President Letter by Robin Oliver

Greetings IB Coordinators and Administrators,

As we embark on the 2012/2013 academic year it is my honor and privilege as the president of CAWS to welcome all of you on behalf of the entire CAWS board. We can all look forward to another year that will provide our students with numerous opportunities to expand and develop their thinking through participation in the IB program. The vital significance inherent in the IB’s founding philosophy of embracing creativity and critical thinking is needed now more than ever before as we continue to face numerous challenges in California. As members of the IB we all represent schools and educators who are exquisitely prepared to face such challenges. We share the rich history of an organization of educational pioneers who valued rigorous curriculum and assessment. IB sets the standard for excellence while encouraging students to express their individuality.

Proposed changes to the DP Core, revisions within MYP and PYP, DP Core components offered as courses, IBCC, DP recognition as an alternative pathway to high school graduation as well as a model for program improvement are indicative of the increasing desire of the IB to be relevant as they strive to expand student diversity and access to an IB education. The expansion of PYP, MYP and DP programs in CA in the face of financial crisis demonstrates that school districts recognize the benefit of an IB education for children of all ages.

CAWS recognizes the ever-increasing pressures facing IB schools with budget cuts, larger class sizes, mandates to reform curriculum and assessment and preparation for Common Core. To that end your board members began strategic training last February that will be completed this June 2013. CAWS Goals and the Action Plan created during this training focus on increasing CAWS ability to assist all our schools in the following areas:

  • SCHOOL FUNDING -PRx Common Strategists have been hired/retained to create media and fund raising outreach for schools. Brenna Bolger, PRx Founder and CEO will be our keynote speaker at our Fall Forum, San Jose this Oct 29th. She will review CAWS funding and corporate sponsorship strategies and work with us are greater exposure within local media.
  • UNIVERSITY RECOGNITION – Look for updates from newly appointed board member Dot Battenfeld who will oversee College and University recognition policies with UC/CSU/CCC. Look for updates on procedural strategies and new policies on our website throughout the coming year.
  • LEGISLATION – Continue working with CAWS lobbyist, Capitol Advisors Group LLD, to maintain legislative awareness of need for financial support to IB schools, support for IB as an alternative pathway to graduation, use of IB curriculum as a model for implementation of Common Core and Program Improvement.
  • SCHOLARSHIPS – CAWS membership fees support scholarships and grant members eligibility to submit nominations to our scholarship panel. You will notice an increase in the number and categories of scholarships offered as well as an increase in the monetary values of these awards. The board is very pleased to offer, for the first time, scholarships for teacher training in order to further support our outstanding California teachers. Scholarship forms are included in this mailing.

I encourage you to visit our CAWS website, often to view updates on PRx fundraising, university recognition, legislative updates, CAWS forums, Roundtables and a download of the IB Americas Conference presentations when they are released by IBA.

This is an exhilarating time to be involved in CAWS as we have excellent venues for our Fall and Spring Forums as well as the very best trainers for all levels at Granlibakken and dynamic strategies to support our schools. I hope that you all experience an academic year filled with the positive enthusiasm that is derived from being involved in shaping the expectations and successful futures of your students. Please know that I welcome your comments, questions and suggestions.


Robin Oliver
CAWS President

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