ESLA Family Newsletter, January 14, 2019

Dust off your umbrellas and galoshes. It’s time for a deluge of news.


As always, your agenda from today until the end of time 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.

The sixth-grade Getty Villa field trip is TODAY, Monday, January 14!

A Heads Up on upcoming "No After-School Program Days": After-school activities (with the exception of any scheduled musical and athletics practices) will be adjusted on two days this trimester, as follows:

  • Wednesday, February 13 (no activities for Middle or Upper School)

  • Thursday, February 21 (no activities for Middle School)

Financial Aid Deadlines Are Coming Up

From Peter McCormack, Interim Head of School:

Families wishing to be considered for financial aid for the coming school year are reminded to submit their paperwork to the portal here no later than February 1 (and 2018 tax returns to support applications by February 15; if the Federal Government shutdown interferes with this deadline, we’ll figure out a workaround). Returning families have priority over new families only up until February 1. Instructions in English are here and here.

If you have problems with any aspect of the submission, including uploading your 2018 tax forms, do not hesitate to contact either Peter McCormack at or Kristen Johnson at

Instrucciones en español están aqui y aqui.

ESLA Annual Fund 2018-2019!

A message from Marcia Berman, Director of Development:

ESLA's Annual Fund drive is in full swing! Thank you to everyone who made a gift or pledge. For those who haven’t participated yet, we hope you will support this very important campaign which benefits all students throughout the year. Contributions to the Annual Fund are tax-deductible and go directly to the school's highest priorities.

Our goal is 100% parent participation. Therefore, we ask for your support with a gift of any amount. Not only does your gift have an immediate impact, but your participation helps us attract and inspire foundations and others to partner with us in furthering our mission and educational experience for all students.

Currently, we are at 35% participation and are counting on your help to reach our goal.

Participation by Grade:

6th – 35%
7th – 21%
8th – 48%
9th – 37%
10th – 41%
11th – 25%
12th – 35%

Help us reach our goal!

All gifts and pledges are due by June 30. 

Gifts can be made online at, mailed to the school c/o Development Office or contact Marcia Berman in the Development Office at for further assistance.

Thank you!

Shadow Days are in full swing, and our students make great hosts! Huge thanks to Mrs. Zalin for coordinating these important opportunities for our applicants!

Special Parent Seminar on Cyber Education

A message from Polly Grant, Learning Specialist and School Psychologist:

Please join the ESLA community for a special Parent Seminar:  Creating a Family Plan around Texting, Gaming, Surfing, YouTube, Social Media, and More.

Guest Speaker: Lori Getz, Cyber Education Specialist
Thursday, January 31, 8:00–10:00 a.m.
First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood

Parents are welcome to park in the larger lot on Carlos Ave. 

  • Are you having regular conversations in the house around texting, social media, YouTube, Netflix, and Fortnite?

  • Have you ever wondered if you are setting the right rules around technology use? 

  • Do you wonder if other parents allow their children more or less access?

Come learn strategies and the language that will help break down walls and get everyone having more meaningful conversations about texting, gaming, YouTube, social media, screen time, and the role technology plays in emotional, mental, and physical health and wellness. 

Lori Getz, M.A., is an educator, mother, author and Internet safety expert. She has appeared on the “Dr. Phil Show,” “Today,” “HLN,” “Dr. Drew” and several other local news and radio programs (including the Ryan Seacrest show on KIIS FM). She often lectures live, speaking to parents, teachers and students across the country. Lori recently authored “The Tech Savvy User’s Guide to the Digital World,” a book for tweens and teens.  Her insight comes from both her professional and personal life working with children, teens and adults.

Please RSVP to Polly Grant:

Talent Show.jpg

ESLA Talent Show!

ESLA’s first Talent Show will be held Wednesday, January 23, 4:00–6:00 p.m. on Mears Stage.

Middle School Drama Club will perform the opening act! 9 Angry Pigs is a ten-minute play based on the classic film 12 Angry Men, and stars Nola Bowie '25, Clara Mothersbaugh '25, Julian Latourelle '24, Demi Lavapies '24, Mina Lavapies '24, Auden Ophuls '25, Harriet Ophuls '25, JD Staggs '24, and Ava Walton '25.

We have an outstanding range of talent signed up for auditions in two weeks. As students prepare their acts, Community Life Council will be working behind the scenes to bring ESLA spirit (and food) to the main event.

Monday, January 14, 3:30–5:30 p.m.: Preliminary Audition  

Students at this audition will either receive approval to perform in the show, or be asked to rework their act and audition again on Thursday.

Thursday, January 17, 3:30–5:30 p.m.: Final Audition

Students must receive approval at this audition to perform in the show.

Opening Soon!

Missing Milligans by Sophia Grammer '21
February 4, 5, and 7
4:00 p.m., Mears Stage

ESLA Sophomore Sophia Grammer's debut production Missing Milligans is a dark comedy set in the halls of your average high school. Part mystery, part drama, and part comedy, Sophia's play features a not-so-average cast of characters played by Sidney Abramson '24, Joe Baldwin '20, Oliver Barnes '25, Katy Cooper '20, Sophia Grammer '21, Grace Hall '23, Cassius Hatosy '24, Caroline LaDage '23, and Stella Walsh '21.

Eighth Grade Semi-Formal!

Attention Eighth Grade Parents! A message from Shelby Bartlett, Party Queen:

On Friday, February 1, our Student Life Team will host ESLA's first Eighth Grade Semi-Formal! The dance will go from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood. A select group of eighth graders have volunteered to help put together this exciting event. Ms. Bartlett and Mrs. Spencer ask that a few eighth grade parents provide snacks for the event. Please email Shelby Bartlett ( if you'd like to contribute a few sweet or savory snacks for the event (no nuts, please). We are looking forward to a fun evening!

ESLA Seeks a Venue for the Junior and Senior Prom!

Another message from Shelby Bartlett, whose appetite for partying is truly endless:

The Student Life team has already started planning the Junior and Senior prom. And our first step is to seek out a venue for the event. We are calling on the ESLA parent body to help us brainstorm potential locations for this annual event! 

The prom will be Saturday, April 27 from 7:00 to 10:30 p.m. We're hoping the venue will be within a 20 minute drive from FPCH. And that the venue can hold 120 people. 

Please send any recommendations to our Director of Student Life, Shelby Bartlett,

The Academic Council 'Bring the Heat' Award

The 'Bring the Heat Award' and the 'Bring the Teach Award' strive to award those students and teachers who have shown outstanding efforts inside and outside of the classroom while encouraging other students’ academic success.

The Academic Council has been curating this award for a couple years, and now we’re bringing it to the Newsletter!

Bring the Heat, January 10:

Middle School: Maxi Choo

“This student has put forth effort to receive extra help when solving a problem. He is raising his hand more and contributing to the conversation.”

Upper School: Daisy Carlisle

“This student continually submits thought-provoking, passionate writing. Her honest curiosity and desire to grow are inspiring to her teachers and peers.”

Bring the Teach: Ms. Valenzuela

“This teacher takes her time with students and uses different tactics to ensure that I understand Spanish in her class.”

Kindly Slow Your Roll, Please

Hollywood Presbyterian Children's Center has asked that our drivers SLOW DOWN on Yucca and La Baig! We want to be good to our neighbors, so please drive carefully and slowly, especially in all this rain.

Questions or comments? Send them my way:

Until next week,
—Will Litton