ESLA Family Newsletter, January 29, 2019


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.

Eighth-grade students will be visiting the Jet Propulsion Laboratory TOMORROW (Wednesday).

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)


To honor Black History Month, the ESLA English and History departments will be facilitating weekly evening discussions of Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming, for the month of February. Our aim here is to examine Obama’s story within personal, literary, and historical contexts. If you are interested in attending, please order a copy of the book and be on the lookout for more details about dates and meeting times.

Last Call! 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). 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.

Want to Relive the Greatest Concert of All Time?

Just click here.

Migrant Caravan Drive.jpg

Final Day! Stand with Migrants!

The Service Council and Feminist Club, in conjunction with AMBOS Project, is hosting a one-week SUPER Drive to collect necessary supplies for migrants who have arrived at the US/Mexico border. Today is the final day to contribute! ESLA will be focusing its donations on travel-sized toiletries and feminine hygiene products, however, a more extensive wish list can be found here. See full instructions above!

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 45% participation and are counting on your help to reach our goal. 

This Thursday! 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:

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.

The DTLA Fashion District Lab Day Trip Invites up to 4 ESLA Parents to Join!

From Amanda Valenzuela, Upper School Coordinator:

70% of the LA Fashion District is comprised of wholesale-related business. Buyers, retailers, wholesalers, and designers all gather here, creating an exciting synergy that has become synonymous with Los Angeles fashion. The world looks to LA and the LA Fashion District for the cutting edge styles that are influencing the way the world dresses. Nearly every one of the more than 2000 vendors is staffed by Spanish-speakers, as are the dozens of tailor shops dotted along more than 100 blocks comprising the area. On this trip, students will be given ten specific tasks to complete, all in Spanish, ranging from buying cultural objects, ordering lunch, finding specific stores (and items in those stores) and inquiring about pricing and specifics about the variety of commercial items sold. The students will have an opportunity to explore a part of the city they may never have been to before and to interact with and interview a huge variety of Spanish-speaking vendors, all of whom may be from a variety of Spanish-speaking countries. The target audience for this trip is Upper School students enrolled in Spanish 2 and above. Up to 4 ESLA parents are also invited to join Mr. Villaverde, Mr. Brooks, Ms. Valenzuela, and our student group to learn how to navigate the fashion district.

Cost: About $10 for a TAP Card (including round-trip fare)

When: Feb. 8, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Please contact Ryan Villaverde at if you are interested in joining us.

¡El viaje al Distrito de las Modas en El Centro de Los Ángeles invita a 4 Padres de ESLA a viajar con nosotros!

Se encuentra en Los Ángeles un distrito distinto llamado el distrito de las modas. Es un distrito que abarca cientos de negocios independientes que venden al mayoreo. Comerciantes, vendedores, y mayoristas trabajan juntos haciendo una sinergía muy emocionante que ha sido sinónimo con la moda de nuestra cuidad. El mundo entero nos mira (a los habitantes de Los Ángeles) y admira a este único distrito como guía con su moda innovadora; se influye el atuendo del mundo. Cada uno de los miles de vendedores está dirigido por un hispanohablante, tal como las docenas de costureros que se encuentra por sus cientos de cuadras componen el área. En este viaje, los estudiantes tendrán diez tareas para hacer, todo en español, como comprar objetos culturales, pedir comida, encontrar tiendas específicas (y artículos en esas tiendas) y preguntar de los precios y detalles sobre una variedad de artículos comerciales vendidos en el vecindario. Los estudiantes tendrán la oportunidad de explorar una parte de la ciudad que, acaso, no habrían tenido antes la oportunidad de explorar, e interactuar y entrevistar a una gran variedad de hispanohablantes que pueden ser de una variedad de países. El viaje fue planeado para los estudiantes del Upper School inscritos en español dos o en niveles más altos. Con mucho gusto invitamos a cuatro padres de ESLA para acompañarnos y aprender navegar el distrito al lado del Sr. Villaverde, Sr. Brooks, la Sra. Valenzuela y nuestro grupo de estudiantes.

Costo: Aprox. $10 para comprar un Tarjeta TAP (lo cual incluye la tarfia de ida y vuelta)

Fecha: 8 de Feb., 8:30 a.m. a 3 p.m.

Si a Ud. le interesa participar, favor de ponerse en contacto con el Sr. Villaverde

This Friday! Eighth Grade Semi-Formal!

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

THIS 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.


Annie Auditions!

Save the date for Spring Musical Auditions!

Students auditioning for a lead role (Annie, Warbucks, Grace, Ms. Hannigan, Rooster, or Lily) will audition Monday, February 11 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.

Students auditioning for any other role will audition Tuesday, February 12 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.

The cast list will be posted at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 13.


Intro to the ESLA Capstone

From Jane McCarron, Capstone Coordinator:

Dear Parents of the Class of 2020,

You are cordially invited to attend a brief info session on the ESLA Capstone Project. Although the info session is not mandatory, we will be going over the nuts and bolts of the capstone project as well as how parents can best support their students. If you are unable to attend but would like set up a time to go over the material, please reach out via email to set up an appointment. We look forward to including you in the incredible work your students are doing at ESLA.

The meeting is Wednesday, February 27 from 5 to 5:30 p.m. in Mears Auditorium at First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood.

Questions, comments, or submissions? Send them my way:

Until next week,
—Will Litton