Many of our 4-6 building mathematicians have brighter lanyards these days as they have started collecting the limited edition pins marking their entrance into the 100% Society! These bright badges of honor let their peers and teachers know that they have successfully earned at least three 100% scores on the iReady lessons during that month. The best part is that the iReady lessons are specifically chosen for each individual student to best meet his/her needs and to give each student exactly what is needed to promote growth, giving all students the opportunity to continue being strong mathematical thinkers! This brand new society originated as a fun and engaging way to motivate the students to make the best of their time spent on iReady Online Instruction, and we have seen such enthusiasm from our students.
In January, the Math Department was happy to celebrate our Inaugural Class of the 100% Society and we have continued adding to our society ever since. Each month, in addition to the fancy invitation, the students are invited to attend an exclusive monthly event, which always has a fun theme and is filled with Minute-to-Win-It games, crafts, STEAM projects, outside time, and a super professional photo booth, complete with props to make those 100% Society memories last! Each student also receives a limited edition monthly 100% Society Pin to wear on their lanyard that announces to LVA that they are rocking their Online Instruction. Each month features a fresh new color, and students are urged to collect them all. We look forward to inviting more and more students into the 100% Society to celebrate their commitment and growth using the iReady program!
Mrs. Steph Comp, Ms. Mary Hartnett, & Mrs. Hannah Chami
Math Department – Elementary School
Lehigh Valley Academy
In October 2019, Lehigh Valley Academy Regional Charter School (LVA) welcomed a team from the International Baccalaureate Organization (IB). The team’s assignment was to conduct a full evaluation of the school’s Primary Years Programme (PYP) in grades Kindergarten through 6th grade. IB completes these reviews on a regular basis in order to ensure “that the standards and practices of the programme are being maintained” (IBO, 2020, p.1). Over the course of two days, the IB representatives met with teachers, students, parents, Board members, and administrators. They visited classrooms, observed school activities, and examined lesson plans and student work.
Lehigh Valley Academy recently received a copy of the completed Evaluation Report. As a result of this glowing evaluation, LVA achieved a five year reauthorization of the Primary Years Programme. The report indicates LVA is showing satisfactory development in all of the standards and that there are no matters to be addressed. The document also lists the following commendations from the team:
- The school community demonstrates a strong commitment to international-mindedness.
- The parents are knowledgeable and supportive of the Primary Years Programme.
- The school has developed additional language supports that are clearly aligned with the philosophy of the PYP.
- The school effectively supports student language and learning through the development of students’ mother tongues and the acquisition of other languages, including the host country or regional language and culture.
- The CEO, the school principals and programme coordinator demonstrate strong pedagogical leadership aligned with the philosophy of the programme.
- The coordinator has supported the creation of an inclusive community built on respect.
- The school has created and implemented a framework for daily, dedicated collaborative planning time for teachers.
- The librarians are an integral part of the programme and ensure that students’ language development is supported.
- The teachers are fully engaged in the collaborative development of unit planners and the review of the programme of inquiry.
- The school has prioritized time for collaborative planning and practice.
- Teachers explicitly use data on assessment of student learning in the planning process.
- The school has built a community where parents and students are welcome and encouraged to share their culture and belief systems.
- The school supports students with learning needs by ensuring credentialed teachers are part of the teaching team.
LVA would like to take this opportunity to thank Ms. Kelly Eddinger, PYP Coordinator, and the faculty and staff in the ES K-6 program for their hard work through this process. This was definitely a team effort and the report indicates that our school is implementing the PYP extremely well. We see the results reflected in our students every day!
International Baccalaureate Organization (2020) Evaluation Report – Lehigh Valley Academy Regional Charter School
Lehigh Valley Academy Regional Charter School (LVA) is pleased to announce that the Board of Trustees has entered into an agreement of sale for a 55 +/- acre property east of Butztown Road in Bethlehem Township, Northampton County at a cost of about $5.4 million for the purpose of building a new school facility. “This fiscally responsible decision ensures fixed costs for the future and supports LVA’s long term plans,” said Martin Smith, President.
The school, currently located at 1560 Valley Center Parkway in Hanover Township, initially secured an agreement of sale on a 31 acre property in Hanover Township at 5300 Jaindl Blvd. During the due diligence period, the Board of Trustees decided to withdraw from the agreement of sale for the Hanover Township property due to insurmountable zoning issues. The new property does not have these zoning issues, with schools being a by-right use according to Bethlehem Township zoning.
