Learning How To Learn
Dear Community Members, Academy Students and Families: 

Join us for a GRADUATION CELEBRATION on June 17th at Pizzanista. Our final mascot icon is unveiled! Also, meet Jess Gibson, our founding Science teacher who has won 4 "Teacher of the Year" awards in 13 years of teaching experience. Find out what our Academy outreach team has been up to since the last newsletter, take a peek at our academic calendar, and learn more about the mission, vision, values, and philosophy of the Academy. 

Keep reading to learn more. 
We would like to extend our sincere CONGRATULATIONS to all of you 8th grade graduates! In order to celebrate your accomplishments, the Academy would like to buy you and your family pizza at Pizzanista in Long Beach on Friday, June 17th anytime from 1 p.m.-8 p.m.

Come celebrate, meet members of our faculty, and learn more about our school. Each applicant and registered student will be receiving a ticket in the mail. If you have not yet applied, but are interested in attending this event, please contact Summer Sanders, Director of Community Engagement to receive your ticket today!

Long Beach's identity as a beach city as well as home to the largest port in North America makes a mascot associated with the ocean a natural fit.  In mythology, Triton was a god of the sea who raised Athena, the goddess of intellectual virtues.  The Tritons mascot ties Long Beach to ancient Athens, the birthplace of intellectual virtues, and also one of the world's greatest ports.  
We appreciate your patience as we have worked tirelessly to identify a school site that compliments the outstanding program and teachers that you, and your student, expect from an intellectual virtues school.  Our search process began well before we received the $2 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation.  More recently, we identified a site that, with further due diligence, was found to require repairs that would make it nearly impossible to move in by August 31st (our first day of school). We are committed to announcing where we will be by the end of this month.

Jess W. Gibson has over 13-years experience as a science teacher and has won four “Teacher of the Year” awards at the middle school, high school, and college/university levels.  He holds a PhD in Psychology (focus in student motivation and learning), Masters Degree in Educational Psychology, and Bachelors Degree in Anthropology (MesoAmerican emphasis).  He has been a department chair, conducted professional development seminars, and been closely involved in the intersection of data analytics, education, critical thinking, and technology.    

After working as a Wilderness Forest Ranger where he explored his love of science in nature, Dr. Gibson taught for Long Beach Unified School District, the Los Angeles Education Corps, CSU Long Beach, and University of Phoenix.  When he is not teaching, he is working on his third published book and spending time with his four daughters and wife.

"The purpose of learning is to develop skills and thinking that allows people to create a life embedded in their passion.  Traditional schooling tends to value content over capacity.  I believe in building capacity of thinking through experiences that are anchored in context.  Curiosity when combined with the "Art of the Question" can aid each student to learn how to inspire themselves.  As a developmental psychologist and educator, my ultimate philosophy is to empower students to ask and find the answers to their own questions.  The Academy is the only school I know that focuses on such self-inspired learning." - Jess Gibson. 


The Academy was spotted at Scout-O-Rama last weekend, the biggest local Scouting event of the year. With over 2,000 in attendance at Heartwell Park in Long Beach, 52 unit booths, food trucks, and other community organizations, Scout-O-Rama is an annual open house youth fair. Games, displays, activities, and a whole lot of fun for the family. 

Since the last newsletter, the Academy also visited/participated in:



To foster meaningful growth with students, faculty, and staff in the intellectual character virtues in a thoughtful, challenging, and supportive academic environment.


To equip students to engage the world with curiosity and thoughtfulness, to know themselves, and to live well.


1   Sense of purpose: we deliberately align all of our thinking and decision-making with the mission, vision, and values of the school.

2   Culture of thinking: we ask questions, seek understanding, and practice the habits of good thinking.

3   Self-knowledge: believing in the importance of self-knowledge, we practice ongoing self-reflection and self-awareness.

4   Openness and respect: we strive for a strong sense of community marked by collaboration, empowerment, and intentional openness and respect for the thinking of others

5   Growth mindset: being optimistic about the potential for personal growth, we embrace challenges and regard failure as an opportunity to learn and improve.
(To download, click the bottom-right of image.)

Our educational philosophy and framework for instructional design are based on a rigorous, college- and career- preparatory standards-aligned curriculum across core subjects.  All core Academy courses will be CCSS-aligned, utilizing both the state content standards and frameworks as guides for curriculum and assessments.

Interwoven throughout the standards-based curriculum is an innovative emphasis on the development of intellectual virtues. Acclaimed researcher Carol Dweck and colleagues from Stanford wrote: 
Most educational reforms focus on—what material is taught and how it is taught. In our pursuit of educational reform, something essential has been missing: the psychology of the student. Psychological factors—often called motivational or non-cognitive factors—can matter even more than cognitive factors for students’ academic performance. These may include students’ beliefs about themselves, their feelings about school, or their habits of self-control.
Educators, psychologists, and even economists recognize the importance of non-cognitive factors in achievement both in school and in the labor market. These factors also offer promising levers for raising the achievement of underprivileged children and, ultimately, closing achievement gaps based on race and income. Research shows that educational interventions and initiatives that target these psychological factors can transform students’ experience and achievement in school, improving core academic outcomes such as GPA and test scores months and even years later.

As students learn how to learn and develop the skills and attributes of the intellectual virtues, all students are capable of success in our rigorous program. 
The Academy is continuing to accept applications on a rolling basis. There are available spots for interested students. All students who would like to enroll in the Academy must submit an application and complete a registration packet.

If you have received a registration packet, be sure to submit all of your paperwork to solidify your enrollment.

We received over 100 applications in the past month. Spots are filling up fast.

Apply today!

Click below or send an application c/o ACADEMY to 3601 Linden Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90807 to receive your registration materials.
Copyright © 2016 Intellectual Virtues Academy. A Long Beach Public High School, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you signed our mailing list or are a part of the Long Beach educational community.
3601 Linden Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90807
Phone Number: 562.283.4456

James McGrath- Founding Director. 
Summer Sanders- Director of Community Engagement. 
Dr. Michelle Tubbs- Director of Curriculum and Instruction.
Crystal Day- Outreach Coordinator.

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Intellectual Virtues Academy, High School Project · 3601 Linden Ave. · Long Beach, CA 90807 · USA

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