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SchoolPower sets goal to raise $150,000 for LBUSD families on Giving Tuesday

This Giving Tuesday, December 1, SchoolPower will launch an effort to raise $150,000 for its COVID Impact Fund to help Laguna Beach school district families in need.

“Over 300 students in Laguna Beach schools are eligible for free and reduced-price meals – that’s 11 percent of the student body,” says SchoolPower Executive Director Sarah Durand. “Our goal is to provide real help for students and families in our small community, many of whom are experiencing major challenges due to the pandemic.

SchoolPower is partnering with LBUSD to amplify the district’s support of students and families in need and secure resources for this vulnerable population. A fund has been created to assist in covering basic needs and supplemental educational resources for families, including food, transportation, clothing, parent education, and toolkits for students identified as English language learners. 

SchoolPower sets parade

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Submitted photo

SchoolPower marching in the Patriots Day Parade prior to the pandemic 

LBUSD Community Liaison Ivonne Redard has been working directly with families throughout the pandemic and is assisting SchoolPower to coordinate the campaign. “Our school personnel work diligently to serve and support students and families in need, and we appreciate SchoolPower’s commitment to augment our continued endeavors,” Redard explains. “It is through collaborative partnerships like LBUSD and SchoolPower’s that our community can feel confident that no stone will be left unturned to see any one of our students overcome the challenges they face in this ever-changing environment.”

To kickstart SchoolPower’s efforts, the Martini Education & Opportunity Trust  has given $25,000 to the campaign.

“There are times when it’s not about the ‘next level’ we want our schools achieving or what ‘it would be great to have’ in the classroom, but about taking care of foundational needs for families. Now is one of those times,” explains donor Brent Martini. “I hope others will join in this effort to ensure our Laguna families and students are all well supported.”

One hundred percent of donations made on Tuesday will be deployed directly to help LBUSD families in need. In addition, two generous LBUSD families, the Broughers and the Motherways, have pledged to match donations up to $10,000. 

Donors can give at whatever level is right for their family, or choose from several levels of support, including: 

--Cover Basic Needs ($100) – Provide a grocery voucher, bus pass, or gas gift card for an LBUSD family

--Support English Learners ($300) – Purchase supplemental learning materials and bilingual books to enhance reading proficiency and enrich learning experiences

--Sponsor a Family ($500) – Support critical needs including food and clothing, as well as education materials for one family

--Shape the Future ($1,000) – Sponsor parent education workshops to assist parents in creating positive learning conditions for their children that invigorate their physical, cognitive, and social-emotional development

To contribute, visit http://give.lbschoolpower.org/.

SchoolPower’s mission is to enhance the educational experience of the whole student as they grow from TK through 12th grade. Over the last five years, SchoolPower has contributed over $4,000,000 to the Laguna Beach Unified School District to help support a wide range of programs, including music, visual and performing arts, STEM, digital literacy, field trips, athletics, social emotional support, service learning, and academic support. 

To learn more about SchoolPower’s current campaign, visit http://give.lbschoolpower.org/.


COVID-19 surge delays opening of Thurston Middle School and Laguna Beach High School

By BARBARA DIAMOND

Laguna Beach Unified School District Superintendent Jason Viloria announced last Wednesday that Thurston Middle School and Laguna Beach High School will remain closed at least until after the winter break. 

The delay is in response to a surge in the number of reported COVID-19 cases locally and statewide, based on information from the Orange County Health Care Agency in accordance with the State Department of Public Health Framework. 

County schools that had reopened prior to the surge are allowed to continue with in-person learning, including Laguna’s elementary schools that reopened October 5. Laguna Beach secondary schools were to reopen November 23. 

A January reopening depends on when Orange County moves up to the red from the purple tier, the most restrictive in the state’s hierarchy.

To move up, the county must spend a minimum of three weeks in the purple tier, followed by two consecutive weeks in the red tier.

Viloria also announced that COVID-19 testing last Monday revealed that 11 of the 360 students expected to return to classes had tested positive for the virus. 

The 11 students were directed to quarantine themselves. 

Contact tracing turned up another 30 students to be quarantined. The number will continue to grow as additional tracing is conducted, according to Viloria. 

The district will offer another round of student COVID-19 testing prior to secondary schools reopening when that date is identified.

Viloria asked parents to be vigilant for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and to report any known cases to their child’s school nurse. 

School nurse contact information was provided.

--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.

