Spirit Wear pick-up this Thursday and Friday
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Beyond Measure - from the Makers of Race to Nowhere

"People need to be energized, they need to be inspired, and they need to have their imaginations fired up." - Sir Ken Robinson.

Imagine an education system that values personal growth over test scores. Inquiry over mimicry. Passion over rankings. What if we decide that the purpose of school is not the transmission of facts or formulas, but the transformation of every student?

Meet the public schools that are daring to reimagine education. And making it happen. Please join us for a special screening of this inspiring film on Thursday, February 25th at IVA. Tickets are $15.00 and can be purchased online here

Thu, Feb 25 - Fun Thursday 

Thu, Feb 25Spirit Wear Orders available for pick up 12:30-1:30 at the gate

Thu, Feb 25 - PTSA General Meeting at 5:30 pm preceding Beyond Measure

Thu, Feb 25 - Special Screening of the film, Beyond Measure at 6:00 pm

Fri, Feb 26 - Spirit Wear Orders available for pick up 2:30-3:30 on Linden Ave

Fri, Feb 26 - Family Movie Night at 6:00 pm, showing Wall-E

For CLUB meetings click here

Job Board

Contact your teacher friends with science, math, or history credentials and invite them to apply. Calling excellent teachers - apply to IVA!

Jobs are posted on EdJoin and linked on our website Job Board.

High School CHOICE 
LBUSD is scheduled to mail out acceptance letters via U.S. mail, to the address provided in their system, by the end of this week to ensure that families will receive their notification at the same time the ParentVue system is scheduled to display the results on Monday, February 29, 2016.

Parents/guardians will be able to log into their ParentVue accounts to see every program a student has applied to with a determination on their acceptance status next to it. Families will have to decide by March 8, 2016, of which program they wish to intend to, based on their results.
The High School CHOICE team will be at the LBUSD district offices providing phone and in-person support for families that need assistance in completing their final step to enroll their child with LBUSD. We encourage our 8th grade families to visit earlier in the intent window rather than later, as there will be a large line on those final days.

However, if families feel there was an error made in considering their student's application, English and Spanish versions of an appeal form are available to submit. The deadlines are provided on the forms, which can be mailed, emailed, or faxed to the LBUSD district offices. Appeal forms are readily available from our main office and will be available on the School of CHOICE website beginning Monday, February 29, 2016, as well. 

For any other questions related to the School of CHOICE, feel free to call the High School CHOICE Hotline at (562) 997-8306 or by visiting the High School CHOICE office located at 1515 Hughes Way, Long Beach, CA 90807 on the 3rd floor.
From our Principal

Learning from Teaching

On Monday & Tuesday I was flown to Boston to speak at an all-girl’s leadership and character development focused school named Montrose. My goal was to teach their staff how to create opportunities for thinking in the classroom – aptly called “Thinking Routines.” In preparing, I was struck that what we are creating in our classrooms and in our school, is what Ron Ritchhart (the Director of Harvard’s School of Education) calls, enculturation.

Enculturation means that we are looking at every aspect of our school and ensuring it is in line with our mission and vision:
IVA's Mission - To foster meaningful growth in intellectual character virtues in a thoughtful, challenging, and supportive academic environment.
IVA's Vision - To equip students to engage the world with curiosity and thoughtfulness, to know themselves, and to live well.

How this affects middle school as we know it:
  • We hire teachers because they demonstrate a love of the mission and vision – these are teachers who want to give students opportunities for thinking in their classroom.
Our teachers do not lesson plan the way other teachers do: Specifically, they plan for understanding first – they ask, â€œWhat sort of understanding do I want my students to communicate about the content?” Instead of the traditional approach, "what content am I going to teach today?" The approach is concerned with the development of their minds, versus covering content. What follows is a simplified version of lesson planning at IVA:
         IVA Teachers then incorporate...
  • Big or essential questions related to the subject – learning continues beyond this class or this year - these are questions that students will think of through the unit, through the year, and even beyond middle school.
  • Thinking Routines – or strategies and procedures for how all students in the class will be able to access the content and contribute to the thinking in the room.
    • Click here to see the reference page we give to our students in Advisory.
  • Text to study – in order to challenge students, the content needs to be complex and rigorous content.
During the talk I wanted to help my audience grow in their thinking and understanding together with their peers, so I used a Thinking Routine called 3-2-1 Bridge. It went like this:

I asked the teachers to explain what Teaching for Growth in Intellectual Character means by listing (this is my big question) :             
3 words that it makes them think of             
2 questions they have about the topic             
1 simile or metaphor to better describe the concept

The teachers wrote silently, discussed in small groups, and shared out. At the end of the discussion I asked them to write out a new 3 – 2 – 1 and compare it to their original. I asked them to bridge their learning or identify how their new responses connected or shifted from their original response.

