Tech and Social Media - TONIGHT (and game night for the kids)
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Parent Newsletter December 19th

The Holidays Here! (very nearly)

What will your kids do with their time off? 

Will they read? Please do use IVA's Winter Read-A-Thon to give your kids an incentive to read and earn funds for benches, lockers and transportation on our field trips. And what are your kids reading online? Before you head out for winter break, come to our Parent Education Seminar tonight to get some guidance and think through mindful approaches to your kiddos' use of social media and technology. 

While you chat with Shaila and Mollie from Canopy, IVA students will be playing strategy games with Ms. Noble and Mr. Johnson. We have 20 students who have RSVP'd so far for the first ever Game Night, featuring Pandemic and Settlers of Catan. It's an IVA night for all! And - if you have younger kids, we are setting up a movie in the Social Hall. If your kids will be alright watching a movie that evening, then you are welcome to bring them along - I'll take movie suggestions. It can be a whole family night event at IVA where we are all challenged to think and explore together

To learn and live well, 

Jacquie Bryant, Principal

Parent Education Seminar

Thursday, Dec. 19th

 7:00pm - IVA PTA Presents:
"Social Media & My Kids...OMG!"


at Intellectual Virtues Academy

Social Media & My Kids...OMG! Developing a Mindful and Meaningful Strategy for Your Family

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the new age of technology and social media? Are you wondering how to find the balance between restricting and embracing technology in this digital world that surrounds our kids? If so, come join Shaila Saint and Mollie Bennett of Canopy to learn how the principles of mindfulness can help you get some guidance and clarity for developing a digital game plan that works for your family!

Thursday, December 19th 7-8:30pm
Bring a journal or notepad & your wisdom to share!

Shaila Saint, M.Ed. is a former teacher, who has over 18 years in the early childhood and parent education fields. The goal of her Mindful Parenting philosophy, which forms the foundation of Canopy’s unique classes and workshops, is to create space and opportunities for families to connect, reflect and refuel. She co-founded Canopy, with her friend and fellow mama, Mollie Bennett, who is also a former teacher and facilitator, and has over a decade of experience managing projects, including high production corporate, educational, and private events. 

IVA Game Night TONIGHT! An Event for the Kids.

While parents attend the Parent Ed Seminar tonight - IVA kids can come to our first IVA game night! Ms. Noble and Mr. Johnson host a game night featuring Settlers of Catan and Pandemic - same time as the parent ed seminar - across the hall. If you have the games then bring them! Hot chocolate for the IVA kids on the house.

This is going to be fun!!

Go amazing IVA teachers, go!
Fundraise the Dream - Winter Family Read-A-Thon runs until January 6th. Get your read on!
Consider reading January's Parent Reading Group selection: an article by Carol Dwek-Even Genius' Work Hard. Check it out - a practical explanation to take steps toward developing intellectual character. It's only a few pages long. (You have the tenacity!)
Fundraise the Dream:
Pictured is our designer's rendition of what IVA lockers might look like. Read a book and bring lockers to our campus!

Mark Your Calendars:

NOW - Jan. 10th - Family Read-A-Thon Fundraiser
TONIGHT -  Parent Ed Seminar Thursday, 7:00-8:30pm: Shaila and Mollie from Canopy talk about your child and social media - invite your friends!!
TONIGHT - IVA Students - Game Night! 7:00-8:30pm, hosted by Ms. Noble & Mr. Johnson. We will show a movie for younger kids in the social hall so our 6th graders can play with focus!
Dec. 20th - Winter Break Kick Off Friday, 3:00-3:30pm : plus our December Birthday Celebration
Dec. 21-Jan. 5 Winter Break
Jan. 6th - School Resumes
Jan. 10th - Winter Family Read-A-Thon concludes

Much is happening and we want you to be a part of it!

Recruitment for 2014-2015 Update

Our first parent info. night was last week and we had a great turn out with 23 families. We will continue to have parent information nights as we head into the spring. Invite your friends and neighbors to learn more! We are excited to offer our unique educational model to families in Long Beach and beyond.

We will be posting two new teacher positions this spring. We are looking for a full time, single subject history teacher and a full time, single subject science teacher. If you know any good teachers, send them to our website. Devoted teachers desire to be in an environment where everyone is on the same page and focused on something bigger. Ron Richhart writes, "When there is something important and worthwhile to think about and a reason to think deeply, our students experience the kind of learning that has a lasting impact and powerful influence not only in the short term but also in the long haul. They not only learn; they learn how to learn.” This is what teachers seek!