High risk symptoms include a cough, difficulty in breathing, and loss of taste or smell. Low risk symptoms include a low fever, sore throat, congestion/runny nose, headache, nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, or fatigue/muscle or body aches.

Viloria also encouraged families to observe the state’s updated travel advisory, released on November 13, which states that, “Persons arriving in California from other states or countries, including returning California residents, should practice self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival.” 

This includes students who may be traveling for the holidays or who have traveled out of state for club sports.

Last Wednesday’s announcement followed two days of communications from the Superintendent. 

Last Monday, Viloria communicated that previous guidance had indicated the district could reopen the middle and high schools even if Orange County moved into the purple tier on Tuesday, as the CDPH Framework was adjusted on Tuesdays, and the restrictions in purple tier would not have been in effect until late this week. 

“We were also operating under the guidance that since we had reopened classes and a learning center for students with disabilities and English Learners, we would be permitted to continue our planned reopening,” Viloria stated.

“However, the guidance has been updated to indicate that even though we have opened selected programs, we cannot commence in-person instruction for all grade levels.”

Parents will be updated as the district gets more information, Viloria stated. Specifically, parents will be informed about the Trimester 2 distance learning by the site principal.


COVID-19 surge delays opening of Thurston Middle School and Laguna Beach High School

By BARBARA DIAMOND

Laguna Beach Unified School District Superintendent Jason Viloria announced Wednesday that Thurston Middle School and Laguna Beach High School will remain closed at least until after the winter break. 

The delay is in response to a surge in the number of reported COVID-19 cases locally and statewide, based on information from the Orange County Health Care Agency in accordance with the State Department of Public Health Framework. 

County schools that had reopened prior to the surge are allowed to continue with in-person learning, including Laguna’s elementary schools that reopened October 5. Laguna Beach secondary schools were to reopen November 23. 

A January reopening depends on when Orange County moves up to the red from the purple tier, the most restrictive in the state’s hierarchy.

To move up, the county must spend a minimum of three weeks in the purple tier, followed by two consecutive weeks in the red tier.

Viloria also announced on Wednesday that COVID-19 testing on Monday revealed that 11 of the 360 students expected to return to classes had tested positive for the virus. 

The 11 students were directed to quarantine themselves. 

Contact tracing turned up another 30 students to be quarantined. The number will continue to grow as additional tracing is conducted, according to Viloria. 

The district will offer another round of student COVID-19 testing prior to secondary schools reopening when that date is identified.

Viloria asked parents to be vigilant for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and to report any known cases to their child’s school nurse. 

School nurse contact information was provided.

--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.

High risk symptoms include a cough, difficulty in breathing, and loss of taste or smell. Low risk symptoms include a low fever, sore throat, congestion/runny nose, headache, nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, or fatigue/muscle or body aches.

Viloria also encouraged families to observe the state’s updated travel advisory, released on November 13, which states that, “Persons arriving in California from other states or countries, including returning California residents, should practice self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival.” 

This includes students who may be traveling for the holidays or who have traveled out of state for club sports.

Wednesday’s announcement followed two days of communications from the Superintendent. 

On Monday, Viloria communicated that previous guidance had indicated the district could reopen the middle and high schools even if Orange County moved into the purple tier on Tuesday, as the CDPH Framework was adjusted on Tuesdays, and the restrictions in purple tier would not have been in effect until late next week. 

“We were also operating under the guidance that since we had reopened classes and a learning center for students with disabilities and English Learners, we would be permitted to continue our planned reopening,” Viloria stated.

“However, the guidance has been updated to indicate that even though we have opened selected programs, we cannot commence in-person instruction for all grade levels.”

Parents will be updated as the district gets more information, Viloria stated. Specifically, parents will be informed about the Trimester 2 distance learning by the site principal.


LBUSD COVID-19 Dashboard

The Laguna Beach Unified School District’s (LBUSD) COVID-19 dashboard provides parents, guardians, and employees with up-to-date COVID-19 confirmed positive case counts among LBUSD students and staff on district campuses. The dashboard was created to keep stakeholders informed with accurate and transparent information about COVID-19 positive cases in the District. 

In addition to updated information on the dashboard, principals or school staff will also communicate new cases directly to their communities. The District will only communicate and provide data for confirmed positive COVID-19 cases. LBUSD schools and staff will maintain confidentiality and protect student and staff privacy, following all FERPA protocols.

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 (6 feet or less for 15 or more minutes) will receive a letter that will include self-isolation directions and other important resources. 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. 

LBUSD COVID 19 Dashboard 11 18 20

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBUSD

To access the dashboard, visit www.lbusd.org/resources/covid19/covid-19-reporting.


