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Category: Schools

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For Young Pilot, Perseverance Pays Off

For Young Pilot, Perseverance Pays Off

Ryan Raffo, a native of Laguna Beach and 2010 graduate of Laguna Beach High School, has always loved planes. As a child, he “flew” toy jets, imitating the engine sounds. At 12 he got his own flight simulator. His dad, Coleman Raffo, recalls his son’s response to a call for dinner: “I’ll be right there, […]

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Setting Sights on the Nation's Capital

Setting Sights on the Nation’s Capital

He grew up in the sand and surf, but fell in love with the Washington, D.C., region. Now, Laguna Beach High School graduate Weston Barnes is making his mark as a freshman at George Mason University. In high school, Barnes won a gold medal in Junior Olympics volleyball in 2011 and a silver medal in 2013. […]

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Class Notes

Class Notes

UCI Summer Programs Offer Scholarships UC Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts received a grant that will fund as need-based scholarships for Orange County students to attend the Summer Academies in the Arts, for middle and high school students ages 13-18.  They offer focused workshops in art, dance, drama and music. The grant also […]

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Students Compete in Unusual Contest

Students Compete in Unusual Contest

Members of a Thurston Middle School club participated in the Destination Imagination Challenge tournament at El Cajon’s Granite Hills High, an example of learning that includes a focus on critical thinking and communication, Principal Jenny Salberg said. The contest is sponsored by a non-profit organization whose purpose is to inspire and equip children to become […]

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In Appreciation

In Appreciation

It’s that time of the year when our graduating high school seniors anxiously await news of acceptance to the college they have their heart set on. There are also local scholarships to be awarded and panels who are diligently meeting to decide who the recipient’s will be this year. My youngest daughter, Sara, was lucky […]

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Getting High Tech Up to Speed

Getting High Tech Up to Speed

The school district’s new tech director vouched for the necessity of spending $900,000 over the next year to get the district up to speed with the high-tech direction public education is rapidly taking. “Speed is our biggest issue,” Mike Morrison, who was hired in February as the district’s chief technology director, told school board members […]

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Young Actor Scores Another Role

Young Actor Scores Another Role

Makenna Pitz was honored with a certificate of recognition by the Rotary Club as the Laguna Beach High School student of the month for March in the performing arts department. She will also receive a scholarship at the Honors Convocation to be held in June. Makenna performed in the high school’s spring musical. She plans […]

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Taking a Lesson in New Math Standards

Taking a Lesson in New Math Standards

Many students fall off the math train when the tracks switch between algebra and geometry.  If algebra doesn’t make sense, it’s hard to make the leap, much less go on to calculus, say experts in math education who spoke at a special school district board meeting Monday about new state standards for teaching math. Understanding […]

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Summer School Schedule Set

Summer School Schedule Set

Summer School will be offered weekdays in grades 1-8 beginning June 23 to July 18 at Top of the World Elementary. Classes begin at 8 a.m. and end at 12:15 p.m. They include remediation courses and English language support, both for students entering grades 1 – 5 For students in grades 6-8, courses available include […]

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Orchestrating Cultural Exchanges Near and Far

Orchestrating Cultural Exchanges Near and Far

Laguna Beach High School’s French teacher Odile Dewar instills Francophile culture in her classroom by tapping resources wherever she finds them. While attending a meeting of French speakers in San Diego last fall, Dewar overheard hotel employees speaking French and befriended Haitian-born Jean Coriolan, who became a liaison for a classroom project. Dewar directed her […]

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Bell Rings for Kindergarten Students

Bell Rings for Kindergarten Students

Registration and orientation sessions are scheduled this spring for parents of prospective kindergarten students, who will be 5 before Sept. 1 To be eligible for Transitional kindergarten, students must turn 5 between Sept. 2 and Dec. 2. At El Morro Elementary, parent orientation is Tuesday, April 1 at 6:30 p.m. and Thursday, May 15 at […]

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Thurston’s Fundraiser Sets ‘Out on the Town’

Thurston’s Fundraiser Sets ‘Out on the Town’

The public is invited to join Thurston Middle School parents for an entertaining night of dining and dancing downtown while supporting Thurston’s PTA. The Wednesday, April 9, event that begins at 6:15 p.m. includes two 45-minute stops followed by everyone coming together at Nirvana for the remainder of the night. Tickets are $70 each and […]

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Parents Receive a Pep Talk

Parents Receive a Pep Talk

By Kate Rogers, Special to the Independent Award-winning speaker and therapist Liz Jorgensen urged parents of teens to revive the collaborative and collective parenting environment that began when their children were young when they shared tips and strategies. This open, supportive environment is missing during the teen years when the stakes are so much higher, […]

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Schools’ Facilities Director Retires

Schools’ Facilities Director Retires

Ted Doughty, director of facilities for Laguna Beach schools for the past two years, will retire, effective June 30, the district announced Monday. Doughty’s retirement reflects continuing turnover among the district’s top ranks, which have included recent departures by the assistant superintendent and  directors of technology and human resources. Doughty has worked for 40 years […]