L.A. Private School Buzz

Hi Friends, we hope your family is staying safe and healthy. It’s been a long time since we’ve featured one of these Buzz posts, but here goes! –Christina

  • There’s a group of private/independent schools that has created a coalition to fight to re-open schools during the pandemic: The Student First Coalition. The problem is, they’ve made public school unions the enemy (see letter to the L.A. County Board of Supervisors). Not only is this wrong–the coronavirus is the enemy–but it’s also politically tone deaf. The board of supervisors has a majority that is strongly pro-union.
  • The tension between the Curtis School head of school and current/alumni parents is heating up. An anonymous Instagram account, SadForCurtisSchool, details some of the complaints from parents. From what I can tell, the new-ish head, Meera Ratnesar, has angered those who love Curtis traditions and want them to remain in place (like the school logo, which she changed). But, it goes beyond the logo. Longtime teachers have been fired or have resigned. Programs have been cut. The board and head of school appear to see these changes as necessary, while the contingent of unhappy current and former parents see them as antithetical to the culture and mission of the school. Is this a battle for the soul of Curtis School?
  • During the pandemic, Brentwood School and others have decided to use group “playdates” on Zoom as part of the admissions process. I cannot think of a more stressful way to have my child evaluated. During normal times, the child assessment part of the admissions process involves dropping your kid off at the school for a mock “playdate” and you’re not in the room. Can you imagine sitting next to your elementary schooler on Zoom during this assessment? I can’t.
  • Even the most benign Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives developed by most of the L.A. private schools are being met with strong resistance by families who don’t like topics like “white privilege” or the murder of George Floyd and organizations like “Black Lives Matter” being talked about in class or at school assemblies. Savvy school administrators know exactly how to deal with these Trump supporters’ attempts to snuff out progress.

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Christina Simon: Los Angeles, California, United States I'm the mom of a daughter (12th grade) and a son (9th grade) who attend Viewpoint School in Calabasas. I live in Coldwater Canyon with my family and a rescue pit bull, Piper. Contact me at csimon2007@gmail.com

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