LBUSD Board of Education to hold meeting on Thursday

The Laguna Beach Unified School District Board of Education will hold a regular board meeting on Thursday, Nov 19. The meeting agenda has been posted here. Open session will begin at 6 p.m.

The agenda includes an informational report to the Board regarding the Challenge Success program implemented at LBHS over the last few years, which is also in its first year of implementation at Thurston Middle School. The positive certification of the first interim budget and the budget overview for parents will be recommended for approval by the Board. The Board will also consider approval of a compensation agreement for all bargaining units and a contract amendment for the Superintendent. Finally, the Board will consider approval of a proposal with Education Elements to support the District’s foundational work toward supporting the outcomes identified in the Board’s anti-racist education resolution which was passed in October.

Please note the different Webinar IDs for the closed and open portions of the meeting. Members of the public may view the meeting at www.lbusd.org/liveboardmeeting and/or submit public comments using the instructions below:

Written comments:

Written public comments may be submitted electronically no later than Thursday, Nov 19, 2020 by 12 p.m. via the link here. Written comments will be shared with the entire Board but will not be read aloud during the meeting.

Calling in by phone:

Members of the public may call in using the Zoom meeting phone number: (669) 900-6833.

For closed session, the Webinar ID is: 916 5060 8000. 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.

For open session, the Webinar ID is: 991 9397 4424. 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.

Commenting via Zoom:

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


Twelfth Annual Sports Swap hosted by LBHS and TMS PTAs raises $6,000 

Meeting the challenges of the pandemic, this year the combined PTAs of Laguna Beach High School (LBHS) and Thurston Middle School relocated the 12th Annual Sports Swap Meet to the football field at LBHS on November 14. The fundraiser sale was a huge success, raising approximately $6,000.

The Sports Swap included gently used sports gear for sale at bargain prices, ranging from surfboards, skim boards, SUP boards, to bicycles. 

Twelfth annual line

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Submitted photo

Line waiting to be admitted to the Sports Swap

James Azadian, president of LBHS PTA, says, “It defied everyone’s expectations in this pandemic year. We raised approximately $6,000, which will be equally split between LBHS PTA and TMS PTA. It was one of the most well attended Sports Swaps ever! 

“The lines went out the gate and down the street. You could see the smiling faces through their masks, as so many people commented on how much this community event means to them and how happy they were to be a part of Sports Swap this year!” 

Twelfth annual family

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Submitted photo

Liz Black, former president of El Morro Elementary PTA, and her daughters 

“One of the pictures from the day is of the smiling faces of just one of the families who came out to support Sports Swap this year, happily walking away with their awesome sports gear purchased at bargain prices.” 

Any gear not sold will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Laguna Beach, as is done each year.


Thurston and LBHS PTAs to host Annual Sports Swap Meet on Saturday

The combined PTAs of Thurston Middle School (TMS) and Laguna Beach High School (LBHS) will hold the 12th Annual Sports Swap on Saturday, Nov 14. It will be held at the new location this year – on the home stadium area of the LBHS football field, starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 1 p.m. 

Jimmy Azadian, president of the LBHS PTA and vice-president of the TMS PTA, says, “This pandemic school year, you have probably heard our local PTAs are struggling, along with everyone. But we are determined to carry on the annual tradition of Sports Swap, an event the entire community looks forward to with great anticipation each year. As you know, it is held the first Saturday of November, but this year we are holding the event outdoors in a new location.”

Thurston and LBHS PTAs are partnering this year to make Sports Swap a great event, as it always is. 

“We would greatly appreciate any support you can lend to promote Sports Swap,” says Azadian.

Thurston and Roop and Vermilya

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Submitted photo

(L-R) Jennifer Roop, who serves on the TMS PTA Executive Board and the Laguna Beach PTA Council, and Melissa Vermilya, who also serves on the TMS PTA Executive Board and is the Sports Swap Co-Chair 

All donations of sports gear to be sold at the Sports Swap are welcome (with the exception of helmets) and can be dropped off at the Azadian family home at 425 Arroyo Chico, located near the high school, or they will happily come and pick up donated gear from anyone’s home. 

Pick-ups are done in a contactless, no-hassle manner to ensure compliance with safety guidelines. Simply text message Sports Swap Co-chair Jimmy Azadian at (818) 645-9177, and he will arrange for a convenient pick-up. 

