ESLA Family Newsletter, April 29, 2019

We’re entering the final month of the school year, and we’ve got news, news, 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.


Three more opportunities to catch Annie THIS WEEK!

April 30, May 1, and 2*
4:00-6:00 pm 
Mears Stage  

First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood

Tickets are $5 for friends and family, and free to ESLA students, faculty and staff.
Tickets will be sold at the door to the theatre, and seating is first come first serve.
Doors open at 3:30 pm. The show runs 2 hours with one 10-minute intermission.

*On May 2nd, the Theatre Department will honor our graduating seniors and the inaugural members of the ESLA chapter of The International Thespian Society.

International Thespian Society

In order to become an International Thespian Troupe, at least six Upper School students must individually complete over 100 hours of theatre at the high school level. ESLA is very proud to announce that in a record six years of Upper School student enrollment, ESLA has not only six, but ten qualified thespians. We will honor their commitment to the study and practice of theatre on closing night of Annie, May 2nd at 4 pm. Please join us to celebrate Luke Cahill '19, Maya Feuilladieu '19, Morgan Hall '19, Lara Hawley '19, Joseph Baldwin '20, Fred Casildo '21, Sophia Grammer '21, Chloe Hamori '21, Rex Rath '21, and Stella Walsh '21.


Join the Parent Ambassador Squad!

A message from me, Will Litton, your humble Director of Admissions:

The dust has settled after yet another whirlwind, record-breaking admissions season. We had our largest pool of applicants to date, and we’ll welcome our largest class of new students next fall. Many thanks to our community for the support and good will that made this possible.

Now it’s time to RUN IT BACK, and I’ll need your help. We’re going to begin formally scaling our outreach and admissions programs—both to serve our rapidly growing applicant pool, and to keep spreading the word. Current parents and guardians will play a central role.

To that end, I’m officially launching the Parent Ambassador Squad, the admissions and outreach volunteer group of the Parent Association.

Members of the Squad will serve in either or both of these capacities next school year:

  1. Outreach:
    a.     Establish and grow relationships with key constituents at feeder schools
    b.     Promote ESLA through personal networks and social media
    c.     Attend occasional school fairs and other events

  2. Admissions:
    a.     Host and interview applicant families
    b.     Prepare reports for the admissions committee

Time commitments will be flexible and vary widely. On one end of the spectrum, outreach work can be as simple as placing a few phone calls to constituents and checking in with me on a monthly basis. On the other end, folks who are serious about hosting and interviewing applicant families could easily commit 40 hours of work during the months of January and February.

 If you’ve been itching to contribute to ESLA in a substantial way, here’s your opportunity. This work will be essential to the life and growth of our school.

 To register your interest, please click the button below and complete the brief form. I’ll reach out to folks and assemble the Squad at least once before we break for summer.

Many thanks, in advance!


Upper School FINALS Schedule!

Thursday, May 23 - Language
Friday, May 24 - Math
Tuesday, May 28 - History
Wednesday, May 29 - Science
Thursday, May 30 - English

Coming Up This Thursday. RSVP Now!

Parents, please save the date: Thursday, May 2, 6:45 - 8:45 p.m. As part of putting together our strategic plan for the next few years, we want to hear from you. We’ll discuss our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges in nine different areas.

Please RSVP to if you are available and would like to attend this event. (We will also be doing a version of this with students before the end of the year.)

Areas to be discussed are as follows:

Academic, Arts, and Athletics Programming/Curriculum

  • Middle School Academics and Arts Curriculum

  • Upper School Academics and Arts Curriculum

  • STEM

  • Athletics

Climate and Community

  • Parent Association

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  • Episcopal Identity and Service Learning

Enrollment and Communications

  • Communications and Messaging (How to get the word out about ESLA and what we should be saying)

Other Programming

  • After School Program, Lab Days, School Trips, etc.

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Seniors Begin a New Tradition: Senior Tiles!

The class of 2019 spent Friday's lab day designing and painting small ceramic tiles. Their brightly-colored designs represent something about each of them individually. The tiles will be displayed in the new school building and, each year, subsequent graduating classes will add to the display. A tradition begins! Kudos to Ms. Bagley for heading up this project.

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ESLA Teacher Appreciation Week: May 13 - 19

From the ESLA Parent Association:

The ESLA Parent Association will be celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week (May 13 - May 19) and to make it easier to donate to Teacher Appreciation, we have created a link for voluntary contributions with a couple clicks of a button. Here is the link for you: The deadline for contributing online via the link is Wednesday, May 8. Alternatively, you may drop off cash or check with Steph Zalin at the front desk.