“We are so excited about the opportunity to design and build our K-12 forever home.”said Susan Mauser, CEO. Lehigh Valley Academy is partnering with Alloy 5 for Architectural services, D’Huy Engineering for Project Management, and Terraform Engineering for Land Development.
Upcoming public Facilities Committee meetings are posted on the LVA website.
LVA offers the region another choice in public education for students in grades Kindergarten through senior year. As one of only three fully authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World schools in North America offering all four of IB’s programmes, LVA delivers breadth and depth of learning with global awareness.
LVA’s programs include the Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP), Diploma Programme (DP) and the Career-related Programme (CP). For more information on education at LVA, please visit lvacademy.org and ibo.org. The admissions office can be reached at email@example.com or 610-866-9660 x4100.
If you have additional questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 610-866-9660 extension 4202.
Lehigh Valley Academy Regional Charter School is
one of two schools in the United States to offer the
Primary Years Programme, Middle Years Programme, Diploma Programme & Career-related Programme.
This year marks the start of Lehigh Valley Academy’s (LVA) seventeenth year of operation. For the last sixteen years, LVA has prided itself on many things, one of them being the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme. In 2006, LVA was authorized to offer the Primary Years Programme (PYP), followed by the Diploma Programme (DP) in 2007, and the Middle Years Programme (MYP) in 2009. LVA is thrilled to now be able to add the Career-related Programme (CP) to that list of authorizations, making it one of two schools in the United States to offer all four programmes and one of twenty-three in the world to offer all four programmes.
The CP is IB’s fourth program and stemmed from a need to balance career-readiness with challenging academics. While many career-readiness programs don’t offer students access to academic rigor, the CP has this tenant as its cornerstone. Like the DP, students in the CP will take academically challenging courses; however, they will have the opportunity to select a career pathway.
CP students will have a core just like DP students have a core. The CP core, however, looks a little different:
- Personal and Professional Skills (PPS): This class will show students how to succeed in today’s world in the classroom and beyond. They will focus on effective communication skills, resume writing, interview skills, and how to effectively collaborate in the workplace.
- Service Learning: Like the DP, students in CP will complete a service learning component. Students will interact with their community; students will serve an authentic need while learning new skills. Students will work with the PPS class and teacher to develop a service learning project that relates to the chosen career pathway.
- Reflective Project (RP): Similar to the Extended Essay in the DP, students will write an extended piece of academic writing that will focus on research and developing an argument. The RP will focus on an ethical dilemma in the student’s pathway.
- Language Development: Instead of taking a DP language class, students in the CP will be allowed to study a language of their choice using Duolingo. This course will culminate in a language portfolio to demonstrate their learning.
In the spring of 2017, Mrs. Mauser and I attended a training on CP to find out if it would be a good fit for LVA. After that training, we knew CP was the perfect fit for LVA. We are proud that we can offer DP to all of our students, a programme that oftentimes is highly selective. The IB is working hard to change this perception, and schools like LVA are at the forefront of that change. While we firmly stand behind our IB-for-All mission and believe that all students benefit from a DP education, we realize that DP isn’t always the best fit for everyone. This is where CP fits in. It allows students to take a few DP courses and focus on a career pathway to prepare them for college or the workforce.
On April 11, 2018, a team from IB visited LVA to talk to our staff, students, and parents, and assess our readiness to offer CP. As a result of the visit, the team had many commendations for LVA. In particular, the team applauded LVA for:
- “its desire to ensure that more students are part of a full IB programme.”
- “creatively incorporating the IB learner profile into the ethos of the school community. It permeates the school culture.”
- developing “a comprehensive program for English Language Learners that includes extensive classroom support for teachers and students.”
- developing “the context to implement an inclusive CP with policies and practices that effectively support special educational needs.”
Like the IB, LVA is a dynamic institution. We are definitely proud of our Diploma Programme, but we recognize the need to grow with and for our students and for the local and global communities of which they will be a part.
To begin our CP journey, LVA has decided to offer two career pathways from Project Lead the Way: Biomedical and Engineering. These are the most popular careers our students choose to study in college. They are also pathways that can prepare students for careers, two-year degrees, and four-year degrees. The Biomedical pathway, for instance, can prepare students for two-year medical related career programs, technical medical programs, and pre-professional programs. While we are starting with these two pathways, we do want to add more. The hope is to add a business/management pathway. After this, the sky truly is the limit; the CP is an extremely flexible program that we hope will meet the needs of students at LVA.
Our first CP cohort will consist of about 40 students, which is approximately 40% of the 2018-2019 sophomore class.
For more information on the Career-related Programme, please visit the Career-related Programme page on LVA’s website: Career-related Programme Page.
