Letter from the Executive Director

August 12, 2008

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Welcome back everyone! The school year 2008-09 presents our regional association with an amazing opportunity for makeover and expansion. As you’ve no doubt noticed, changes are taking place in the IB Organization and for us as well, as I’ve been hinting for some time in my newsletters to you. We now have a new official name, a new IB Association logo, and a redesigned website to reflect our new identity. We also have in place a new scholarship program for member schools to benefit our IB students, teachers, and schools. Plus, our year’s calendar of events now includes more opportunities for teacher professional development. The possibilities for growth are boundless as we continue to add more IB Programmes to schools in California, Hawai`i, and Nevada. Let us celebrate our accomplishments but also realize that there is still work to do in the way of supporting each other and sharing our successes. We have much to look forward to as our schools open their doors again for business, and I anticipate another great year collaborating with you on the mission of the IB.

Our official name is now The California Association of IB World Schools and our acronym will be CAWS. As with the other regional associations, we now have a signed agreement with the IBO which stipulates the criteria under which we are recognized as their representative including our name and acronym. As one of our association responsibilities we cannot “register in any language any trademark that includes the name of the IB Organization, the acronym IB, or any IB trademark, or anything that resembles any IB trademark or logo”. We are considered an independent entity from the IB Organization and our name and acronym must reflect that status. Obviously, the name “California International Baccalaureate Organization” and the letters “CIBO” did not conform with the criteria of recognition

For the past two months, I have been consulting with our new webmaster on the redesign of our website. We hope that you will like it although it is not totally finished yet. You will see during this transition phase the new look combined with some of the old until all elements have been successfully blended. Our three goals in the makeover were to offer a user friendly site, display useful and current information, and implement on-line registration for our conferences. For this coming year, the log-in to the site, will remain the same. We wanted to give everyone time to adjust to our new name before making too many changes. I will continue to do an August mailing to all schools but I want to alert you in the name of “green” that I will rely more and more on the website as the way to provide you with information rather than on reams of paper.

The overall theme of our two association conferences this year is “Access and Equity, Closing the Achievement Gap”. For our fall conference, October 20th, at the Horton Grand Hotel in San Diego, I am proud to present as our keynote speaker, Salomon Zavala, representing Academia Semillas del Pueblo, one of our recently authorized schools in California. He will address the theme by sharing his personal story about the importance of access to good schools. After a question and answer session there will be a panel discussion from IB practitioners considering some of the thorny issues associated with “Access”. Breakout sessions are scheduled for the afternoon. Our spring conference takes place at the Sheraton Suites in San Diego on February 23, 2009 and it is with great pleasure that I announce as our keynote speaker Kari Grady Grossman, author of Bones That Float, the story about Kari and her husband starting a school in Cambodia to allow students there access to an education. To further the cause of community in our Association, we urge all of you to read this book and then let us try as a group to make a difference – one school at a time. Don’t miss these conferences!

Because of last year’s successful IB Orientation Workshop for schools interested in pursuing the IB, we have been authorized once more to hold this event in San Diego on February 21, 2009 at the Sheraton Suites at Symphony Hall. Our IB Teacher Training Workshops in Granlibakken continue to exceed expectations and we almost sold every seat this last summer. The dates for the TTW’s in 2009 are June 26-30. Mark your calendars! 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 1-3 of 2009. Add to these major events our two roundtable offerings, an International Schools College Fair in San Francisco inSeptember, and there is something for everyone. Please check our new calendar of events so that you can save all of these dates.

As we embark on our 18th year as an Association, we marvel at how far we’ve come and look forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead. Enjoy the coming year, and make a difference!

Best Regards,

Pat Prather
Executive Director

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