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LBUSD COVID-19 Dashboard

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LBUSD COVID-19 Dashboard

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Courtesy of LBUSD

For more information and to access the dashboard, visit


LBUSD COVID-19 Dashboard

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Courtesy of LBUSD

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LBHS JV Girls Water Polo Team wins Surf League Title with 6-0 record

The Laguna Beach High School JV Girls Water Polo Team won the 2021 Surf League Title, finishing undefeated at 6-0.

The following are the statistics for the season:

LBHS JV team

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Submitted photo

Junior Varsity Girls Water Polo Team - 2021

vs. Los Alamitos


Led by Lexi Parness with a hat trick 

Goalie Natasha Denny 9 saves 

vs. Newport Harbor


5 players with 2 goals each 

Goalie Natasha Denny with a full-court goal 

vs. CdM 


Led by London Boyd with a hat trick, Lauren Smith with 2 goals 

vs. Newport 


Led by Lauren Short With 2 goals 

vs. CDM 


Led by Myha Pinto with a brace and Jordan Schneider warning 3 penalties that each resulted in goals 

vs. J Serra 


Good team win with many scorers 

Led by Lauren Short with 4 goals and Emmy Hensley with a hat trick

LBUSD COVID-19 Dashboard

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LBHS Varsity Girls Tennis

LBHS Varsity Girls Tennis

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Jessica MacCallum, LBHS freshman who is a 5-star national tennis recruit, in singles match vs Aliso Niguel on Friday, March 26

Board of Education hears update on equity work, examines what that means for LBUSD


Laguna Beach Unified School District board members received an update on equity work in the district during a study session last week.

In response to racially fueled events across the country, the board approved a resolution in Support of Anti-racist Education in October. To support the effort of design and implementation, LBUSD engaged in a partnership with Education Elements, a K12 company that consults with schools, districts, and learning organizations. The resolution states that the district will purchase, develop, and offer training resources that support critical dialogue and effective implementation of anti-racist practices across all of LBUSD. 

Most of the discussion on Thursday (March 25) centered on determining what definition of educational equity suits the LBUSD community and how to tailor a plan to best support progress for LBUSD.

“I so look forward to identifying what equity is for us, as a community, which is what this work…is for,” said board President Carol Normandin.

It’s a journey and there is still a long way to go, said LBUSD Superintendent Jason Viloria. The district has been working with a number of teachers, local groups, and other stakeholders to continue to address issues as they come up. There are blind spots in the work and this program aims to fill in the holes, he said.

Thinking about what they want equity to look like at LBUSD, Education Elements Design Principal Maryell Hernández said it starts with recognition.

“Educational equity in Laguna Beach Unified School District will progress when we first realize that our systems of communication and restoration no longer fit our community’s needs (and never worked for some),” she said. “Focusing on upgrading those outmoded systems will allow us to more rapidly improve and innovate towards the equitable future our students deserve.”

Board of Education Protesters

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Anti-racism protesters at Main Beach last year

As the program moves forward, the team will reach out to the broader community to include more perspectives, added Education Elements Managing Partner Dave Hardy.

“It’s very clear that this is a community that deeply cares about this work and that the steps that you’re taking to get there start with conversations like this. So I applaud you all, not only for that dialogue, but the continued dialogue about what is right for your community,” Hardy said. “What is so powerful about this moment is the recognition that there is a lot of work to do.”

Last year was a critical point of reflection for the team to update their own definition of educational equity, said Education Elements Design Principal Justin Toomer. 

“For us, it was a really powerful experience to kind of take the initial definition of what we thought educational equity was and really workshop that around the country with a number of great thought leaders,” he said. “It really pushed us.”

Considering everything that led up to that point, the team worked out a definition: “Educational Equity is the recognition that the barriers that marginalized students face are due to deliberate actions and biases, and therefore requires us to dedicate a greater amount of resources to remove them.”

Marginalized students need to know their worth and find their voice, Toomer said, and educators and administrators need to ensure they are aware of that and know their own responsibilities in helping remove those barriers. The fact that we are still seeing certain things that different populations of students are calling for, while it may not be the result of direct intention of the institution, these are elements of the systems that need to be named and interrogated, he explained.

