IVA's weekly communication from Principal Jacquie Bryant...read on!
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Parent Newsletter October 3rd

Greetings IVA Families, 

We are rounding out our first month of school and are learning from our students, teachers and parents that four weeks can change us. I have heard countless stories from parents that their children are different and think differently. One parent shared with me how her son explained the first day of school. He said that it seems like at IVA school is optional and people are choosing to be here where other schools are mandatory. Another student that I cornered during a parent tour on Tuesday said that at IVA all of our teachers are actually excited to teach their subjects.  Read on for more exciting news and updates, and as always - you are welcome to contact me anytime!

To learn and live well, 

Jacquie Bryant, Principal
Our first Back to School Night!

Back to School Night 

If you were able to come to Back to School night, I hope you saw firsthand that our teachers love what they do! Our parents had a chance to practicing thinking and learning in the same way our students do using thinking routines. In math class, Ms. Noble had us think like mathematicians and create strategies to use to approach word problems. In history, Mr. McCurry asked parents to seek details to explain meaning before jumping to conclusions in examining ancient artifacts. Ms. Luu led parents through an analysis of lyrics that zoomed our focus into the parts to seek the whole message. And Mr. Johnson had parents tangled in a human knot in order to demonstrate the importance of communication, teamwork and strategy. Our curriculum is designed to create opportunities to practice intellectual virtues. If you were able to come to our event – did you find yourself needing to practice one or a few of our 9 virtues to engage in the learning? The more that you can experience learning and naming the virtues, the more you can talk with and directly relate to your child’s intellectual character growth. 


Join the PTA!

Our newly elected student council is excited to begin working with the PTA for events and fundraisers at IVA. Our PTA president, Janet Watt, presented our budget and opportunities for participation this year at Back to School Night. All families are welcome to all events regardless of your membership in the PTA but please consider joining & support the student-parent-teacher connections at IVA.

Federal and State Testing News - Excerpts from California Department of Education:

Today, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson congratulated Governor Jerry Brown and the State Legislature for their work to sweep away outdated tests in favor of modern, computer-based assessments that will measure student readiness for the challenges of college and the workplace. This means that we will not need to take the outdated STAR testing and will get to pilot the Common Core Assessments
     The new assessments will be computer-based, allowing for a much broader range of test questions than the multiple-choice exams given under STAR. As a result, the new assessments are expected to emphasize critical thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving, modeling the kind of teaching and learning needed to prepare all students for the demands of college and the modern workplace.
     For the current school year, AB 484 requires districts to administer field tests of the Smarter Balanced assessments—with half of the students taking math and the other half taking English-language arts. Field tests serve as “tests of the tests” allowing experts to discern the accuracy and reliability of individual test questions before finalizing the assessments for full-scale use. As such, no field test scores will be produced or reported during the field test year.
     At IVA, our students will be prepared to take these assessments on our iPads and prepared for the content specifically supported by the curriculum and our thinking routines to provide a greater depth of understanding. 


After-school Birthday Bash!

Parent Education Seminar : October 17th, 7:00-8:30pm 

To continue supporting your involvement with your child, we are scheduling seminars every other month. Mark your calendars for an interactive seminar with Matthew Duggan, PhD whose talk comes from his book Breaking the Adolescent Code. Dr. Duggan will present information for about 40 minutes and then open the time up to small group discussion or question and answer. Join other IVA parents for this informative evening about the growth and development of middle schoolers. This event is free and open to all IVA parents!

Student Council

Intellectual Virtues Academy has thoughtfully elected 9 officers for our founding year student council. At lunch on Tuesday, 56 eager 6th graders screamed, drum-rolled onto the lunch tables and chanted “Speech! Speech!” to their peers as we announced our council members. I met with the council today at lunch and they are eager to draft by-laws, set up a schedule of meetings and work out a process to form committees to get more students involved in decision-making at the school. We had 23 students run for office in an unorthodox, student-designed method. On Monday, all of the candidates met together in groups to discuss their speeches and plan on how they would work together no matter who was elected. On Tuesday morning the students sat in the Rec Center and took notes as four staff members read speech after speech. After 45 minutes of speeches! students spread out and silently voted. Students created the election process during a brainstorming meeting in order to ensure that our council was voted for their ideas instead of their popularity. The teachers and I were impressed by the attentiveness students demonstrated during the speeches and their thoughtful reflections on the process afterwards as well.  

Congratulations to our 9 council members: 

President: Jude McCarthy
Vice President: Megan Dines
Secretary: Jillian Dempsey
Activity Director: Alexandra Gold 
Student Newspaper Editor: Delainey Whelan
Club Director: Dawson Hill
Athletic Commissioner: Grace Bellah
Treasurer: Ashley Asturia
Historian/Yearbook Editor: Elise Watt
An even greater acknowledgement needs to be made to our students, Jude said it best in his speech, “I would like to acknowledge everyone else who is running for student council, they are showing intellectual courage by taking the risk." This process was a hallmark of intellectual courage and open-mindedness as students reexamined the process of running for office. 
Dots tee, designed by Ryan

Spirit Wear - Order Our NEW Designs

Spirit Wear is here! IVA is so fortunate to have three t-shirt designs created by some amazing professional designers. We are now taking pre-orders on our three tees - forms are available in the office and due Friday, October 18th.
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
Cindy Luu, Music – 1st trimester elective 
Danielle Montiel, Program Administrator
Lisa Miller, Administrative Assistant

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