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Laguna Beach


Thursday’s School Board meeting will be streamed via videoconference

The agenda for Thursday’s regular LBUD Board of Education meeting has been posted online here. Open session will begin at 6 p.m., with closed session occurring beforehand. 

By Executive Order N-29-20, issued on March 18, 2020, LBUSD Board meetings will be closed to the public, but will be streamed via videoconference. The live meeting link is www.lbusd.org/liveboardmeeting; the link is currently not live but will become live (viewers may need to refresh) once the meeting commences.

Public Comment may be submitted prior to the meeting via electronic submission no later than Thursday, April 16, 2020 by 3 p.m. via this link, which is also included in the agenda.


LBUSD announces extension of distance learning until further notice

The Laguna Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) announced this week the decision to extend distance learning until further notice, aligned with Governor Newsom’s expectation that school sites will not reopen this school year. 

LBUSD will continue to implement distance teaching and learning for the duration of the closure, consistent with the Governor’s expectation. The public’s health and safety are of the highest importance to LBUSD and all of its community and educational partners, as well as the continuity of education to the maximum extent possible for each student.

“The top priority of the Board and district leaders is the health and safety of our students, staff, and families. The Board supports the Superintendent’s decision to extend the dismissal and continue to provide distance learning for students,” said Board President Peggy Wolff. “We are grateful for the hard work of Dr. Viloria, the leadership team, and our teachers and staff during this time. Their commitment to our students and staff is exemplary.”

LBUSD El Morro

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

LBUSD schools to remain closed until further notice

During this time, LBUSD will continue to provide student lunches on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., including Tuesday through Friday of the regularly scheduled spring break week (April 7 - 10). No meals will be served on Monday, April 6, due to a planned non-work day for staff. All meals will be served at Laguna Beach High School at the side of the campus along St. Ann’s Drive at the cafeteria driveway.

“In the last few weeks, we have been confronted with moments of deep uncertainty and sudden change. Amidst so much turmoil, our teachers and staff have been selfless in their continued commitment to our students and families,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jason Viloria. “They have worked tirelessly to ensure that all students have the resources and support they need, and I am incredibly proud of the work that they continue to do,” he concluded. 

Education will continue through distance (virtual) teaching and learning practices. LBUSD will continue to expand resources for students and families for distance learning on its website at www.lbusd.org/resources/covid19/distance-learning, which can be found on the dedicated COVID-19 page, www.lbusd.org/covid19. Spring break will be held as scheduled from April 6 through April 10, and no distance (virtual) teaching will take place during that week. The District expects to receive additional guidance this week from the California Department of Education to address the questions that an extended distance learning scenario presents.

Facts and circumstances may change quickly; for updates visit www.lbusd.org, or follow on social media @LagunaBeachUSD on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Remote schooling presents challenges, but Laguna’s teachers prove they’re ready

Remote schooling handover

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Photo by Scott Brashier

TOW 1st grade teacher Brett Bond passes out a Chromebook to a parent in the District Office parking lot

Remote schooling handover

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Sign of the times


LBSUD school closure update

By Jason Viloria, Ed.D., Superintendent of LBUSD  

As mentioned in our communication last Friday afternoon, we have closed schools and canceled any student-related activities from Monday, March 16 through Friday, April 3, 2020.

Continuity of Instruction 

As you may know, our dedicated school staff worked on Friday to develop lessons and resources for digital learning, which we will plan to deploy to parents and students beginning on Wednesday, March 18. Instructions will be sent to parents via ParentSquare.

Student Lunches 

The District is developing a process to be able to provide school lunches to students who need them. We anticipate we will be able to provide this service beginning on Thursday, March 19. Additional details and instructions will be communicated via ParentSquare and District social media. 

We will communicate with you regularly regarding updates related to learning supports and services for students. I cannot overstate our appreciation for your flexibility and understanding at this unprecedented time.


Lilie Kulber leads the way for LBHS surf placing 3rd overall in NSSA State Championships

The Laguna Beach High School surf team gave a big effort over the weekend surfing in the NSSA Interscholastic Regional State Championships. Laguna’s top finisher was Lilie Kulber who came out of the gates absolutely on fire on Saturday, putting everyone on notice. 

Kulber scored several excellent rides and went on to be awarded from the judges a 9.67 and 8 out of a possible 10. She carried her momentum to the Finals on Sunday and finished 3rd overall. Meanwhile Tess Booth advanced to the Semifinals, but just missed out on the Finals, still scoring good team points along the way. 