Also, please be on the lookout for parent volunteer opportunities that will be coming from your respective Grade Parents as the days approach! We have some really fun things planned, but it's a surprise for the teachers and staff, so "mum's the word" on the details for now!

SAVE THE DATE: COACHESLA is coming, May 15!


  • Musical performances by the seventh grade and Upper School!

  • Visual art by the sixth and eighth grades, Upper School elective students, and AP Studio Art students!

We are seeking parent volunteers to help with set up, clean up, and food. If you are interested in helping please email Erin Bagley at

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Notes from the Chaplaincy

Some important notes from your Chaplain, Megan Hollaway:

Parent Council

TODAY April 29, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

RSVP here for our first Parent Council Monday, April 29 at 5:30 p.m. Not to be confused with the Parent Association (PA) or parent coffees, this is an opportunity for parents to sit in council (the same circle process we use for Advisory) and share stories about the beguiling journey of raising teenagers. The theme for this council is “transitions” and all parents/guardians are welcome (but I’ve got my eyes on you 12th grade parents). However, space is limited so please RSVP by Friday, April 19. Students are not invited to this council, but may hang out on the green or the Mears courtyard during that time. You may be wondering: Will I have to talk in front of people? No, not if you don’t want to. Do I have to prepare something? Nope, council is all about spontaneity. Will people be sharing feelings? Not really—we speak and listen from the heart in council, but it’s more about storytelling. You can read more about council here

The Sunday Slowdown and Potluck Picnic

Sunday, May 5, 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

The Sunday Slowdown is the new name for our evening service that blends the ancient and modern with words, music, art, bread, wine, and silence. Ms. Hollaway will preach, we’ll break real bread (not those little wafers) in the celebration of Communion, and Mr. Johnson, Mr. Perrin, and special guest students and parents will serve up some sounds to help us raise our voices in song. Bring a picnic dinner with a little extra to share, and we’ll dine at dusk on the church green. The service will start promptly at 5:30 p.m. Please arrive on time as we have to lock the Mears gate during the service. All are welcome.

8th Grade Rite of Passage Retreat

May 6 - 8 

A heads up that this retreat is coming down the pipeline on May 6 - 8. This year, we’re going to Indian Cove Campground in Joshua Tree. Look for details and permission forms in your inbox during spring break. Also note that later that week (Thursday, May 9) 8th Grade Students and Parents will be in council together following the 8th Grade Rite of Passage Retreat. 

ESLA Student Portraits Available Now! 

Thanks to our school’s amazing photographer, Lisa Whiteman, your student’s school portrait is available for purchase: print or download. If you are interested in purchasing your student’s portrait, please fill out the Google Form below and an email from Lisa detailing pricing and information will be sent your way!

For immediate questions, please email Emily Nuckols (

Capstone Highlight!


From Jane McCarron, Capstone Coordinator:

The Capstone Project is the culmination of a student’s studies at ESLA. In their junior and senior year, all ESLA students design and complete an interdisciplinary project that showcases their talents, interests, and research efforts. Rooted in each individual project is a connection to the mission and the virtues of ESLA.

Next up is Luca Rader. Luca has been at ESLA since 6th grade. Founding president of ESLA's Model UN, a member of Academic Council, Squash, Basketball, The Lilian, and La Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica, Luca is known around campus for his hilarious "Either Side" video collaborations with senior Luke Cahill.

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Meet Puck!  

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From Alysoun Higgins, ESLA parent:

Meet Puck! He is an affectionate, sweet little boy who likes to be with people. Of all our many foster kittens he stands out as the very best. He's curious and brave, willing to explore any room he is in but always coming back to jump on your lap. He's also mellow and puts up with a fair amount of handling. He's pretty chatty, often purring loudly when you pet him. He is starting to learn to come when called. Basically he's a dog-like cat who would be a great companion. He is available for adoption in the next couple weeks. No fee, you just need to provide a loving, forever home. Videos and meet & greets available upon request. Contact Mary or Alysoun Higgins if interested ( or, 323-363-4230 cell). 

The 2019-2020 Academic Calendar

Your 2019-2020 Academic Calendar is live! This includes all the key dates for our next academic year.

You can access this calendar anytime under the “My ESLA” tab.

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

Until next week,
—Will Litton