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Laguna Beach USD opts to keep in-person board meetings amid COVID-19 surge

Correction: Due to a reporting error, an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the outcome of the school board's vote. The Independent regrets the error. The Laguna Beach Unified School District’s Board of Education agreed to continue meeting in person amid a nationwide surge of COVID-19 cases but will...

Laguna Beach USD names 2021-22 employees of the year

A Thurston Middle School social studies teacher and district human resources assistant were selected as the 2021-22 employees of the year for the Laguna Beach Unified School District Megan Bhaskaran was named as Teacher of the Year and Kelli Merda was chosen as the Classified Employee of the Year earlier...

Anneliese School animals programs bring the classroom to barnyard

By Barbara McMurray, Special to the Independent The Animal Learning Program at Anneliese Schools is a point of pride at the private institution whose hallmark is providing unique educational opportunities for nursery school through sixth graders. With its creative approach to learning, Anneliese is among the first to successfully implement...

Laguna Beach teacher recognized by Navy for mentoring sailor

Laguna Beach High School teacher Jonathan Todd, was surprised in his classroom on Nov. 4 with the Navy’s Impact Influencer Award. This service recognizes educators like Todd for having a positive impact in the lives of future sailors. Todd’s former student, Jack Strickland, was accepted into the Navy’s Nuclear Engineering program,...

Laguna Beach High School students present authentic research proposals

Laguna Beach High School’s Authentic Exploratory Research (AER) Program students presented their project proposals during a special class session on Oct. 13. Teachers and students of the Palo Alto Unified School District’s Advanced Authentic Research program and their mentors joined the class via Zoom to collaborate and offer feedback. High school...

Anneliese Names New Head of Willowbrook Campus

Anneliese Schools has tapped Wendy Bana as Head of School of the Willowbrook Campus, the private school announced in a press release Wednesday. Bana returns to Anneliese Schools with experience as an educator and administrator. In her previous role as Head of School for LePort Schools in Irvine, she directed...

Laguna Beach PTAs announce 13th annual sports swap

The Thurston Middle School and Laguna Beach High School PTAs will hold their annual Sports Swap at 8 a.m. on Nov. 6 to collect donations of unused sports gear and equipment. Please call or send a text message to Sports Swap Chair Jimmy Azadian at 818-645-9177 if you wish to...

Laguna Beach USD won’t require COVID-19 testing for students

By Breeana Greenberg, Special to the Independent The Laguna Beach Unified School District’s Board of Education voted Sept. 9 against requiring all students to get tested for COVID-19. A motion to require a one-time COVID-19 test for students attending campuses failed on a 2-3 vote (Board Members Dee Perry, Jan Vickers,...

A New Language School Steeped in Encouragement — and Love

By Barbara McMurray, Special to the Laguna Beach Independent “Bravo, come parli bene!” (“Wow, how well you speak!”) Sean Cook heard this often as a young man fulfilling his post-college dream of living in Italy in the 1990s. No matter how clumsy, nonsensical, or unintentionally X-rated his attempts at speaking,...

School Board Debates Mandated COVID Testing as Cases Rise

By Breeana Greenberg, Special to the Independent At a special meeting last Friday, the Laguna Beach School Board discussed mandating testing and directing staff to further investigate the District’s options to require students to get tested after 21 positive COVID cases and 44 students and staff quarantined. “My biggest concern is...