Any gear not sold will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Laguna Beach, as is done each year. All funds raised will go to the Thurston PTA and Laguna Beach High School PTA, equally. Last year, the Sports Swap Meet made $10,000.

There will be gently used sports gear for sale at bargain prices, ranging from surfboards, skim boards, SUP boards, to bicycles. All sports gear donations are fully tax deductible. 

Thurston and Redmond

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Catch Surf’s headquarters in San Clemente. Pro Surfer Johnny (on left) and Ashton. Catch Surf donated a 6’4” Catch Surf Wave Bandit board (fins included), Catch Surf hats, Catch Surf wax, and Catch Surf stickers! This is the second year in a row that Catch Surf is serving as a Sports Swap sponsor!

Azadian says, “Sports Swap has been a really great Laguna Beach community tradition, now in its twelfth year! The Thurston and Laguna Beach High School PTAs are pleased they are able to carry on this important tradition even in this pandemic year. The success of Sports Swap is not in the dollars it raises, but in the way it draws everyone together through its focus on our community’s athleticism and active lifestyles. 

“There is something really special about donating sports gear and knowing that it will be loved and used by someone else in our community. Just the other day we saw someone riding one of our old surfboards that our family had donated to Sports Swap last year! The surfer came out of the water and recognized us and said, ‘I still love my Sports Swap board.’ 

“Especially during these troubled times, it is important for our community to come together in this meaningful way and for such a great cause: promoting athleticism while supporting the students of Thurston Middle School and Laguna Beach High School!” 

LBHS is located at 625 Park Ave.


Congratulations to LBHS athletes signed by colleges and universities in November

This month new and exciting opportunities opened up for several Laguna Beach High School athletes who were signed by colleges and universities. 

Athletic Director Lance Neal says, “Laguna Beach High School athletics is extremely proud of our student athletes and their achievements in the classroom and in athletic competition.” 

“I’ve been involved with the high school program for over twenty-five years and you have to be proud of the resiliency of Laguna’s youth and their pursuit of their college dreams this past season,” says LBHS Scorekeeper Frank Aronoff.

Congratulations to Clemons

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Submitted photo

Imani Clemons

“Girls water polo signing 11 players to Division I programs is just an incredible achievement by the girls and more amazing when you consider our limited and clearly substandard facilities compared to our competition.” 

Ella Baumgarten transferred to Laguna Beach High School at the start of her junior year and has had the best two years of her life here, she says. She has committed to play Division I water polo at Marist College in New York. Her family is originally from N.Y. and Pa., and the East Coast has always been in her heart. 

Although she will be far from her mom and grandparents, she will be close to her East Coast family. “We are excited to see what this next chapter has in store for her. We know Ella will do and be great things! We are so very proud of her and grateful she was able to have these last two years in Laguna with Coach Ethan, and the other coaches. This truly an awesome group of young women.”

Rachael Carver has played Varsity girls water polo for four years at Laguna Beach High School. She has verbally committed to play water polo at Princeton University in 2021. The honors she has received include: 2019 CIF D1 Champion, 2020 CIF D1 Champion, 2020 All CIF D1 Second Team, 2020 First Team All Surf League, 2020 OC Register All County Second Team, and 2020 Daily Pilot Athlete of the Week. She loves to surf and go to the beach with her family and friends. Her parents are Rob and Julie Carver, and she has two siblings, Hannah and Kara.

Imani Clemons is a three-year Varsity player who has committed to play water polo for the University of California, Santa Barbara. Clemons will provide UCSB a powerful force at the center position, an exceptional shot selection from the post, and the uncanny ability to score or draw exclusions at the most crucial moments of any given match. Imani enjoys the camaraderie of her teammates and living in Laguna Beach with her parents Robert and Kimberly.

Kenedy Corlett started swimming at age three and hasn’t stopped since. She has been playing water polo since fifth grade for Laguna Beach. Water polo has been such a huge part of her life in so many ways. She has experienced playing at the highest level of competition, winning CIF championships along with taking home the Gold medal in the Junior Olympics. She has made lifelong friendships that will stay with her forever. She is proud to be attending UCSB next fall to play Division I water polo alongside a few teammates from her hometown. She lives with her parents Brian and Nadia.

Skylar Kidd has been playing water polo for six years. She was the Junior Varsity MVP for the 2018 season. Skylar is planning on majoring in education at the University of Indiana. Skylar lives with her parents Chris and Fran as well as her two brother Aiden and Colin.

