L.A. Private School Event with Christina Simon and Academic Achievers

Hi Everyone,

Please join me for this L.A. private elementary and middle school event! It is free but you must RSVP to Janis at info@academicachievers.com 

Hope to see you there!


ISEE Event FlyerAA2

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    “When my husband and I applied to kindergarten for my daughter, the schools seemed somewhat mysterious, like hidden gems. Neither of us attended private school, and most of these schools aren’t exactly an open book. Terms like “visiting day” and “parent interview” weren’t part of our daily vocabulary. That would soon change!”- Christina Simon, co-author of…
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The ‘School Of Perpetual Pretension’ Ends A Bad Blind Date by Caroline H.

Tina Fey, 30 Rock (WiffleGif)


Dear Puerile Entitled Hollywood Writer:

My bleeding heart is torn to shreds over the abrupt ending of our twenty-minute date.

If I may, let’s back it up and see if there’s a teeny tiny atom of hope that you just might, run like a pony to your nearest smart phone and tell me that it was all a terrible mistake. Just be careful not to trip over your four-inch, too long khakis.

Anyhoo, there we were, two strangers, unattracted at first sight attempting to make idle chit-chat over a cup of Earl and a piece of not so lemony, lemon poopy, err, lemon poppy seed cake, when forgive the pun, it all turned sour.

At the crux of this blind date gone to hell in a bread basket is just how fast the crazy flies when it comes to the slightest slight (real or imagined) toward our children. It’s no secret that in Los Angeles, especially, many a parent’s ego, self-worth, and identity is far too easily attached to their child’s success. Our children’s school can run dangerously close to becoming trophies, like so many other aspects of life in this town. I suppose perhaps, that I’m as guilty as the next Mommy or Daddy Dearest – but let’s face it, there’s crazy and then there’s helicopter, tiger parent, bat-shit crazy.

Back to our saga. When you asked where my daughter went to high school, I guess I bought into the game. When it was my turn to ask where your kids went to school, you mentioned School(s) of Perpetual Pretension A, B, and C. Of course they are all great schools, but admit it, saying their name feeds your ego, just a tad? Or, in your case, a freight train full of tads?

As our family had considered School of Perpetual Pretension C (progressive, hip and on the easy-breezy Westside), I asked how you liked it. You said you hadn’t really participated in the life of the school, and therefore had little in the way of opinion. And here’s where I unwittingly went off the rails. I told you that we didn’t really connect with the school. I’ll repeat why. For starters, at the open house a group of about one hundred fifty parents, eager to belong to such an elite institution (I mean, for their children to belong to such an elite institution), were asked to compliment the stranger sitting next to them – (an exercise undoubtedly designed to showcase their academic excellence). I mentioned that it was a rather uncomfortable exercise and suggested that while being a very good school that perhaps they were having an off night.

Our stilted conversation proceeded for maybe ten more minutes, with me once again, doing the heavy lifting. I asked what you were working on. You stiffly told me “a commercial”. Well, holy shit-balls of information overload!! I said that sounded “great!” – followed by a few seconds of ‘get me the eff ‘ out of here silence.

Then you dropped the H–Bomb. “I have to be Honest” you exclaimed. Yes! I thought for sure that you were going to liberate me from the clutches of this insipid date and tell me you weren’t feeling it. As my relief and exhilaration began to swell, you swung the hammer, and I was your little nail.

“I just spent $200,000 on School of Perpetual Pretension C and you said you hated it,” you bravely pronounced, like a child who just cornered the schoolyard bully. “No, I did not say I hated it” I replied, pleasantly surprised by my even tone and demeanor. “You said it was a terrible school.” Still calm, I said, “No, I don’t think you actually heard what I said.” “Well, we hated your daughter’s Mid-City, equally progressive School of Perpetual Pretension!” you spouted. Ooo, the knockout punch.

“That’s OK,” I said, and I truly meant it. I don’t know how many times friends, or friends of friends have checked out our former school and found it wasn’t for them. Their reasons were subjective and would never offend me, unless, they said the teachers were dumb and smelled like doody – then I may have had a tantwum, just like you.

“I’m going to leave now.” You heartlessly announced. What could I say, except “Bye?” Oh, what could have been. So much to say, from the truly cruel to the empathetic, yet so little time.

“Look you pompous pee-wee leprechaun, take your baw-baw and go play in your sandbox.” Or, on the sincere and empathetic side – “I’m sorry, I should not have said that, I understand school pride and I did not mean to offend you.”

But alas, I sat there, somewhat flummoxed as I watched you drag the excess fabric from your very long khakis along the floor, until you intrepidly strolled out of sight. Welp, I twisted my mouth from side to side for a beat, then took a sip of my lukewarm Earl. As I began to take another bite of the lemon poopy, damn, lemon poppy seed cake, I set it back down and decided it just wasn’t worth it.

