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Laguna Beach school district launches summer enrichment program

Students arrive for in-person instruction at Laguna Beach High School on March 17.
Students arrive for in-person instruction at Laguna Beach High School on March 17 after the school closed one year ago due to the coronavirus pandemic.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

The Laguna Beach Unified School District plans to offer additional learning opportunities to students of all ages through summer workshops.

The district’s four campuses — Laguna Beach High School, Thurston Middle School, El Morro Elementary and Top of the World Elementary — will host students for the LEAD (Learn, Enrich, Advance and Discover) summer enrichment program.

Students will be invited, at no cost to their families, to immerse themselves in activities ranging from writing to robotics, and from yoga to mathematics.

“I couldn’t be more excited for our students,” District Supt. Dr. Jason Viloria said in a prepared statement. “Our students will be offered a wide array of robust enrichment opportunities tailored to pique their interest and foster a life-long love of learning.”

Laguna Beach Unified School District spokeswoman Shelley Spessard said that about 60 different opportunities will be available to students this summer through the program.

Spessard added the district reached out to teachers, who then submitted proposals for courses they would like to lead.

“As we have begun planning for summer opportunities, what we notice is our kids are just really excited to be back on campus, to be learning, to work together, and so we have taken interests that we have found throughout the year and kind of developed courses based on those interests,” Spessard said in a phone interview on Tuesday.

“Our students are working on college, career [and] community awareness beginning as early as [transitional] kindergarten, so as they go through our program, we get to see kind of what some of those themes are … and really just want to make this an enriching, fun experience for students to gain knowledge and have that socialization, interactive time.”

The student enrichment courses will be offered during the weeks of Aug. 2 to 6 and Aug. 9 to 13. Students may be in one class per week, with some of the classes slated to be in session throughout the two-week period.

Transportation will not be provided by the district for the summer enrichment program. District officials said that inconsistent start times and end times for the associated courses were a consideration.

Federal, state and local health guidelines are to be adhered to in order to help mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission between all parties on campus.

Additional course listings for the summer enrichment program include a variety of music class offerings and foreign language courses, including French, Mandarin and Spanish.

“We are pleased to offer a wide range of incredible enrichment and readiness opportunities,” Dr. Michael Keller, the district’s director of social emotional support, said in a statement.

“This is a true testament to the talented and student-centered staff in Laguna Beach Unified School District who go above and beyond to create engaging, enriching, academic experiences for all students.”

Registration for the LEAD summer enrichment program is open until June 10 at 4 p.m. For more information and to sign up for classes, families can go to lbusd.org.

There will also be a summer academy available to students in transitional kindergarten through middle school, Spessard said. Those students will be selected based off of assessment for skill development in their specific grade level.

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