Head of School
Dear Families and Friends of Los Encinos School,
It is with tremendous joy and gratitude that I present our review of the previous school year. It was a year of unified growth on multiple levels. The children are showing a deeper appreciation for our integrated subject model, our faculty is truly the “best and the brightest,” and our parents are united and determined to fulfill the school’s unique dream and mission.
We officially became a “dynasty,” four years in a row of 100% participation in the LES Fund by all the current constituent groups! While the dollars raised are important, the strength we receive from knowing that we are a true community, a group that encourages each other and makes the whole so much greater than the sum of its parts, is even better.
This past year we also renewed our accreditation from two of the most respected arbiters of private school education (the California Association of Independent Schools and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges). The assessment team visited the classrooms and interviewed the faculty and staff in an effort to gauge whether we meet the highest possible standards based on a variety of criteria. I am happy to say that we received accreditation for another seven years, the longest any school can go unchecked. It’s a terrific vote of confidence, yet honestly, I’m not surprised. We maintain a thorough self-assessment to make sure we are staying true to our core values with an eye towards a stable future. Still, it’s nice to hear it from colleagues who are trained to see what makes a school tick.
The theme of the year, “Spaces & Places,” was taken both literally and figuratively, allowing the exploration and discovery of each discipline to reach new heights.
The theme of the year, “Spaces & Places,” was taken both literally and figuratively, allowing the exploration and discovery of each discipline to reach new heights. For instance, each grade focused on an in-depth place and time, like the American West for kindergarten and Ancient Egypt for the 6th graders, while also exploring “spaces” that accommodate great ideas and “places” that engender good behavior. As always, the value of character development went hand-in-hand with our academic rigor.
Our annual gala, the Los Encinos Tennis Club (Est. 1980), turned out to be a smash hit, exceeding our wildest expectations and setting the bar higher than ever before. We also celebrated Chris Holabird’s 90th birthday as part of a terrific alumni reunion. It may be a cliché to say you can take the student out of Los Encinos, but you can’t take the Los Encinos out of the student, but in so many cases it is absolutely true. We know we are accomplishing wonderful things here, day in and day out, when alumni return and describe their journeys along with their current successes, then attribute it all to the foundation they received here at LES!
Speaking of foundations, we faced an interesting challenge during the 2016-2017 school year. When the strongest storms in years moved through the L.A. area in February, we were made aware of some leaky walls and a weak structure around the easement of the new building, especially near the library. With quick action and funds at the ready, we saved the books and built a new swale to stop any more incidents from happening again any time soon. Once again, the help of the community in both expertise and financial support, gave us the wherewithal to meet a potential problem and turn it into a strength.
At the risk of sounding repetitive, I can’t thank everyone enough. We are so fortunate to have an active and committed parent body, a dedicated Board of Trustees, and a talented and innovative faculty and administration. I want to offer my deepest appreciation to everyone connected to Los Encinos School, from the founding families who were here to give Chris Holabird support to the most recent incoming kindergarten families. Thank you.
This annual report documents some of the incredible events and enriching activities we have here at LES, but I see something deeper. I see the work and devotion that makes it all possible. By your continued and generous participation in our annual LES Fund, Spring Gala, Capital Campaign, and other fundraising efforts, I am happy to say Los Encinos School will continue to be a remarkable space and place for generations to come.
Head of School
The schoolwide theme rotates every four years. For 2017-2018, it’s the Natural World.
The Los Encinos Tennis Club fundraising gala was held appropriately-enough at the Mulholland Tennis Club.
These kindergarteners represent the newest families to join LES for the 2017-2018 school year!