“If we want to actually shift these barriers and become more equitable, we actually need to dedicate a greater amount of resources, tools, time, strategy, and understanding, in order to remove those barriers,” Toomer said. “It’s not just enough for us to call them out, it’s really important that we realize that it’s going to take extra work to not just recognize them, but to then eradicate them.”

Sharing a few different visual examples of equity versus equality, Toomer asked the board for reactions on what they each feel is the best description for LBUSD. Those that responded each had different perspective on the examples, but essentially agreed that they want to ensure the proper resources are distributed in a manner that allows the same access for all learners, while broadening the definition of success to increase access for a wider variance of learners.

Borad of Education Iceberg

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Courtesy of Education Elements and LBUSD

The iceberg of inequities as presented by Education Elements

Hardy shared an iceberg as a visual of inequities. 

Above the water (the tip of the iceberg) is what people see, feel, and hear (things seen in the news or things the community as a whole reacts to, like racist jokes, bullying, or hate speech, etc.). They are overt, blatantly wrong, and socially unacceptable.

The water line is the “engagement line,” meaning the line between what people generally do or do not engage in/with.

Things below the water are what some people may see, feel, hear, but not the collective community (usually day-to-day interactions or systemic discrimination, like racial microaggressions, hiring discrimination, cultural appropriation, gap in student achievement based on race, wealth, gender, etc., certain low expectations, or token “one-off” weeks, months, or activities). They are covert, often overlooked, and socially or passively accepted. 

There is much more below the line. These invisible conditions drive the systems and prevent change, Hardy said.

“We don’t check people on those, we kind of allow those to become the norm,” he said. “And that is what actually is creating the systems, in so many ways that create the inequities that we see today.” 

The first step is starting the conversation. The district needs to learn and get feedback before implementing actions, Toomer said. It’s also very important not to make any assumptions during the process, he added.

“It’s really easy to assume that we all want to eradicate certain things or that it’s important that we all celebrate certain things, but for me, as someone who is still getting to know the community, it’s important that we learn first about what you value before we come in telling you, ‘Hey, you need to recognize this’ (or) ‘Hey, this isn’t happening correctly.’ That’s not how we’re going to get to a place of sustainability,” Toomer said.

Addressing the issues below the engagement line is going to take more time. The district needs to first learn the base line of the community before offering specific recommendations or actions, Toomer said, to ensure that it provides the right kind of support.

The team also presented their methodology and timeline for LBUSD.

Board of Education LBHS

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Anti-racist practices will be implemented across all of LBUSD

Step one is inventory and prioritization, conducting analysis to understand different equitable indicators within your system.

LBUSD is about to move into step two, “connect,” which unpacks the challenge by understanding the experience of stakeholders and by those most deeply impacted.

Step three is “include,” which aims to include and elevate the voices of stakeholders at the margins. LBUSD should be in this phase in the fall. These are the voices that are the least heard or the least involved in the design process, Howell said. That doesn’t mean the district isn’t taking any action as things arise throughout the process.

Step four is to “create,” and involves designing prototypes that create equitable outcomes for all students. This could happen for LBUSD by Spring 2022.

Step five is “action,” which includes the implementation of a redesigned system and/or equity plan. This will start in fall and be ongoing.

The steering committee will continue to guide and shape the work along the way. The board will still ultimately be the decision-making body.

The district ought to truly understand perspectives and experiences before moving toward long-term action, Hardy said. The path to action needs to be safe and sustainable.

To address the bottom of the iceberg, the district needs to be thoughtful about the process to ensure it is tackling the right areas and challenges, and coming up with the right solutions.

Next stages include a community engagement plan and a stakeholder listening tour. A website is also in development that will share the progress, ideas, and communication.

“Overall, we’ve got some really good insights up to this point with regards to a lot of the different stakeholders that we think, historically, have not been served,” Toomer said. “I’m really excited to get to those stages of the work.”

LBUSD COVID-19 Dashboard

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LBUSD COVID-19 Dashboard

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For more information and to access the dashboard, visit


LBUSD COVID-19 Dashboard

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For more information and to access the dashboard, visit


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