Ilene with the kinders

Message from the Head of School

by, Ilene Reinfeld


In my 18 years here at Los Encinos School, I can honestly say the 2019-2020 school year was unlike any other, a true rollercoaster ride. Way back in September, we selected Joy as our Double-V to kick off the year. During staff week, we brainstormed things that gave us great Joy, and we posted our responses on the bulletin board outside the front office. I find it both ironic and heart-warming that nearly every example — from sunrises to snacking, being a mom to music, and nature to naps — were all available to us, even during the massive shutdown we endured as the school year ended. It serves as proof that joy is available to us even during the most challenging times.

The school year began with joy, but we soon faced a series of wildfires that came a little too close for comfort, forcing several school closures. Through all the late-night and early-morning emails and emergency texts, I am proud to say the community took it in stride and supported each other. It definitely wouldn’t be the first time our strength together would be tested.

As the year progressed, our community faced the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic. Through it all, our faculty brought their passion for teaching and expertise in instruction, our students brought their eagerness to learn, our families brought their flexibility, and with additional resources we remained Stronger Together.

Even though the past year was filled with ever-changing situations, we need to remember that 2019-20 had many amazing moments of learning and growing together.

We celebrated our traditional Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Dia de los Muertos; we held Winter Camp; we fund-raised and friend-raised during Game Night and Poker Night; we honored our veterans for Veterans Day; we celebrated a seventh year of 100% giving to the LES Fund at Book Buddies; we held an amazing Winter Show; the sixth-graders wowed us on Fridays with their Kindness Squad; we learned from famous change agents in the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr.; we took amazing field trips; held phenomenal assemblies; reinstituted Dance Party Fridays; represented the LES Eagles in basketball and soccer; Dined for Dollars at CPK; saw two of our teachers become new mothers; and so much more. It was truly a year of “Traditions & Celebrations.”

Thank you to the entire LES community for making it happen. From parents to teachers to staff and my fellow administrators, everyone did their part. We often say, “It takes a village,” and last year it was more true than ever.

I have to say, being a part of this wonderful community gives me great joy.

Oh, I nearly forgot to mention that we began using an updated logo this year to commemorate our birthday (see “The Evolution of a Logo” video below — members of our Class of 2020 explain the new design).

Here’s to the next 40 years!

Ilene Reinfeld signature