Upcoming Parent Participation Events: Invite your friends!

Jan. 16th - Parent Reading Group on Carol Dweks' article:  Even Genius' Work Hard 
Feb. 20th Parent Ed Seminar: Speaker TBA.

Green Greetings
from IVA's Green Team


If your child is ill, please notify us by sending an email to This email address is also linked on our website. Since we are a small school, every absence counts!  You may not know that the school does not receive monies from the state when a student is absent, which leaves us with less money for instructional materials, teacher salaries and supplies. Please try to only miss school when your child is sick.

Tardiness - frequent tardiness means that your child is missing important instruction time and is interrupting class. The first 5 minutes of every class is planner and organization time. In addition, Mrs. Miller and Mrs. Bryant enjoy the morning check in time in the office or on the blacktop before school begins. Make sure your child is not missing out on these helpful transition times that are built into our schedule. 

Basketball - Decide by Tomorrow

Good news! The middle school basketball league will begin their games later in the month of January than expected.This means that we have time to form our team, decide our practice time, and gather resources for our registration. 

So far we have 8 students who have signed up for the IVA basketball team. If your child is interested in playing, we need to know by tomorrow, Friday 12/20/13. Please send a note with your student or email Mr. Johnson directly . We are taking advantage of FIYA, a community organization multi-sports league, who caters to middle schools who do not otherwise have access to district sports programs. 

We will email all families who have signed up for the team and schedule a parent meeting the week we return from break. At that meeting we will decide when to hold practices and other details including carpooling! 

Math Questions - Not Enough Information: A note from Ms. Noble

This week in math class, students were presented with an unanswerable question: There are 125 sheep and 5 dogs in the flock. How old is the shepherd?
Seems ridiculous, right? Well, Robert Kaplinsky tested 6th and 8th graders with this very question and found that most 8th graders (75%) and ALL sixth graders he tested tried to do some kind of math with the numbers involved even though it made no sense to do so. Click to watch the video - it is shocking. His point is that in schools, students are being taught to calculate more than they are being taught to think and reason mathematically
Interested in hearing the results of our students on this task?
33% of our 6th grade students were able to state that this question did not have enough information. Although still disappointing in a way, this is a great difference from the original experiment. As we debriefed the experience, many students explained their first hunch was that the question was incomplete, but then a variety of factors came into play: the expectation to apply formulas that were memorized, to just guess if you don't know and even the expectation that their math teacher would not try to trick them with a ridiculous question. 
Ms. Noble's class ended with a discussion of the POW and how it aims to help them reason through problems and not just calculate. This experience also ties into the virtues of intellectual autonomy and intellectual courage. When students think the teacher is expecting a numerical answer, it takes courage to respond with something other than a number, and it takes autonomy to think and reason for oneself without giving in to outside pressures to perform a certain way.

We have been intentionally teaching thinking skills that are directly in line with the Common Core State Standards. These standards have 8 Math Practices and the thinking skills that the POW requires directly support all 8 of them! 
1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
4. Model with mathematics.
5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
6. Attend to precision.
7. Look for and make use of structure.
8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

The POW also supports our own internal school wide goals of developing our students' sensitivity and judgement of when to use certain virtues. After all, intellectual thoroughness without end could lack in the intellectual courage to present an answer. 

If your kids have nothing to do over the break they are welcome to begin their POW. One parent reported that she couldn't wait for the POW to come home and spent three hours solving it after her daughter went to sleep using an excel spreadsheet - but, she's not sharing the answer so that her daughter can practice these same skills. 

Happy Holidays from the math department at IVA - And happy math exploration!

Thank you, parents for stepping up!

We have parents leading all aspects of the dance. With amazing support, we will have our winter dance Jan 24th 6-9pm.

1. Poster/Tickets/Publicity- Kelly Dempsey (Jillian's mom)
2. Decorations- Wendy Whalen (Delainey's mom)
3. Music/Entertainment - Erinn Baehr (Brendan's mom)
4. Food- Stacy Cook (Remi's mom)

Let's hear it for the moms! This is going to be one super dance. 
Copyright © 2013 Intellectual Virtues Academy Long Beach, All rights reserved.


Faculty & Staff Email Addresses

Cari Noble, Math/Science Teacher
Ian McCurry, ELA/Social Studies Teacher
Michael Johnson, PE Teacher
Ryan Callis, Art – 2nd trimester elective
Danielle Montiel, Program Administrator
Lisa Miller, Administrative Assistant

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