Intellectual Virtues Academy (IVA), a free, public charter middle school in Long Beach, CA, has expanded to include a new high school, which will receive its first class of 9th graders for the 2016-2017 school year. IVA was built on the “intellectual virtues” education model, which aims foster meaningful growth in the personal qualities of a good thinker. The model encourages discussion, argument, deep conceptual understanding, and the ability to decide when and how to use a particular problem-solving strategy.
The school’s founding director, James McGrath, considers teachers “the most important assets we have.” The new staff, like incoming English teacher Derrick Allums, were drawn to the school’s philosophy of focusing on intellectual values. Allums says his students will be reading independently on LightSail this school year, a tool which will allow him to “make sure we shore up our readers and meet them where they are.”
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