifies all families at the school site via ParentSquare. The District, in conjunction with the Orange County Health Care Agency, conducts contact tracing and directly notifies and provides resources for parents of students identified as close contacts (6 feet or less for 15 or more minutes) or who are low risk contacts.

LBUSD COVID 19 Dashboard 12 3 20

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Courtesy of LBUSD

In the event there is a positive case identified, all families and staff at the school site will be notified via ParentSquare. Parents of affected students will be contacted directly via phone by their school nurse. Students or staff members who are considered close contacts will receive a letter that will include self-isolation directions and other important resources. The most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) definition of close contact is: Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated (CDC, retrieved October 23, 2020). Students or staff identified as low risk will receive information on symptom monitoring and additional resources. Families of students who are not affected will not receive a notification letter and no action will be required. The District will only communicate and provide data for confirmed COVID-19 cases.

As a reminder, if your child has tested positive for COVID-19 or they are having symptoms (symptom monitoring guidelines), please keep your child home and contact your school’s nurse as soon as possible. By reporting this information, you help keep the school community healthy and safe and prevent further spread of COVID-19. LBUSD will maintain confidentiality and protect student privacy, following all FERPA protocols.

In addition to health and safety measures taken on campuses, LBUSD encourages families to be proactive and to reinforce the importance of handwashing, physical distancing, and face coverings to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

School Nurse Contact Information:

--Top of the World Elementary and Thurston Middle School:

Kelly Schultz, RN, MSN: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

--El Morro and Laguna Beach High School:

Pam Majd, RN, MSN: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

To access the dashboard, visit

LBHS Food Drive

LBHS Food Ashton

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Photo by Jimmy Azadian 

Ashton Azadian, LBHS sophomore and member of the ASB, dropping off food items. The Associated Student Body of LBHS collected food donations for families in need this holiday season. The cans are in front of the Artists’ Theatre, labeled “Freshmen,” “Sophomores,” “Juniors,” and “Seniors,” respectively. Tuesday was the final day to drop off the donated food items.

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In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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