Congratulations to Lineback

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Submitted photo

Emma Lineback

Emma Lineback is the reigning OC Register Player of the Year, 1st Team All CIF, leading scorer of the 2019/2020 season, and a member of the USA Youth Water Polo team that won gold at the UANA Youth Pan American Games in 2019. Emma will be attending UCLA in the fall of 2021 and plans to study Psychobiology or Marine Biology. Emma’s hobbies include ceramics, going to the beach, and hanging out with friends. Her parents are Dan and Tracy Lineback. Emma has been playing water polo since she was 10 years old.

Mikayla Lopez has committed to play Division I water polo for Loyola Marymount University. Mikayla is a strong center defender who has played water polo at LBHS for the past four years. Her remarkable shot selection and impressive passing skills have tremendously impacted her as a player and teammate. Mikayla looks forward to improving her academic and sports career at Loyola Marymount University. Mikayla lives with her parents Jack and Maria.

Molly Renner is heading to UCLA to continue her water polo career. She has played varsity water polo for four years and has been a varsity swimmer since her freshman year, going to CIF in both sports. Molly has garnered  multiple all league and CIF recognition during her career. Molly lives in Laguna with her parents Beth and William.

Jessie Rose is a three-sport varsity athlete. She has committed to play water polo for the University of California, Berkeley. Jessie is an All-State cross country runner and holds several distance records at LBHS. She was a swim team co-captain in the 2018 and 2019 seasons. She is renowned as a speedy attacker and sprinter for the CIF SS D1 Water Polo Champions. Jessie’s hobbies include surfing, skiing, and triathlon. She lives with her parents Brett and Kathy, as well as siblings Kai and Arielle. 

Congratulations to Singer

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Submitted photo

Emma Singer

Emma Singer earned honor roll and all-academic team recognition on her way to committing to play water polo for the University of California, Berkeley. Emma has also been recognized as all league and CIF for her play on the 2019 and 2020 CIF Championship teams. Emma’s hobbies are surfing, baking, and Netflix. She lives with her parents Katie and John as well as her bother Luke.

Nicole Struss will be attending UCLA in the fall of 2021. Nicole has played club water polo since she was 10 years old. She is a four-year Varsity team member and two-time CIF champion. Nicole has been the Surf League MVP in 2019 and 2020. Nicole lives with her parents Michelle and Kevin, and her sister Lauren attends UCSB.

Congratulations to Struss

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Submitted photo

Nicole Struss

Nolan Naess has been a four-year Varsity basketball player. He has been recognized as 2020 All Orange County, 2020 Wave League MVP, 2018-2020 First Team Wave All League, 2019 Team Co-Captain and MVP, as well as multiple all academic teams. Nolan will be attending West Point next fall and majoring in Math or Engineering. Nolan is an outstanding beach volleyball player and enjoys other sports as well. Nolan lives with his parents Coby and Janelle and his brother Griffin. Nolan’s sister Piper is playing beach volleyball at Cal Poly SLO.

Isabella Mullin will be attending Pepperdine University to play beach volleyball. She plans on majoring in Business Administration. Bella has played on the LBHS Girls Varsity Beach Volleyball Team from 2018 - 2020. Bella was born and raised in Laguna Beach and is a very proud member of her school and community. Bella has played for Tamarack Beach Volleyball Club from 2017 to the present. She also played for T Street Volleyball Club from 2012 - 2018. Bella has earned multiple academic honors at LBHS as well as having outstanding success in the beach volleyball world. She also does volunteer work at Mission Hospital in Laguna Beach.

Jacquie Strawn has committed to attend Pepperdine University to play beach volleyball. She plans on majoring in Biology and attending medical school after earning her BS degree. Jacquie started her career playing indoor and beach volleyball as a freshman at the varsity level. Jacquie has medaled in multiple Junior sand volleyball events in her career. She has also attended the Junior Olympics multiple times. Jacquie’s other hobbies include ukulele, guitar, Mandarin Chinese, and going to the beach. She lives with her mom Susan, and her brother Hudson played tennis at Carnegie Mellon University. 

Mikayla Smith has played four years of high school and a total of seven years of club volleyball. She has been recognized as a team MVP and coaches award recipient. Makayla will be majoring in business at Franklin & Marshall College. Mikayla has enjoyed traveling the cities and countryside of the East Coast and enjoyed Boston and Philadelphia. Mikayla’s parents are Brian and Jara. She also has a sister Katelyn.

