August 2009 Newsletter by Pat Prather

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

As the summer months come to an end, let me welcome you back with the hope that your holidays were restful and refreshing. You are facing another school year full of economic uncertainties and the fact that you continue to meet these challenges while providing stability to your students is inspiring.

Last year was a time of reorganization and growth for the IB – new directions and new leadership. For CAWS, last year was a time of change as well. Our name, our logo, and our website have a new look. The CAWS Board has revised the Association By Laws which will be ready for membership approval at our November 2nd Fall Forum in San Diego. We have added more members to the Board to accommodate the continued growth in IB schools. Currently we have a total of 132 authorized DP/MYP/PYP in California, Hawai‘i, and Nevada. In addition, there are 49 candidate schools and 66 more that are interested. This is indeed a great accomplishment. With everyone working together we can provide ongoing support for all of our IB Programmes while keeping the CAWS Association strong.

To be supportive of one another, it is important to call or meet with your state legislators – Bring them to your schools to see the fine work that you and your students do. Invite them to your parent meetings, especially those potential candidates for state office. Encourage them to support our IB schools when the issue of funding is addressed. Our website has names and addresses of the legislators to make it easier for you to contact them. To keep your Association strong, please pay your dues. In addition to general funding of the Association, they pay for our lobbyist in Sacramento who works hard to convince legislators to budget money for IB schools. They also make your students and teachers eligible for scholarships. We were so proud to be able to give $5000 in scholarships last year. Plan to attend our bi-annual conferences which keep you informed about Association and IB issues and add to your professional development.

The overall theme of our two CAWS Association conferences this year, in keeping with that of the IB Organization, is "The IB Vision 2020". For our Fall Forum, November 2, 2009, at the Sheraton Suites Hotel in San Diego, I am extremely pleased to announce that Drew Deutsch, Regional Director of IB Americas, will give the keynote address, "Preparing Today's IB for Tomorrow's Future" We have revised the schedule for the day's events based on your comments and hope you will be pleased with the changes. Breakout sessions specifically geared to DP/MYP/PYP programmes are scheduled. Early registration will take place on November 1, 2009, and rooms at the Sheraton with a special room rate have been set aside. Our Spring Seminar takes place at the Horton Grand Hotel in San Diego on February 22, 2010, featuring a longtime California IB Diploma TOK teacher, Dr. Jerry Chris. He will address one of the Vision 2020 topics - "New ways of thinking for a New World." The presentation will focus on practical applications of the Learner Profile and brain differentiation. Early registration begins the night of the 21st and special room rates are available. Register online for both conferences on the CAWS website.

Both the IB Teacher Training Workshops for summer 2010 will take place in Lake Tahoe - DP June 25-29, and the MYP/PYP June 29-July 2. Mark your calendars and watch the website for details. We are also fortunate to welcome back to California the International Schools Theatre Association, who in partnership with Mo‘olelo, a performing arts company in San Diego, will offer theatre workshops and performances for IB Theatre Arts teachers October 15-18, 2009. Round tables in Northern and Southern California will again be offered as well as the September 20, 2009, International Schools College Fair in San Francisco. The website,, contains all pertinent calendar information. Refer to it often!

The IB community theme this year is "Sharing Our Humanity". Below is the link to a video sent to me by Anne Evans, our PYP representative to the Board. It aptly shows what good teachers can do in their classrooms to make changes, one school at a time, and teach children how to share. Watch it and be amazed!

Enjoy the coming year, embrace the challenges, and continue to inspire your students.

Pat Prather, Executive Director

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