Letter: School year ending is new beginning

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We all want our young people to have big dreams come true, including the LBHS Class of 2024. We are reminded that our highest duty is to give children hope for the future, knowing we care about their choices and that what they do with their lives matters.

We do that best by supporting families and students through proven education programs that empower young people with competence and skills to endure challenges, but still find their purpose and succeed.

Now, as the 2023–2024 school year ends, we hear more voices in the public school community committed to balancing modernization and tradition to enrich the quality of both education and family life in our town.

That includes the Laguna Beach Parents Club (LBPC), exemplifying local “self-help” networks supporting resourceful parents seeking a balance in life and school best for themselves and their children.

LBPC recently was to co-host a “Parents Night Out” in partnership with SchoolPower, our most prominent public school “self-help” organization. That kind of collaboration is how small-town cohesiveness is strengthened even as we innovate and modernize, especially when we reach out to meet special needs in the community.

The volunteer civic coalition Sensible Laguna is another example of positive grassroots “self-help” and bottom-up activism that can unite people instead of top-down outcomes that too often divide us.

When the school board rejected proposed neighborhood and community consultations before funding plans for modernization of LBHS and LBUSD offices, the Sensible Laguna network did research and data gathering school board and staff failed to do.

Sensible Laguna didn’t cause but thankfully exposed a glaring lack of an informed meeting of the minds between the city council and school board regarding costs, management, benefits and burdens of a new expanded combination city and public school aquatics facility.

That turned out to be the tip of the iceberg ahead for the school board facilities plans. Sensible Laguna reminds us positive change requires telling hard truths, and the harder the truth the truer the friend who tells it.

For my generation of local school alumni, LBPC and Sensible Laguna are reminiscent of successful self-help networking by our grandparents in 1930s and 1940s, when our parents, aunts and uncles attended the new high school, always a neighborhood school serving the whole community, which needed and got active public support.

Howard Hills, LBHS Class of 1970

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