This simple structure allowed for each teacher to approach the topic at their own level, which is the kind of differentiation teachers are always seeking to create in their class. The thinking routine also served to let me know what teachers were thinking at the beginning so that I could adjust what I was doing throughout (this is called formative assessment). At the end of the talk, their bridge helped me hear and visibly see (because we posted them around the room) what the teachers now learned or understood. The bridge also helped them to explain for themselves and to their peers the shift in their thinking.

One Montrose teacher shared that she noticed her original response was all about what was required of the student in order to grow in their character. At the end, her responses identified what she could do as a teacher to provide her students with opportunities for thinking. I recognized that this is what our teachers do! They not only craft their lessons so that they can see a students’ understanding, but they utilize thinking routines to create a protocol by which thinking is welcomed and expected by every member of the class.

What I've learned from teaching other teachers is that at IVA we are creating a culture. Your students are not just individuals whose minds are being developed, they are members of a group of thinkers. By being a member of the group, they are constantly refined by each others’ thoughts and by taking the time to listen to other ideas, develop intellectual humility, and not assume they know it all (which is such a tendency at this age as you might know).

As humans, we do not learn individually. Our students are not only responsible to themselves, they are also asked to be committed to the learning of those around them through the lessons that give them the opportunity to think and understand together.

Our school has a culture of thinking that is created by teachers through love and rigor. In his book, Cultures of Thinking, Ron Richhart explains: "People often mention that in a culture of thinking, they feel committed to the learning of others and not just to their own. It is this commitment and the recognition of the symbiotic relationship between one’s individual learning and that of the other group members that help create a sense of community."

To learn and live well,  

Coming Next Week: ***This description of how teachers at IVA plan is very similar to how Advisors teach their group to prepare for their own Advisory. Next week I will explain the task of preparing for an Advisory and give parents an opportunity to know how best to support their kids in crafting their own intellectual explorations. 
Club News
Four students from our Evergreens team will be headed this Friday to the Plastic Ocean Pollution Solutions Youth Summit. This dedicated group plans to reach out to the community through art made of plastic found during beach clean ups. With the help of the entire Evergreens team, they are building an 8-foot sea turtle, made entirely of plastic debris! This team also plans to organize school-wide assemblies to invite their peers to join them in the movement against plastic pollution.
Our PTSA general meeting is this Thursday at 5:30 pm, right before the showing of Beyond Measure at 6:00 pm. The agenda included planning for our Spring Parent Social and our Spring Dance. All are welcome! 
Track & Field: Optional practices held Thursdays after school. Come out and run with us!
Basketball: Practices Monday and Wednesday. Check your email for more information.

Soccer: We are currently in the beginning planning stages for Spring Soccer and are seeking volunteer coaches. Please contact Ms. McAdams if you are willing and able to coach!
Connect with IVA faculty!
Staff: We have five dedicated staff members at IVA!
Jacquie Bryant, Principal -
Amos Mikaele, Counselor -
Danielle Montiel, Program Administrator -
Diana Bosetti, Admin Assistant -
Natasha Garcia, Admin Assistant -

Send in Notice of Absences:

Teachers: We have 10 amazing teachers at IVA!
Bob Geminder, Math -
Claudia Campos, Science -
Angel Cutno, Music and Interpersonal Comm. -
Sabine Deeble, German 1-2 -
Roberta Denis, Art and English 6 -
Chris Fountain, History -
Jana McAdams, Physical Education and Math 6 -
Ian McCurry, English and History 6 -
Cari Noble, Math and Science 6 -
Adam Rodriguez, PE 6 and 8 -

Our board chairman welcomes your questions and concerns.
Dr. Eric Churchill,
Copyright © 2016 Intellectual Virtues Academy Long Beach, All rights reserved.

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