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SCVi earns national recognition

Education: School is first SCV school to be named International Baccalaureate candidacy school

Posted: July 27, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 27, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

With a focus on multicultural awareness and 21st century skills, Santa Clarita Valley International Charter School has been named an International Baccalaureate candidacy school, officials announced this week.

SCV International is the first Santa Clarita Valley school to earn the status, which applies to grades six through 10, said Amber Golden Raskin, SCV International’s executive director of business development and operations. The school is adding a grade a year, and will add grades 11 and 12 in the next two years.

“I think it lends prestige to our curriculum,” Raskin said of the distinction.

The title was given by the International Baccalaureate, a worldwide nonprofit educational foundation that provides standards for how students can make the connections between academic subjects and everyday life.

Schools must apply and be accepted before they can offer the program, which varies by grade level.

Outside of the SCV, nearly 30 California schools, ranging from San Diego to San Mateo, offer the I.B. Middle Years program.

SCV International is a K-12 charter school launched in 2008, and focused on project-based learning, giving students academic flexibility and hands-on programs to learn.

School leaders will spend the next couple of years refining the charter school’s curriculum so it reflects the principles of the I.B.

program, Raskin said. Teachers will also undergo I.B. training and administrators will attend workshops.

The school hopes that in the next two years, its first graduating high school class will have the I.B. diploma designation, Raskin said.

SCV International already incorporates many aspects of the I.B. program, including a focus on arts, music, technology and 21st-century skills.

“We set it up from the beginning for this,” she said.

For instance, the school will offer an interactive class about games for eighth- through 10th-graders during the 2011-12 school year.

The yearlong course will have kids apply math skills by designing games that will be tested and played by their classmates.

SCV International will also focus on teaching kids service learning and contributing to the local and global community through hands-on projects and programs.

“It’s just really preparing them for college,” Raskin said. “It’s really getting them to think for themselves.”

As in other I.B. programs, SCV International relies less on standardized tests and more on essays, interactive classes and individual learning to assess students.

“It’s less about passing the test and more about creating human beings that contribute,” she said.

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