This is great news for the community! Eagle Rock High School is the first school in LAUSD to be authorized as an International Baccalaureate World School.
From Denise Campos, Director of Community Affairs for LAUSD Board Member Tamar Galatzan:
Los Angeles-Eagle Rock High School, the only traditional campus in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) with a grades 7-12 configuration, is now the first school ever in the District to be authorized as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. As such, the school will implement a fully recognized IB Middle Years Programme for students in 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th grades beginning this fall.
"Your hard work, dedication, and an ongoing mission of excellence have gained Eagle Rock High School this merit," LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy said. "You are truly a role model for this district."
"This is an incredibly historic moment for the students, families and greater community of Los Angeles," added Judy Elliott, Chief Academic Officer for the LAUSD. "After three years of hard work and dedication, Eagle Rock, under the leadership of Principal Salvador Velasco, has been awarded this international recognition of excellence. This has truly been a school-wide and community effort."
An IB education occurs at three levels-the primary, middle years and diploma (high school) programs. Each offers a rigorous curriculum that provides an education with a global perspective.
IB students are encouraged to develop specific character and learning traits-to be thinkers, inquirers and communicators who are principled, open-minded, reflective, balanced, knowledgeable, and caring risk-takers. The IB designation provides a framework of academic challenge that encourages students to embrace and understand the connections between traditional subjects and the real world.
In April, a team of evaluators from IB visited Eagle Rock High School and shortly thereafter, the IB America headquarters notified Principal Velasco that the school had exceeded the requirement and would be authorized as an IB school. It was the culmination of more than three years of Eagle Rock High School's faculty, staff, administration, students and families preparing to provide the IB Middle Years Programme.
"Our school community made a determination that Eagle Rock High School would build an environment of success where every student has the opportunity, motivation and tools to achieve," Velasco said. "The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme is the foundation we chose to build on to further grow and develop our educational culture of excellence. We are very proud of the teachers, families, faculty, administrators, and especially our students, who embraced IB and worked so hard to achieve our authorization."
Eagle Rock High School is located in northeast Los Angeles, between the cities of Pasadena and Glendale. As the only traditional LAUSD school with a 7-12 grades configuration, it houses both a comprehensive junior and senior high school, as well as a magnet program serving gifted, high-ability and highly-gifted students in grades 7-10. In addition, Eagle Rock High School will offer the fully authorized IB Middle Years Programme to all students in grades 7-10 in the 2011-12 school year.
To transform Eagle Rock High School into an IB school prepared and qualified to undertake the Middle Years Programme, teachers and administrators underwent more than two years of specialized training, most of it funded by the school itself. In addition, the school adjusted its bell schedule to allow for longer instructional periods and re-emphasized areas of the curriculum, such as foreign language and the arts, to align the course work with the expectations of the IB. This was achieved while maintaining strong English, math, science and social studies programs. Students and families were included throughout the process.
The program consists of eight subject groups integrated through five areas of interaction that provide a framework for learning across subjects. IB students are required to study their first language, a second language, humanities, sciences, mathematics, arts, physical education and technology. In the final year of the Middle Years Programme, students engage in a personal project that allows them to demonstrate the knowledge and skills they have developed throughout the program.
"Eagle Rock faculty, staff and administration have been working toward certification for the past three years, undergoing rigorous training, and aligning the school's curriculum, schedule and mission to meet the IB's exacting standards," said Laurie Bollman-Little, the IB coordinator for Eagle Rock High School. "Our school got behind the Middle Years Programme because it will provide the foundation and methodology for our students to succeed in middle school, in high school, in college and beyond."
Looking ahead, Principal Velasco said the school's next goal is to be authorized to offer the IB Diploma Programme (high school). "At Eagle Rock, we see the IB as a blueprint we can follow so that all our students achieve at their highest levels."
For more information on Eagle Rock High School, visit the school's website.