ESLA Family Newsletter, October 22, 2018

We’ve got some very spooky programming coming down the pipeline, folks. A haunted house! Calaveras! Even parent-teacher conferences!

It’s another jam-packed newsletter for you this week. So without further delay…


As always, your agenda from today until The Update is embedded below. Remember, you can always check the ESLA Agenda on this site by navigating to “My ESLA” > “ESLA Agenda” or simply plugging into your navigation bar.

Commons Talk this Thursday!

Thursday, October 25, 10:0010:30 a.m.
ESLA Commons Talk with 
Dr. Shini Somara
Event location: Mears Hall 

Dr. Shini Somara translates cutting-edge science into warm-hearted and engaging television. She has always enjoyed demystifying the secrets behind pioneering technology and innovation. Her work can be seen on a variety of networks including BBC World News, BBC America, Sky and Discovery and PBS Digital Studios. Shini is now based in London, where her most recent work can be seen on the BBC. Before then, most of her broadcast experience was gained in the USA, hosting TechKnow for Al Jazeera America from Los Angeles. 

Dr. Somara is an advocate for STEM education and is proud to be a female mechanical engineer. You can hear her new podcast called Scilence  here:

You can find a complete list of upcoming Commons Talks below: 

Parents and friends are welcome to attend these conversations. We request that parents and friends who would like to attend RSVP prior to your visit by emailing Ms. Aguiniga: 

All Saint’s Day and Día de los Muertos

A note from the chaplains:

We are celebrating All Saint’s Day and Día de los Muertos in chapel on Wednesday, October 31. As part of that celebration, we remember those close to us who have passed, and we read the names of the dead. If you would like a name read during the service, please email Mr. Thorne ( with that name, your relationship to the deceased, and any notes on pronunciation.

Students are also invited, starting today, to bring in photographs and other objects for our Ofrenda and to join the Vestry and the Art Department in open studio to make paper marigolds and ceramic skulls.

Middle schoolers continue their work on clay calaveras in open studio this week for Dia de Los Muertos. Featured work of: Julian, Plum, Harriet, Auden, Josie, Sasha, Mahlete, Mia, and Ava.

All Hallows’ Eve is Coming!

Some very important Halloween announcements from your ESLA Community Life Council!

Tuesday, October 30 (All Hallows’ Eve Eve)

CLC will host a Halloween party and Haunted House from 3:30 to 5:45 p.m.! Students are encouraged to stay after school for cookie decorating, a screening of The Nightmare Before Christmas, and a spooky tour of ESLA's second annual Haunted House. CLC will provide all the entertainment and pizza. Think Tank will be available for students who need to get ahead before the big night.

Wednesday, October 31 (All Hallows’ Eve)

Students are encouraged to wear costumes to school! There will be a Red/White costume contest at lunch. Costumes must comply with free dress rules in the ESLA Student Handbook. Students will be asked to remove masks and hats for class and chapel. This should go without saying, but just to cover our bases here: No ESLA student may come to school with a weapon, real or fake.

Upper School students will host an Improv Show from 3:15 to 4:00 p.m. in the Cellar! Parents are welcome to park in the Carlos lot and come watch the show. There is no after school programing on Halloween other than the improv show. All students are dismissed from class at 3:00 p.m., and must be picked up by 4:00 p.m.

Parent-Teacher Conferences!

A message from your fearless leaders, Jay Johnson, Head of Middle School, and Jason Brooks, Head of Upper School:

We are excited to announce that our Parent-Teacher conferences will be held on Friday, November 2 from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Parents and Guardians are welcome to register for conferences on the Parent Portal ( Conferences are not required but can be a very useful means to establish communication and check in with your student’s teachers.

Here are the steps for registration:

  1. Log in to the Parent Portal.

  2. Click on the “Student” tab.

  3. On the left side of the screen, click on the “Teacher Conferences” link.

  4. On the Teacher Conferences Page, you can select each of your child’s teachers and book their available times.

  5. If you do not see a teacher you wish to meet with, please email

For any technical issues with logging in or navigating the portal, please submit a technology ticket by emailing Stephen Smith, Director of Technology, at

If you have any general questions, please email Jay Johnson ( or Jason Brooks (

Suspect Everyone

Save the Date!

ESLA's Main Stage production of The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie opens Tuesday, November 6.