Lilie Kulber sitting

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Submitted photo

Tess Booth and Lilie Kulber pre-surf 

The men’s team opened the day on Saturday and was led by Christian Schenk who competed well and put in some nice performances in a couple of heats, eventually just missing out on advancement. 

This seemed to be the theme with the team’s other guys as well. Both Kiko and Sam Nelsen, and Tyson Lockhart were very close to advancement and just came up a tiny bit short, along with Tai Diggins and Lucas Jablon. Cooper Laws looked stylish in the Longboard, but again just came up shy of advancement.

Lilie Kulber guys

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Submitted photo

Tyson Lockhart, Christian Schenk, and Kiko Nelsen at the competition

 The event was held at Seaside Reef at Cardiff-by-the-Sea in North County, San Diego and surf was contestable but tricky with some big tide swings and cold weather on Saturday morning. 

Following this event, Laguna Beach will be competing in a number of remaining events with the Scholastic Surf Series the next two weeks and the SSS State Championships April 25. 

The competitive season will wrap in June with the NSSA High School National Championships, to be held at Salt Creek. 

“Thank you to all the parents and team for their continued support of the LBHS Surf Program and events,” state Coaches Scott Finn and Alisa Cairns.


LBHS junior Jessie Rose has collected more than 1,000 shoes for Soles4Soul

Since she started her annual shoe drive two years ago, Jessie Rose, a junior at Laguna Beach High School, has collected more than 1,000 pairs of shoes for Soles4Soul, a nonprofit social enterprise that creates sustainable jobs and provides relief through the distribution of shoes and clothing around the world. The first year, she doubled her goal of 250 pairs of shoes, and with the help of the community, she did it again this year. 

Founded in 2006, Soles4Soul has distributed more than 30 million pairs of new and used shoes in 127 countries, demonstrating that one person’s unwanted shoes can help provide meaningful opportunities for someone else in need in a developing country. 

LBHS junior Jessie Rose

Submitted photo

Jessie Rose surpasses her 2020 goal of 250 shoes

Jessie says, “I’ve always wanted to make an impact on people’s live. I am so thankful for the community donating their old shoes. Now we can say that we all have had a positive impact on other people’s lives!”

Every day, children are prevented from attending school and adults are unable to work due to lack of shoes. Walking becomes unbearable. A new pair of shoes provides relief in many developing nations around the globe, in times of disaster, and helps bridge the economic gap in the U.S. and Canada.

At Soles4Souls, unwanted shoes and clothing are turned into opportunities, by keeping them from going to waste and putting them to good use – providing relief, creating jobs, and empowering people to break the cycle of poverty.

For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.soles4souls.org.


LB Little League 2020 season is officially underway

Last Friday, Feb 28, Laguna Beach Little League president Ed Paz led the opening ceremonies for the 2020 season. Arnold Silverman, Frank Daniel, Ed Merrilees, and Pete Sandro represented the VFW. Lydia Kimball sang a beautiful rendition of the national anthem.

The first pitch was thrown out by Commander Garrick Stride, who recently retired from the United States Navy after more than two decades of sacrifice and service to our country.

LB little group

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Courtesy of Stu Jones

Little Leaguers are primed and ready to play

The evening marked the beginning of LBLL’s 69th season. LBLL is California’s third oldest chartered little league and Orange County’s oldest.

Rotary gets the winning run in the bottom of the sixth

Rotary opened up scoring in the first inning, when Kai Patchell singled on a 1-2 count, scoring one run.

In the top of the fifth inning, VFW tied things up at three as Rex Bradshaw stole home, scoring his second run of the night.

The game was knotted at three each at the top of the sixth. With two outs in the bottom of the last inning, Rotary’s Gabe Paz drove a solo shot over the right field fence at historic Riddle Field, defeating VFW 4-3.

LB little VFW

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Submitted photo

Arnold Silverman, Frank Daniel, Ed Merrilees, and Pete Sandro represented the VFW

Gabe got the start for Rotary. He surrendered three runs (two earned) on two hits over five innings, striking out 14 and walking two.

Presley Jones got the nod for VFW also giving up three runs (two earned) over five innings. She struck out nine while issuing one walk and six hits to close her line.

