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SCHOOL NEWS : An occasional look at South Bay classroom news : Mira Costa High Pool Ready for Summer Splash

July 01, 1993|CAROL CHASTANG

BE TRUE TO YOUR POOL: The indoor pool at Mira Costa High reopened this week after school officials closed the facility six weeks ago to repair a damaged roof.

Scott Smith, assistant superintendent for the Manhattan Beach Unified School District, said the district voted May 14 to shut down both the Redondo Beach and Mira Costa

high school pools so architects and structural engineers could do safety checks.

The experts recommended that new roof support beams be installed after they found that termites and moisture had weakened the roof of the Mira Costa pool. The repair job cost the district $2,800.

Long-term renovation plans, Smith said, include replacing the roof and a new coat of paint.

The Redondo Beach pool, which Smith said was "in a lot worse shape," remains closed, and needs extensive repairs.

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EASTVIEW BREAK: Kari Tapie was encouraged by the Los Angeles Unified School District's decision last month to allow schools in Fox Hills to become part of the Culver City Unified School District.

But the Eastview resident was discouraged by how quickly it all happened.

"We went through the entire legal process. Fox Hills was allowed to waive the petition process and the election. I'm happy for Fox Hills, but now what about the children of Eastview?"

Tapie is co-chair of Residents for Unified Local Education (RULE), a group lobbying for Eastview's secession from LAUSD. Eastview parents have wanted to join the Palos Verdes Union Peninsula School District since 1983, when the city of Rancho Palos Verdes annexed the community.

Eastview parents claim their children are isolated from the rest of the Palos Verdes community because they attend school in a separate district. Last November, a ballot measure calling for the transfer of two schools in Eastview to the Palos Verdes district won with 84.5% of the vote.

But a Superior Court judge said the election was invalid since some parents who do not live in Eastview but send their children to school there weren't eligible to vote.

RULE initially appealed the decision but later dropped the appeal on the advice of its attorney.

Los Angeles school officials have cited concerns about the impact of the predominantly white Eastview's departure in terms of racial balance, which could expose the district to civil rights lawsuits.

Tapie said RULE hopes to meet with Los Angeles school board member Warren Furutani sometime this month, and is seeking ways to hold another election in 1994.

Meanwhile, Tapie hopes the district will back down.

"L.A. Unified has successfully delayed our leaving, and everything is crumbling around them," she said. "I am hopeful that they will wake up and see the futility of fighting us. I hope logic prevails, like it did for Fox Hills."

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GRANTS: Banning High teacher Gary Scott and five of his students will study a toxic dump site near Dodger Stadium to determine whether any of the tainted soil has added to the pollution of the Los Angeles River. At the Lomita Magnet school, first-grade students will follow teacher Jade Neely to the Hollywood Bowl and sit in on a rehearsal of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.

These and other projects have been scheduled at 13 South Bay schools thanks to the Los Angeles Educational Partnership Small Grants for Teachers.

Other schools receiving grants are Eshelman Avenue Elementary in Lomita, Leapwood Avenue Elementary in Carson, Wilmington Park Elementary in Wilmington, Broadacres Avenue Elementary in Carson, Gardena Elementary, Cabrillo Avenue Elementary in San Pedro, Taper Avenue Elementary in San Pedro, Halldale Avenue Elementary in Torrance, Peary Middle School in Gardena, Gardena High, and Narbonne High in Harbor City.

LAEP awarded $125,000 in grants of $400 to $800 to teams of teachers at 138 schools in Los Angeles Unified School District. The grants give teachers "the stimulation to be more innovative," said LAEP spokesman John McDonald. "It gives them the resources to try things they normally wouldn't try."

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JAPAN EXCHANGE: For the last eight weeks, Christine Connett and six other high school students from Torrance have participated in a crash course on Japanese culture. "We learned about the different faux pas, had a language instructor, and we had to learn a dance. We covered everything," said Connett, a recent Torrance High graduate.

Connett and the others will be flying on Tuesday to Kashiwa, Japan, and will spend three weeks there as guests of Kashiwa, Japan, Torrance's sister city.

The trip is sponsored by the Torrance Sister City Assn. Ann Coury, a spokeswoman for the group, said the cultural exchanges with Kashiwa have taken place since 1974.

Students from the five high schools in Torrance were invited to apply. Acceptance is based on community involvement. Nine students applied this year.

Half of the $1,400 air fare was picked up by the sister cities. The students paid the balance. Included on the students' itinerary is a trip to Nagasaki, a luncheon with the mayor of Kashiwa, and a day at Tokyo Disneyland. They will spend each of their three weeks with a different family in Kashiwa.

Also traveling to Japan will be Andrew Fisher and Robyn Hirayama from North High; Leif Cobain from South High; Amy Mealins and Allison Moffa from Torrance High; and David Gelbaum of West High. They will be accompanied by Patty Murphy, a teacher and active member of the sister cities association.

In August, the Torrance students will play host to a group of students from Kashiwa for three weeks.

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