Congratulations to Bianchi

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Submitted photo

Matteo Bianchi

Matteo Bianchi will be running cross country and track at UCLA next fall. He has garnered multiple athletic and academic honors. A varsity cross country team member for four years, he has been on three league and one state championship team. He has been recognized as an All-American in the four-mile. Matteo is considering majoring in Bioengineering or Data Science. He lives with his parents Juan and Maria. Matteo has three siblings – Laura, Lucas, and Pablo.


LBUSD COVID-19 Dashboard

The Laguna Beach Unified School District’s (LBUSD) COVID-19 dashboard provides parents, guardians, and employees with up-to-date COVID-19 confirmed positive case counts among LBUSD students and staff on district campuses. The dashboard was created to keep stakeholders informed with accurate and transparent information about COVID-19 positive cases in the District. 

In addition to updated information on the dashboard, principals or school staff will also communicate new cases directly to their communities. The District will only communicate and provide data for confirmed positive COVID-19 cases. LBUSD schools and staff will maintain confidentiality and protect student and staff privacy, following all FERPA protocols.

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 (6 feet or less for 15 or more minutes) will receive a letter that will include self-isolation directions and other important resources. 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. 

LBUSD COVID 19 Dashboard 11 11 20

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBUSD

To access the dashboard, visit www.lbusd.org/resources/covid19/covid-19-reporting.


Thurston and LBHS PTAs Annual Sports Swap Meet postponed until November 14 due to rain

Due to the expected rain tomorrow, the combined PTAs of Thurston Middle School (TMS) and Laguna Beach High School (LBHS) will hold the 12th Annual Sports Swap on Saturday, Nov 14. It will be held at the new location this year – on the home stadium area of the LBHS football field, starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 1 p.m. 

Jimmy Azadian, president of the LBHS PTA and vice-president of the TMS PTA, says, “This pandemic school year, you have probably heard our local PTAs are struggling, along with everyone. But we are determined to carry on the annual tradition of Sports Swap, an event the entire community looks forward to with great anticipation each year. As you know, it is held the first Saturday of November, but this year we are holding the event outdoors in a new location.”

Thurston and LBHS PTAs are partnering this year to make Sports Swap a great event, as it always is. 

“We would greatly appreciate any support you can lend to promote Sports Swap,” says Azadian.

Thurston and Roop and Vermilya

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

(L-R) Jennifer Roop, who serves on the TMS PTA Executive Board and the Laguna Beach PTA Council, and Melissa Vermilya, who also serves on the TMS PTA Executive Board and is the Sports Swap Co-Chair 

All donations of sports gear to be sold at the Sports Swap are welcome (with the exception of helmets) and can be dropped off at the Azadian family home at 425 Arroyo Chico, located near the high school, or they will happily come and pick up donated gear from anyone’s home. 

Pick-ups are done in a contactless, no-hassle manner to ensure compliance with safety guidelines. Simply text message Sports Swap Co-chair Jimmy Azadian at (818) 645-9177, and he will arrange for a convenient pick-up. 

Any gear not sold will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Laguna Beach, as is done each year. All funds raised will go to the Thurston PTA and Laguna Beach High School PTA, equally. Last year, the Sports Swap Meet made $10,000.

There will be gently used sports gear for sale at bargain prices, ranging from surfboards, skim boards, SUP boards, to bicycles. All sports gear donations are fully tax deductible. 

Thurston and Redmond

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Catch Surf’s headquarters in San Clemente. Pro Surfer Johnny (on left) and Ashton. Catch Surf donated a 6’4” Catch Surf Wave Bandit board (fins included), Catch Surf hats, Catch Surf wax, and Catch Surf stickers! This is the second year in a row that Catch Surf is serving as a Sports Swap sponsor!

Azadian says, “Sports Swap has been a really great Laguna Beach community tradition, now in its twelfth year! The Thurston and Laguna Beach High School PTAs are pleased they are able to carry on this important tradition even in this pandemic year. The success of Sports Swap is not in the dollars it raises, but in the way it draws everyone together through its focus on our community’s athleticism and active lifestyles. 

“There is something really special about donating sports gear and knowing that it will be loved and used by someone else in our community. Just the other day we saw someone riding one of our old surfboards that our family had donated to Sports Swap last year! The surfer came out of the water and recognized us and said, ‘I still love my Sports Swap board.’ 

“Especially during these troubled times, it is important for our community to come together in this meaningful way and for such a great cause: promoting athleticism while supporting the students of Thurston Middle School and Laguna Beach High School!” 

LBHS is located at 625 Park Ave.

Lana Johnson, Editor - Lana@StuNewsLaguna.com

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