Arroyo Seco Elementary School

December 2017

International Baccalaureate in Livermore Schools Prepares Global Citizens

December 7, 2017 - Livermore, CA - Students in the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District (LVJUSD) have the opportunity to graduate from high school with a diploma that carries international recognition. The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme at Granada High School engages students in a robust multi-subject curriculum that blends academics with humanity, preparing students to take their places as leaders in 21st century global society. 

IB courses excel at establishing connections between all areas of study. Each class is amplified by the others; lessons fold into each other. By consciously acquiring their own knowledge, students personalize their education. At both Granada High School (GHS) and Joe Michell K-8 School, teachers in the IB program are developing collaborative lessons that focus on student inquiry, producing students who are self-motivated in their learning. The IB curriculum is infused with academic, social, and physical opportunities to develop students who manifest the IB Learner Profile: they excel as thinkers and communicators, they are principled and caring, they are inquirers and risk-takers, and they are reflective and balanced. 

“My IB class is making better human beings,” said Granada High’s IB English teacher Puja Arora. The flexibility of the curriculum to take anything and everything as an aspect of the subject being taught allows for students to see the world as actively relevant to each of their lessons. The program teaches students to incorporate their developing values and cognitive strategies into their understanding of the world at large. The capstone course, Theory of Knowledge, spans the junior and senior years to instill in students the practice of investigating their questions as well as their answers; to question the validity of their own knowledge; and to develop confidence in their ability to move forward. 

For the last five years, LVJUSD’s Joe Michell K-8 has been an IB school, implementing the program’s philosophy and academic rigor from TK all the way to 8th grade promotion. The Primary Years Programme and Middle Years Programme provide the framework for the academics and culture at Joe Michell. All teachers at the school are trained in IB methodology, and all students receive their education through the global-minded lens of IB, with student-driven classes and inquiry-based lessons. 

Principal Laura Lembo extolled the program’s ability to stir students into action as they begin to recognize their responsibility to the world around them. “IB teaches that success includes service to the world. Students understand that they can make a difference, they can take action,” she said. “The program asks children to puzzle over and wonder about the world,” said Lembo. By staying conscious of this, they hold themselves and each other accountable to the standards of the program. A concept of community is important to all schools, and the international integration of that concept is magnified through the lens of IB’s philosophy, connecting the school to the world beyond its walls. 

At all levels, the IB program level focuses on global awareness. The Community-Activity-Service (CAS) certificate requires students to engage in a mixture of extracurricular activities, community service, and reflection. CAS promotes the fundamental IB attributes of being conscious of one’s principles and open-mindedness, and being compelled to question one’s thought process in the pursuit of deeper understanding – whether it be a complicated math problem or a classroom recycling project. 

This versatility is what makes the IB Diploma such an asset to college-bound students. Granada IB Coordinator Jon Cariveau stated, “The Diploma is internationally recognized by the highest ranking universities as the culmination of a comprehensive, well-rounded curriculum that prepares students for any college to which they intend to apply. Graduates of the IB program are independent, conscientious thinkers who are already on their way to implementing their education for the betterment of themselves and their communities.” 

The IB Diploma Programme is available to all Granada High students in their junior and senior year. Cariveau praised the accessibility of the program to all students. “It is assuredly an academically rigorous program, but there are no GPA prerequisites to taking an IB course or working toward the Diploma; the program is geared toward all students who are interested in challenging themselves,” said Cariveau. 

Now in its second year at GHS, the IB program will graduate its first class of DP students in 2018. Already, around 200 students are enrolled in IB classes. Sue Ackerman, parent of an IB student and proponent of the program’s adoption by GHS, relayed her student’s description of the program as “everything that would be exciting about education if you could design it yourself.” She echoed Lembo’s observation that students who approach academics with a global and humane attitude learn to instinctively incorporate principled, balanced, caring, and reflective strategies into their actions. By learning every subject from an ethical perspective, the way they learn becomes the way they live. 

Additional information on Granada’s IB program: 

Joe Michell’s IB program: 

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Guidelines for students and illness


The Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District Health Services Department is a resource for the health needs of the students in the district. School Nurses are uniquely qualified in preventive health, health assessments and referral procedures for students within the school setting. Their position is to strengthen and facilitate the educational process by improving and protecting the health status of children. Your child will enjoy school and be better able to learn if he/she is well. It is important to protect the health of students from risk posed by infectious diseases that are transmitted within the school setting. Some serious health conditions can cause danger to the safety and health of students. A child will be sent home if he/she is vomiting, has a fever or is believed to be suffering from a recognized contagious or infectious disease. The child shall not be permitted to return until school authorities are satisfied that the student is no longer contagious or infectious. (California Education Code 4821-4824, 49451) Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines recommend that a student stay home for 24 hours after the fever has subsided. This means that a student must be fever free without the use of fever reducing medications for 24 hours before they can return to school. A temperature of 100 degrees orally or 99 degrees axillary is considered a fever and a student will be sent home.

Please keep your child home if he/she has any of the following:

o If your child has had a fever of 100 degrees or higher within the past 24 hours

o A runny nose when mucous is thick and green or yellow when accompanied by a fever

o A rash of unknown origin or contagious rash requires a certificate from a physician stating that a student may return to school o Diarrhea o Vomiting within the previous 24 hours (Alameda County Public Health)

o Severe headache

o Conjunctivitis- red, irritated or burning eyes with watery or mucous thickened drainage

o Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District has a no nit/no lice policy. Please keep your child home until nit and lice free. Students must be cleared through the office prior to returning to class after being treated for lice. It is our goal to follow safe health practices at school in compliance with California Education Code, Alameda County Public Health Department and Center for Disease Control to ensure optimal health for all students and staff. Please contact your school nurse with any questions.

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