  • Tuesday, November 6, 4:00–6:00 p.m.

  • Wednesday, November 7, 5:00–7:00 p.m.

  • Thursday, November 8, 5:00–7:00 p.m.

  • Monday, November 12, 5:00–7:00 p.m.

  • Tuesday, November 13, 5:00–7:00 p.m.

All shows take place on Mears Stage at First Pres., and performances run approximately two hours. Tickets can be purchased at the door. They are free to ESLA students and faculty and $5 for family and friends.

Join the Lessons and Carols Choir!

A message from Jay Johnson, Lord of Pipes:

Come one, come all! If you are in the festive spirit and wish to be a part of our incredible Lessons and Carols Choir, please contact Jay Johnson at The Lessons and Carols Choir sings traditional Christmas Carols for our school service on Thursday evening, December 13. We need Sopranos, Altos, Tenors, and Basses. (We have always had a shortage of men, so, fellas, if you have always wanted to sing in a choir but do not want that pesky long-term commitment, now is your chance!) No singing experience required, rather a good musical ear and a willingness to sing fun carols. If you want to know more, just email Jay or speak with a former member. Students, parents, friends, grandparents—all are welcome!

Rehearsal Schedule:

  • Wednesday, November 7 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., FPCH Choir Room

  • Wednesday, November 14 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., FPCH Choir Room

  • Wednesday, November 28 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., FPCH Choir Room

  • Monday, December 3 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., FPCH Choir Room

  • Wednesday, December 12 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., FPCH Choir Room

Performance: Thursday, December 13, 6:00 until 8:00 p.m., FPCH Sanctuary

¡Los coyotes están en los playoffs!

ESLA athletics continue to excel as the fall season winds down. Both Middle School and Upper School Cross Country Teams have posted a number of individual and team best records this season.

Last Wednesday, with Coach Mauricio out representing ESLA at a professional development course, Two-Time Coach of the Year, Janie Hannon, and Varsity Volleyball Coach, Mark Zalin, teamed up to coach the Middle School Volleyball team at APEX. With the game held locally, a large and vocal contingent of ESLA students, faculty, and family packed the stands as our Coyotes scored a decisive victory!

And finally, the Girls Varsity Volleyball Team closed out its inaugural CIF league season with a resounding three-set sweep and were rewarded for their efforts this season by the California Interscholastic Federation with a berth in the Championship playoffs! That’s right, our very first official CIF varsity team has made it to the dance! They will travel to top-ranked USC Hybrid School tomorrow, Tuesday, October 23 for a match at 6:00 p.m.

Go Coyotes!

Middle School Lab Days!

A reminder from Laura Spencer, Middle School Coordinator:

Our next round of Middle School Lab Days is coming up on Friday, November 9. We have some exceptional programming lined up. Students in the sixth grade will be heading to the Getty Villa; students in the seventh grade will visit the Museum of Tolerance; and students in the eighth grade will travel to the Reagan Library.

We need permission forms from all families for these trips! Your students should be returning home with permission forms in hand, but just in case, please find the relevant pdfs using the buttons below:

35x35: Dual Vision

A message from Karla Aguiñiga, Visual Arts Faculty and Curatorial Mastermind:

This coming Wednesday, October 24, 2018 at 6:00 pm is the opening reception of 35 x 35: Dual Vision, Ms. Aguiñiga's latest curatorial project. 35x35 is an annual group exhibition held at the Mexican Cultural Center featuring works by 35 LA-based Mexican American writers, musicians, and visual artist under the age of 35.

35x35: Dual Vision Opening Reception:
Wednesday, October 24, 2018 at 6:00 pm
Centro Cultural & Cinematográfico México
Consulado General de México en Los Ángeles

2401 W 6th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90057

Music by Zuri Adia 

Please RSVP here:

In the event that you cannot attend the opening reception, there will be plenty of other chances to see the exhibition. You can find dates below for the additional programming:

Film Screening: Tuesday, October 30th. 2018 / 6:00 PM
Reading: Tuesday, November 6th, 2018 / 6:00 PM
Artist Forum: Tuesday, November 13th, 2018 / 6:00 pm 
Concert 35x35: Thursday, November 15th, 2018 / 6:00 pm

Questions or comments? Send them my way:

Until next week,
—Will Litton