ESLA Family Newsletter, October 7, 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.

There will be NO After School Program (except for athletics) on the following dates:

  • THIS Tuesday, October 8 (3:10 p.m dismissal for all). The day before Yom Kippur.

  • Thursday, October 24 (2:20 p.m. dismissal for all). First day of parent conferences, and . . .

There will be NO CLASSES on the following dates:

  • For upper schoolers on Friday, October 18 (First quarter grading and comment-writing day).

  • For all students on Friday, October 25 (second day of parent conferences).

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This coming Spring Break, we will return to Haiti to visit Transfiguration School, ESLA’s partner school in Bainet, Haiti. This will be ESLA’s third visit to the school and they are excited to welcome us back. Our partnership reflects ESLA’s commitment to cultivating global relationships and experiences, and it’s a natural expression of our love and concern for the some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the world.

INFORMATION: An information session for Upper School students and parents with specific questions will take place on THIS Thursday morning (10/10) at 8:15 a.m. 

WHO: Upper Schoolers and Mr. Seamans, Mr. Thorne, and Serena Beeks (Director of Episcopal School for the Diocese of LA and co-coordinator for the Haiti/ US Schools Partnership Program).

WHEN: Departing late in the evening on first evening of Spring Break, Friday March 27. Returning some time on the April 4. Details available after we purchase airline tickets.

ITINERARY:         3/27, Friday – depart LA on a red-eye flight

3/28, Saturday – arrive in Port-au-Prince and drive to Bainet

3/29, Sunday – visit local parish and Episcopal community

                                3/30, Monday – visit Transfiguration School

3/31-4/1, Tuesday & Wednesday – explore the arts in Jacmel

  4/2, Thursday – explore capital city of Port-au-Prince

    4/3, Friday – depart Port-au-Prince for LA

(This itinerary is subject to change based on conditions in Haiti. Our guide, Serena Beeks, travels to Haiti several times a year and is very capable.)

A more detailed itinerary with hotels and addresses where we will be staying will be available closer to our trip.

 COST:                   $2,000 (estimated, including airfare)

                                Scholarship applications are available!

 CONTACTS:        The Rev. Timothy Seamans, 347-702-0805 (any time before the trip)

During the trip: Serena Beeks, 011 509 3853 9879. 

WHAT’S NEXT:     Spots are limited, and the first students to sign up will have first privileges. If you are interested, email Timothy Seamans ( ASAP. Students must give their commitment to go by Friday, November 1. A deposit securing your position must be made by Friday, November 22.


The Sunday Slowdown is Back!

Join us on Sunday, Oct 13 at 5:30 p.m. for an easygoing service inspired by music from the folk, African-American, Latinx, and classical sacred music traditions. Bring a picnic dinner and we’ll dine on the green after the service.

Andre Henry Speaking in Chapel

On Oct 14, ANDRE HENRY, who started lugging a giant boulder around the US in 2016 to protest injustice will be our guest chapel speaker. Andre will share his story and students will be able to ask questions (Commons-style). Chapel will be from 10:20 to 11:15 a.m. I encourage you to read more about Andre here and his writing here and here.

Morning Prayer, Tuesdays at 8:00 a.m.

Join the chaplains for a traditional, Episcopal service of Morning Prayer. This is a very informal and quiet service—and a great way to begin the day. You can participate or just listen. No experience necessary. You can also email things for which you would like us to pray.



This fall Upper School students sink their teeth into Theatre for Social Change and Musical Theatre electives with Ms. McCarron, and the cast of She Kills Monsters gets physical with stage combat rehearsal.

It’s not too late to join ESLA theatre clubs or tech crew:

      Mondays 3:30-4:30 pm            MS Drama Club

      Wednesdays 3:30-4:30 pm      She Kills Monsters Tech Crew

      Wednesdays 4:30-5:30 pm      Upper School Improv Club


On the horizon, the 5-Minute Play Festival!

Tuesday, October 15
4:30-5:30 p.m. on the Mears Stage

Playwrights include Joe Baldwin ’20, Sophia Grammer ’21, Mick Baldwin ’23, Taj Melhuish ’23, Edie Anderson ’25, and Grace Kazanjian ’26

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Athletics News

Notes from Athletics Director, Coach Mark Zalin:

ESLA Athletics had a banner week with Middle and Upper School Cross Country teams running all over Los Angeles! The mighty Coyote Varsity team ran at their home course in Elysian Park and the Middle School team ran at Kenneth Hahn State Park. There were a number of outstanding individual and team performances in both races as ESLA Varsity served notice as a force to be reckoned with in the Galaxy league of the CIF and the Middle School in the FIYA LA League. Kudos to Varsity Coach Janie Hannon and MS Coach Michelle Pound!

The Middle School Volleyball team traveled to Pilgrim School last Friday and won a decisive match. Coach Martha Mauricio has the Coyotes playing great volleyball.

The Varsity Volleyball team had a historic win at Stern Charter this past Thursday and begin the second half of the season on Monday at Camino Nuevo. They return to the court on Friday at Salvation Army vs the Boxers of Oscar De La Hoya High.

Stephen Smith continues to offer a club soccer program on Thursdays after school.

The versatility of the ESLA Student Athletes is great to see. Just one example among many, Senior Varsity Volleyball Co-captain, Katy Cooper, served out the win on the road Thursday, and less than 24 hours later won the Red-White Lip Sync competition along with Sophia Assencoa.

Thanks to all our fans for their support at venues across the Southland! We look forward to seeing you at a game soon! Go Coyotes!


Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-Teacher Conferences will take place on the afternoon of October 24 and the morning of October 25 (students will not have school on October 25). Parents can sign up for conferences on the Parent Portal. Registration details have been sent by Ms. Hannon. Please reach out to her at with any questions!


Miles to Go Program

A message from Martha Mauricio, Physical Education Teacher:

Jonathan Scott, from the ‘Miles to Go’ program, will be returning to our campus with his substance abuse curriculum in October.

This year we have included a Parent Meeting, which will be held on October 22 from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. This will be a great opportunity for you to meet Jonathan and ask some questions. 

Jonathan is a professional speaker and educator on the subject of substance abuse. He and his wife, Kelly Townsend, began the lecture series 20 years ago and they speak to the majority of independent schools in the Los Angeles area. The program is a lecture series that begins in 7th grade and runs through Upper School as a part of our Health Education curriculum. The Miles to Go website offers some helpful information for students, parents, and teachers about substance use education and prevention.

If you have any questions about our partnership with the ‘Miles to Go’ program please feel free to reach out to Martha Mauricio at

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A Message from Private School Village (PSV)

Do you or someone in your family identify as Black/African-American? If so, are you eager to connect with other families in Los Angeles private/independent schools? PrivateSchool Village (PSV) builds community by organizing social events, sharing resources, and providing programs for Black/African-American families in independent schools (K-12). Join us by going to and signing up. Then, join us each month as we socialize, (re)affirm culture, celebrate traditions, share resources and more. If you have questions, please contact Lisa Johnson at

ESLA is happy to connect our current families with PSV and its important programming. PSV is an independent nonprofit organization. Signing up is free!

ESLA Student Ambassadors are out on tour!

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

Until next week,
—Will Litton