Jackson Arrasin came in for relief in the top of the seventh inning with the go-ahead run in scoring position and one out. He retired both batters he faced to lock down the save.

Becker Sybirski, Cam Cureton, Jackson Arrasin, Cam Clark, Jake Martin, Gabe, and Kai each managed one hit to lead Rotary. Rotary was sure-handed in the field and didn’t commit a single error.

Rex Bradshaw led VFW with two hits in two at-bats, scoring twice and driving in one run. Sawyer Thomson led VFW with two stolen bases, as the team ran wild on the base paths with nine stolen bases.

An exciting, close game to launch the season!

For more information on LBLL including a schedule of upcoming games, visit www.beachbaseball.com.


LBHS girls water polo captures CIF State Southern Regional Championship

By Steve Riches

This past weekend, the LBHS girls water polo team finished its 33-1 season as Surf League, CIF-SS, and CIF State Southern Regional Champions. The first game of the Regional Championship on Friday was a 19-3 win against La Jolla HS from San Diego. Then, Saturday morning saw the girls battle Surf League rival Newport Harbor HS. In their sixth meeting this season, the game went to double overtime with the Breakers winning 10-9. In the final on Saturday evening, the Breakers secured a decisive 17-8 victory over The Bishop’s School from San Diego.

LBHS girls water polo captures

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LBHS girls water polo team finishes season as Surf League, CIF-SS, and CIF State Southern Regional Champions

“I cannot say enough about this group of girls and how special they are,” said Head Coach Ethan Damato. “To go through a season as tough as ours and only lose one game in the process is a testament to how consistent this team has been day in and day out. Whether it was a tournament game or a league game we knew that we were going to get everyone’s best every time we touched the water. We embraced that challenge, put in the work everyday at practice, and came ready to play for every game. I have no problem saying that I think they are the hardest working high school team in the country. Their commitment to each other and to this team is unparalleled. Honestly, I think that is what has carried us through in the toughest moments.”

Congrats to our Breakers girls!


LBHS girls water polo team defends CIF-SS Division 1 Championship

By Steve Riches

This past Saturday at the Woollett Aquatics Center in Irvine, the Laguna Beach Breakers girls water polo team staged an epic fourth quarter comeback to beat the Foothill Knights 7-6, winning their second consecutive CIF-SS D1 title. The girls have now won five of the last seven CIF-SS D1 water polo titles.

The game began with a defensive battle, with the Breakers down 0-1 at the end of the first quarter with three saves by freshman goalie Lauren Schneider. In the second quarter, the Breakers fought back with goals from UCLA-bound senior Morgan Van Alphen and junior left-hander Emma Lineback. 

LBHS girls water polo champs

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2020 CIF-SS D1 Champions

Going into the third quarter the Knights were still up by two goals. Despite goals by Van Alphen and junior Jessie Rose, the Breakers struggled to bridge the two-goal gap. 

The fourth quarter started with the breakers down 4-6. Then a drawn exclusion and a drawn penalty by junior Nicole Struss enabled two more goals for Lineback and the Breakers finally tied the score 6-6. A steal from goalie Schneider sparked the game-winning goal by Lineback, on an assist from Struss, for the 7-6 final score.

Today the Breakers play the La Jolla Vikings at Segerstrom HS in the first round of the CIF Regional Championships, at 4:20 p.m.

Game stats: Emma Lineback - 4 goals, 1 steal, 1 field block; Morgan Van Alphen - 2 goals, 1 assist; Jessie Rose 1 goal; Nicole Struss - 2 assists, 1 steal, 4 drawn exclusions, 1 drawn penalty; Molly Renner 2 assists, 1 steal; Rachael Carver - 1 assist, 2 steals; Imani Clemons - 1 drawn exclusion; Lauren Schneider - 8 saves, 1 steal.


Laguna Beach Girls Water Polo: CIF Division One Champions

Laguna Beach Girls Water Polo

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Photo by @lagunabernadoodle Instagram

Congrats to the Laguna Beach HS Girls Water Polo team for winning the CIF Division One Championship on Saturday! The girls rallied to defeat Foothill in a 7-6 victory. The team will now take on La Jolla at Segerstrom High School in the State CIF SoCal Regionals on Friday at 4:20 p.m. Go Beach!

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

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Mary Hurlbut is our Chief Photographer.

Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, Stacia Stabler and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists. Scott Brashier is our photographer.

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