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May the 4th Dress-up Day

TODAY! Dress as your favorite Star Wars character* for May the 4th! "Do or do not, there is no try."

*common sense guidelines for dressing modestly apply. 

Coffee & Conversation

Join us for a morning cup of coffee! 

Friday, May 6th from 8:00am to 9:00am in the main office. 

Come talk with fellow parents and IVA staff and get a special visit from IVA students. Bring your favorite coffee mug!


Wed, May 4 - "May the 4th be with you" Star Wars Dress up day

Thu, May 5 - Fun Thursday - frozen juice pouches for $1.00!

Fri, May 6 - Coffee and Conversation with the Principal 8:00 am in the office

Sun, May 15 - New Student Ice Cream Social led by Student Leaders 3:30 pm 

Mon, May 16 - 6th Grade Field Trip to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Permission slips available in Illuminate next week.

Thu, May 19 - PTSA General Meeting

Thu, May 19 - Parent Academy

Fri, May 20 - 8th Grade Field Trip to the Great Wall of Los Angeles and Autry Museum of the American West. Permission slips available in Illuminate next week.

Thu, May 24 - Open House 6:30 pm

Mon, May 30 - Memorial Day, no school

Thu, Jun 2 - 8th Grade Pool Day at the Petroleum Club, 1:00-5:00 pm

Fri, June 3 - New Student Beach Day led by Student Leaders, 5:30pm-7:00pm 

Thu, Jun 9 - 8th Grade Beach Day at the Leeway Sailing Center, departing IVA at 10 am

Fri, Jun 10 - 8th Grade Dance, dinner will be served at 6:00 pm

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

For CLUB meetings click here

From the Office
Permission slips are available in Illuminate (parent portal, not student portal) for 6th and 8th grade field trips and are due May 12.
Friday Lunch for Sale
Want a break from packing your student's lunch? Friday is your lucky day! Lunches are Prepaid only. On Thursdays after school, at the black gate, we will collect $5.00 for Tacos (chicken and carne asada) and add your student's name to the lunch list - hooray! 
Educating the Whole Child: Mid-Year Survey
Heading toward the end of the year it's about time to get some feedback from our Mid-Year Parent Survey!! Thank you to the 171 families that completed the survey!! Record-breaking numbers of responses. We will have our End-of-Year survey late in June. 

We will include more analysis of the other few questions in the next newsletter - for now we leave you with a few of the results. 

We use the surveys to:
  1. Provide us with feedback to know how to adjust our program and communication with students and families. 
  2. Provide information for our authorizer (LBUSD) in the effectiveness of our school program.
Thank you for participating in the surveys!!
Discipline Policy and Practice at IVA
from our Counselor and Principal
IVA's discipline policy is responsive and restorative in line with the mission and vision of the school and school values. We have grown our practices throughout the course of this school year, and are addressing many incidents in a way that involves natural consequences and offers restoration. Many families may be unaware of this process unless their student is a part of an incident or their student is affiliated with others who were involved. Families might also be unfamiliar with this approach as it stands in contrast with the disciplinary practices one might have grown accustomed to from either their student's previous school(s) and/or their personal experiences growing up. As we continue to implement restorative practices we will continue to educate our students and families.

Many schools use discipline systems that outline each infraction and the punishment - and IVA did work to create this sort of system in our first year until we realized that in practice we were able to be quick, but not responsive to the actual issues. A model of discipline that focuses on punishments alone can allow students to avoid taking responsibility for their actions or a desire to make it right. Recent research and practice nationally is moving toward a thoughtful approach to discipline practices that addresses the underlying root causes, rather than primarily dealing quickly with the symptoms of an incident that are visible without taking time to understand the context. Most importantly, we understand that there is no “one answer fits all” approach and that most incidents require a different course of action on a case-by-case basis.