Necessary disclaimers:

I have no problem with small men, only small mindedness.
Potty humor is childish and cheap. I’ll get back to you with my excuse.

Caroline H. is a divorced mom and writer in Los Angeles. Of course this isn’t her real name. 

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L.A. Private School Party Books


VP Gala 2016


It’s spring and that means Gala and Party Book season at Los Angeles private schools. Most L.A. private schools host an Auction or Gala fundraiser, followed by separate parties hosted by families at the school. The Party Book is a popular way for the school to raise money after the Gala is over. Anybody can join in the Party Book fun or you can host one yourself if you’re willing to cover the costs of the event. I co-hosted one of these events at our former school (The Willows) and it was a lot of fun–a dance class followed by lunch. I’ve also been to a lot of them, some for grown-ups and others with my kids. These are always some of my favorite events. Depending on the school, Party Book events can be very fancy or low-key (of course, “low-key” has it’s own definition in the world of L.A. private schools). Take your pick!


Here are a few Party Book events from private schools around L.A.


Wildwood School:

#04 – Hollywood Hills Dinner Party

Dinner party featuring “Entertainologist” celebrity chef Lulu Powers, for a 3-course gourmet meal, dessert buffet, and specialty cocktails in the home of very, very high net worth family* in the former home of Liberace!. Special musical performances on Liberace’s wacky and magnificent Pipe Organ. Cocktail attire please. $200 per person.


Brentwood School:

#115 Sinskey Wine Dinner at the Belushi Home

Jim and Jenny Belushi host an evening of gourmet food and wine at their home. Sample delicious wines from the award-winning Robert Sinskey Vineyards and enjoy a delectable gourmet meal. It is sure to be a night you will never forget! This event will be held on an evening in the spring. $250 per person. See the full list of Brentwood School parties here. 


Viewpoint School:

Ladies’ Sunset Drinks at the Beach
Put on your jeans and flip flops and join us at The Beach Club for ladies’ sunset margaritas and guacamole. Plenty of other nibbles and drinks for us all to enjoy over great conversation and a stunning view. At The Beach Club, Santa Monica. $75 per person. This sounds so fun! To see more Viewpoint Party Book events, click here.


Oakwood School:


The “Oakwood Open” is back! Throw on your tennis duds and join your hosts on the court for a tennis clinic that is fast, fun, and fierce. We can’t promise to turn you into Serena or Roger, but in 90 minutes, two of the LA Tennis Club’s senior pros will give you tips and drills for taking your game to the next level. We’ll even reward your hard work with tasty snacks and refreshing beverages after the clinic, and you can talk about all your amazing shots at the net! $85 per person.


Join Nancy Carell at EATZ, LA’s coolest spot for cooking classes, and learn all about farm-to-table cuisine. What’s in season and why is cooking seasonal and locally grown produce tastier AND healthier? In this class, you’ll learn simple cooking techniques that will allow you to approach vegetables of any kind with confidence. You’ll also learn how to prepare your veggies so that they retain the most nutrients. If you want to improve your enjoyment and success cooking vegetables, don’t miss this fun evening! Class includes wine/cocktails and a hefty supply of leftovers. $100 per person. To see more Oakwood School parties, click here.


Center For Early Education:

#202 Family Day at the Beach (Club)

Summer starts early at this fabulous family party. All the fun of a day at the beach without any of the hassles of planning, packing or parking. This day at the Jonathan Beach Club is sure to be fun for all ages: Coach Samir, a bounce house, kid-friendly lunch, adult beverages. So, come and hit the waves, or just kick back and let the kids bounce the day away! $100 per person. For more Center For Early Education parties, click here.

#703 Ojai Slumber Party

This one is for the ladies! You worked hard all year, and now it’s time to relax and let off some steam at this super chill girls’ night with other CEE moms at CEE mom’s* Ojai country house. Your hosts will guide you on a gorgeous sunset hike, and then you’ll enjoy appetizers, dinner and wine. This casual party has all the makings of a campout – games, s’mores, karaoke, and swimming (weather permitting) – without the actual camping part! You’ll wake up in the morning and have a lovely breakfast send-off. You’ll remember this amazing night long after your drive home! $500 per person.


 *names and identifying details changed


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Beyond The Brochure on NPR’s Take Two (KPCC)

Take Two

Hi Everyone,

As an NPR fangirl, I’m super excited to talk about private schools on Take Two, an NPR radio show hosted by Alex Cohen. Take Two, on KPCC 89.3 in Los Angeles, has featured a series called “Good Schools.” They asked me to give an overview of private school admissions–the series also covers public schools too, including magnets, charters and language immersion schools. You can listen to the clip which aired today (3/25/16) and read the related post:

9 Things To Know About Private Schools In Los Angeles or Listen to the radio show

–Thanks for listening! Christina


Don’t miss a thing! Like Beyond The Brochure on Facebook.

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