Equipping every student to learn and live well🔰
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Report Cards

Report cards come out by email one week after instruction has completed, or by Thursday, June 23. This gives our teachers the space to use our instructional minutes all the way through to the end of the year, to thoughtfully complete grading and write the intellectual virtue-based narrative comments. We have spoken with students in this last week about the most effective forms of feedback and report cards are unfortunately not as interactive as one would like but we hope to provide you with evidence of how your child has demonstrated an understanding of content and the character that they have used to approached learning. 

Please note that report cards will be held for students who have not returned textbooks

Wed, June 15 - 8th Grade Promotion Ceremony at 6:00 pm

Thu, June 16 - Last Day of School

Thu, June 16Full School Closing Ceremony in the Rec Center - 12:30pm to 12:40pm

June 27- July 15 - office will be closed

Student Leadership this Summer!

New Student Orientation is on Tuesday, August 23rd from 9am to Noon. This week our student leaders are turning in their RSVP form with parent signature to let us know they are able to come to the training and event. Ask your child about whether they are interested in being a student leader. Our alumni will be taking care of the tie-dye station this year. Every student leader gets a fresh tie-dye tee shirt and loads of fun in learning how to create culture together. 

  • Training - Monday, August 22, 9:00am to 11:00am
  • Orientation - Tuesday, August 23, 8:30am (set up) to Noon
From the Office
LOST! All of these items desperately want to be found before the school year ends. Lunch sacks, water bottles, sweatshirts and more can be collected after Friday's Virtues Ceremony.
8th-Grade Promotion

Our inaugural promotion is intended to be a meaningful event where we all get to take time and perspective to reflect on the past three years and how valuable these middle school years are in forming our thinking and the paths of our character. During one part of the event we are going to ask our families to take a moment to write out a note of gratefulness for how individuals have helped create an environment that has allowed our students to learn and grow. These notes could be written to the student, their friend, a family member, friend, teachers - who helped create an environment where your child felt safe to learn and grow? 


Donate your gently used Spirit Wear! We are accepting donations from departing 8th-graders for a uniform exchange. Please bring your gently used Spirit Wear to the main office so they can be reused! 

From Our Principal
Gratefulness at Promotion:
We can be grateful for so many things - and I am so grateful today as I write this for the amount and quality of parent support that has allowed us to bring activities like our promotion events to students. We have a team of 6th and 7th grade parents, led by Leticia (7th grade Sydney's mom) who are thinking through details to make this event beautiful and meaningful! 

I am grateful for Rebecca (6th grade Jack and 8th grade Max's mom) who has weekly gathered input for the newsletter for the last three years to communicate these events. 

I am grateful for our PTSA president Judy (7th grade Jacob and 8th grade Jenna's mom) who has organized our parents to help with events - or has done it herself... and I could go on and on. 

Our little school has set out to foster meaningful growth in our students' intellectual character virtues in a thoughtful, challenging, and supportive academic environment. What I know is true but isn't in the forefront in our mission is how central a sense of optimism, learning from mistakes, and appreciation for the complexity of the development of an individual is to creating an environment where students feel safe to learn. 

Here is my practice at writing a note of gratefulness like our families will do at promotion:
I am grateful for the parents who are so invested in the growth, not just achievement of their children, that they have partnered with teachers and staff admitting together our intellectual humility, willing to own our limitations and mistakes as we create an opportunity for students to learn. 

Each child is so unique, and their needs are so particular - I am grateful for vulnerability of teachers and parents to say, "I have no idea why they are acting in this way, lets figure it out." 

Learning is not full of easy answers, learning is a complex, messy, frustrating, human endeavor that is done best in community together. I am grateful for the open-mindedness and intellectual humility of our parents to join alongside us to create a culture of thinking in these messy, frustrating, beautiful middle school years. 

I am grateful for this school community. Thank you teachers and thank you parents!

To learn and live well, 
Counselor's Corner
8th Grade High School Placement Survey Results

Early on in the school year, there were many questions about how our 8th grade students would transition from IVA to high schools within LBUSD. Our survey results and summary analysis below will shed light on how our students did when applying to specific Secondary Specialized Programs (SSP) and Small Learning Communities (SLC) in LBUSD, as well as other private and public schools

The data we received from this survey will:
1- Provide us with feedback on how to adjust our approach and communication with supporting our future 8th grade students and families.
2- Provide information for our authorizer (LBUSD) on the effectiveness of our school program. 

Below is a summary analysis of the data we received:
82% of our 8th grade students were offered one or more options for high school in LBUSD.

88% of our 8th grade students were accepted to their first choice.