Guided in Social Interaction and Thoughtfulness at Home and School
We know your kids have their families and friends to help navigate new interactions and at IVA we have dedicated resources to making the school a place to grown and practice social learning. There is only so much a student can discuss with peers at school and with their families at home without the participation of other parties involved and mediation of adults at school. We offer students a space to process incidents not only on their own but in listening to the differing perspectives, and seeking resolution together. Without this created space, students and staff are limited to addressing issues at the surface level, respond based on assumptions and quick fixes, and are unable to properly probe for deeper meaning. 

The amount of time and energy, staff committment, and opportunity for learning we emphasize in using restorative practices in response to student conflicts and incidents is truly the core strength of our discipline program. Our response to these situations challenges us to communicate well, process students experiences together, involve our parents in continuing the conversation, and integrate the conflicts and successes into our understanding of each student’s overall development. Education here is not just gaining content or practices but it is providing opportunities for students to practice their habits of thinking and learning, in both social and academic setting, in context - and as you all know so well, middle school is an intense time of messy, beautiful growth. We are dedicated to the learning lives of your students both inside and outside of the classroom. This is what we mean when we say we are helping students to learn and live well.

Should you have any questions, comments, and/or concerns about our disciplinary procedures, which include our board-adopted suspension and expulsion policy, as well as our classroom and behavior policy, are located on our website for further review. Please also come to our coffee and conversation this Friday to continue the conversation. 

To learn and live well, 

Mr. Mikale and Mrs. Bryant
Student Leaders

Ice Cream Social:
Fri, May 6 - Student Leader Lunch Meeting in the Foxes' Corner
Wed, May 11 - Student Leader Training 3:30 to 5:00pm
Sun, May 15 - Ice Cream Social at Los Cerritos Park 3:00 to 4:30pm

Beach Day at Mother’s Beach:
Mon, May 23 - Student Leader Training 3:30 to 5:00pm
Wed, June 1 - Student Leader Training in Rec Center 3:30 to 5:00pm
Fri, June 3 - Beach Day at Mother's Beach 4:00 to 5:30pm

8th Graders // Promotion Speech Auditions:
Thu, May 12 - Written speeches due to the front office
Fri, May 13 Notification of speeches to continue to Round 2
Mon, May 16 - Speeches delivered before a panel of judges after school
Wed, May 18 - 3 Students notified of selection
Tue, June 14 - Dress Rehearsal for 3 selected speeches after school

Teacher Appreciation Week : May 2-6
Here's how we're showing our appreciation for our teachers!
  • Posters have been made available for kids to sign (it's not too late!).
  • Parent volunteers will bring coffee, bagels and donuts on Thu, May 5th in the morning for teachers, staff and advisors to enjoy.  
  • PTSA will also be giving a gift card to IVA teachers/staff to enjoy a lunch together off campus.
If you would like to contribute, please see our Teacher's Wish List (correct link)! 
Counselor's Corner
School of CHOICE:
Last week I met with our 7th grade class for School of CHOICE information.
In addition to discussing the key elements of calculating their HSAI (High School Academic Index) and filling out a career-interest survey, we had a valuable conversation on the high school application process. Many students shared their concern with the application focusing merely on quantitative data, rather than focusing on a student’s overall character, whereas other students shared understanding of the high school application process given the vast amount of student information high school counselors and programs would have to review. I encouraged students to further process this topic with their families at home as they continue their research for high school pathway programs next year.

As for our 6th graders, I was unable to meet with them last week given the scheduling of district testing that is being held on our campus for the next two weeks. I plan to reschedule my meeting with our 6th graders once space becomes available.

Reminder for 8th grade families
If you have not received any notification of your student's high school registration for the upcoming school year, please contact your student's high school's main office for more details. If you need transcripts, I am available to send those to you directly. Any other documents, such as state test scores, please give us a 3-day notice to retrieve those records for you at hand. For additional questions, comments, and/or concerns, feel free to contact me directly or by scheduling an appointment. 

Amos Mikaele, Counselor

A big congrats to all of the Track & Field athletes who participated in the meets this season. Way to compete!

Practices Mondays from 3:30-4:30pm and Thursdays from 1:00-2:30pm
We will be selling frozen juice boxes for Fun Thursday this week! 
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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