Students from Club Laguna, The Terraces and California Cove would
transfer from Top of the World Elementary School to El Morro Elementary
School under a proposed boundary change, Supt. Theresa Daem has
After months of meetings, hundreds of hours of research and hard work
with parents, faculty and other concerned residents, Daem made the
recommendation she will give to the Laguna Beach Unified School District
Board of Education on Tuesday.
All students in the district who live on the north side of El Toro
would be included in the change.
Initial responses to the proposal have been overwhelmingly positive.
“We’re transferring kids from Top of the World to a beautiful new
school with a wonderful staff,” Daem said. “Every kid has a face and
every family a concern because it was a sensitive issue involving their
kids. El Morro is excited about having them.”
To help students get used to the new campus, the district is planning
planning programs and activities to unite the students with their new
“We just want to be fair and reduce some of the pressure,” Daem said.
More than five options were considered and the one chosen was changed
after residents emphasized that they do not want neighborhoods fractured.
“The families at Top of the World are ecstatic with Dr. Daem’s
recommendation,” said Top of the World parent Michelle Falkowski. “We’re
very happy she considered public opinion and appreciate the time and
consideration she took. She went beyond the normal realm.”
The boundary change was necessary because of the imbalance of
enrollment and students that has grown in recent years between Top of the
World’s overcrowding and the need for more students at El Morro. District
administrators have been seeking ways to find a balance between the two
“The Club Laguna and Aliso Viejo areas were the first areas of
consideration because transportation for these students is already
available at no additional cost to the district,” Daem said.
She explained that adjusting the arbitrary street lines within the
city of Laguna Beach was discarded because of complications with busing
and fracturing neighborhoods.
Also, just moving lines did not generate large enough groups of
students to reduce the numbers of classrooms used at Top of the World,
“Public input and realistic district needs were used to make this
final recommendation,” Daem said. “While change is difficult and we
emphatically regret any negative impacts on any children or their
families, these students are being moved to a beautiful school with
wonderful teachers, support staff, and parents -- one that has room and
that has just completed a $10-million remodel project.
“We are committed to providing these children, as we do all district
children, with the best possible education,” Daem said.