What does this mean?
The high percentage of students who were accepted to their first choice had either applied to a Small Learning Community at their home school (neighborhood students given priority) or did well enough to place in a Secondary Specialized Program (no priority given to neighborhood students). Our students practiced much intellectual attentiveness when aligning their top 6 choices for the high school application given the amount of scenarios possible if they were not admitted. It is also evident that there were many students who practiced intellectual courage and took the risk of applying to a Secondary Specialized Program, where no priority is given to any students. The 8th graders did so would have placed the Secondary Specialized Program as their first choice on their application, putting themselves in jeopardy of random placement within the district if they failed to get accepted. These are only a few of the factors our 8th grade families needed to consider during this process.

50%* of our 8th grade students are attending a Secondary Specialized Program

What does this mean?

One of the main concerns we received early this year was if our 8th grade students were at a disadvantage for the LBUSD high school CHOICE process because of their placement at a charter school. We were reassured by Jennifer Brown (School of CHOICE) that this was not the case and that our students would be given the same equal opportunity as all 8th graders within LBUSD, which is also consistent with the data we've collected. 

For context, there are 26 middle schools in LBUSD. Last school year (2014-2015), the LBUSD School Accountability Report Card (SARC) from each middle school reported the amount of students enrolled at their location per grade level ( The sum total of all 8th graders from each middle school in LBUSD amounted to nearly 5,900 8th grade students (not including IVA, private, charter, and other public schools from outside school districts). Using this number as a reference point for the current 2015-2016 academic school year, our founding 8th grade class of 56 students is less than 1% of this population when placed in the same pool of all 8th graders in LBUSD. 

Given these statistics, our students did exceptionally well when applying to Secondary Specialized Programs. The requirements for these Secondary Specialized Programs solely focuses on the quantitative data students have to offer, where no priority is given to any student. This can include their Academic GPA (6th and 7th), ELA scale score (SBAC), Math scale score (SBAC), Math level (i.e., Algebra), and/or their High School Academic Index (HSAI). Once the data is collected, programs rank their applicants and choose from the top down. Impressively, 50%* of our 8th grade students are entering into a Secondary Specialized Program they were accepted to for the next school year. Our 8th grade students did extremely well with the odds against them. 

* This does not include students attending other public/private schools, such as The IVA High School (6), St. Anthony's (2), St. John Bosco (1), Chadwick (1), Los Alamitos High School (1), Huntington Beach High School (1), and Don Antonio Lugo High School (1).

What our 8th grade students found most helpful in making a decision for high school: Talking with my family, Talking with IVA Friends, Shadow Days

What does this mean?

The information we give our 8th grade families in regards to high school is only surface-level. We support our families and students with directing and teaching them the process, procedures, and qualifications for applying to high schools. However, when conducting in-depth research of which programs students should choose, having this discussion with their families and/or peers is the most influential factor, in addition to experiencing the program firsthand via shadow days and info nights.

What our 8th grade students are most excited for in high school: Making new friends, Electives, Playing Sports

What does this mean?

The change of scenery from IVA to high school brings about new excitement of exposure on a larger scale as they meet students and educators from many different backgrounds. The same can go for choosing different electives and joining school athletics. Simply put: our students are enthusiastic about the variety of choices and opportunities to be involved at the secondary level. 

What our 8th grade students are most fearful or worried about in high school: Homework, Tests, Projects

What does this mean?

Over the past three years, our student's have grown accustom to the format and delivery of assignments at IVA (i.e., classwork, home-thinking, POW's, benchmarks, etc.). The transition to high school (especially for programs known to be rigorous) will definitely bring forth a challenge. However, it's fortunate to know that our student's have been equipped with the language, understanding, and character traits of intellectual virtues. Because of this, our students are able to work through and adapt to any challenge with the intent to learn and do well. 

What our 8th grade students wish they had more of during high school choice process: Shadow days, High School Info Nights

What does this mean?

There were a lot of missed opportunities early in the school year for our 8th graders to attend and learn more about the high school programs available to them. Getting hands-on experience by attending shadow days and info nights supplement our students with in-depth information about prospective programs they might be interested in. Our future 8th grade families must take advantage of these opportunities while they last. 

Advice our 8th graders would give to future 8th grade students: Make a decision for yourself and not about where your friends go

What does this mean?

Students are realizing the importance of intellectual autonomy when making an impactful, meaningful, long-term decision. The ability to think and reason for oneself displays the readiness for our students to flourish both academically and socially at the next level. 

In closing...

Our 8th graders have done a tremendous job in setting a firm foundation for the students that follow them. The data we've collected only speaks of the potential they have to continue their growth for learning at the secondary level and beyond. Though the high school application process was challenging and took much time and energy to complete, I am glad to say that our founding 8th grade class has exceeded our expectations of what they are truly capable of. I am humbled to know that I was given this opportunity to support them on their journey. I look forward to working with our next 8th grade class this upcoming school year. 

To live and learn well,
Amos Mikaele, Counselor

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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