Mr. Andrew Hall
DP/CP Coordinator, Project Lead the Way Coordinator
LVA recently welcomed a visiting team from the International Baccalaureate (IB) composed of two MYP coordinators who work with IB to evaluate schools like ours across the globe.
The goal of the visiting team was to evaluate the progress that LVA has made over the last five years, and take note of current strengths and weaknesses in the program related to three major objectives; Philosophy, Organization, and Curriculum.
During the visit the team reviewed curriculum documentation, interviewed staff, students, parents, and board members. The team visited a number of classrooms to get a clear picture of what LVA is like on a daily basis. The overall message at our exit meeting was a very positive one and the review team was impressed with everyone they met and all that they were able to see. This process continues to reaffirm that LVA continues to offer a high quality IB education to all of our students.
Thank you to everyone- students, staff, parents, and administration who helped to make this visit a huge success. The programme here at LVA would not be the same without your support.
Guest Blogger: Mr. Jacob March
Lehigh Valley Academy RCS
Middle Years Programme Coordinator
A special thank you to Mr. March for his dedication. He worked tirelessly over the last two years preparing for this visit. Way to go Mr. March!! #LVAPride
My Mindfulness and Movement Journey at LVA
Written by: Guest teacher, Lindsay Schaefer
Two years back, I was over in the Southside of Bethlehem with my children Penelope and Baxter and taking in a beautiful day as we did much observation in a city park. Southside of Bethlehem I feel so connected to since it reminds me of my days in NYC and working in inner city schools and well, the community in ways feels like a home. We walked the city filled park with murals, basketball courts, pool, and sprinklers and this deep message kept coming to me-
“Be the change you want to see.”
As we continued our stroll and yes, played with some movement by the murals and on the basketball courts I realized the message was so deep and popping into my very Mindful state of being since it was a sign that I was meant to give back with my work. To give back with my work as a Movement Specialist and Mindfulness Coach. I observed that day city kids taking in my interactions with my own kids and wanting at times to follow our lead into movements that they saw us all doing. “Be the change you want to see.”
Fall of 2016 when my daughter Penelope was in 6th grade at LVA is when that sign of giving back became reality. As a movement specialist and mindfulness coach my kids have been around my work from day 1. Since my days of performing as a professional dancer, to teaching, to leading groups of students whether kids or adults through movement or mindfulness my kids have been around it. Movement and Mindfulness is pretty much in their blood and their daily terminology since they are exposed to me in action with my work every day. As I say in the classrooms-
“Every day we Practice, we can become more Mindful.”
So when I heard my 6th grader Penelope ask last year- “Mom, can we start a yoga club at LVA?” I knew it was my time to step in, give with all my heart the passion of Movement and Mindfulness, and to serve in love. Through all my training I have had mentors of mine say to me “Be ready to serve when your tribe comes before you.” LVA truly represented that tribe last year with Ms. Fischer being the leader of the Mindfulness train in welcoming yoga club to LVA and then taking Mindfulness a step further to welcome Mindfulness Techniques into the classrooms and directly into curriculum.
LVA has been a leader in jumping on the Mindfulness train as I like to say since last year. It all started with the LVA terminology of “Let’s do our Mindful Minute.” To then inviting me in to the facility last fall to start Yoga Club and to carrying my Mindfulness Techniques into the Classrooms to be incorporated into curriculum for the 4th, 5th, and 6th graders. Mindfulness is an extremely abstract concept to wrap your hands around and your mind around. I share with all my practicing students and teachers with Mindfulness that daily practice is the key. “Every day we Practice, we can become more Mindful.” As I guide the students through practice with exercises such as: Unity Clasp, Busy Mind Compartment, Belly Breathes, Om with a Vowel I share with them the importance of performing the exercise but also being mindful of their personal space, their community space, and how they feel with every exercise before and after.
Mindfulness is truly a Walk through Life. I say to the students in our practice work lets feel our breath as if it is an orchestra playing to us. Let’s inhale for 1, 2, and 3 and let’s exhale for 1, 2, and 3 to hear and feel only the sound of our breath in the classroom. I help guide students to yes a very uncomfortable stillness at first. But, with my nurturing through elements of eye contact, follow the leader representation, and mantras such as “I am amazing” and “I am awesome” these students and teachers dive in and jump on the Mindfulness train for an incredible practice session.
This school year Principal Ms. Fischer has added in some new Mindfulness components such as bean bag sitting chairs and flexible barrel chairs for the students to practice on. In our Mindfulness practices we have been selecting certain students to test out these components instead of sitting at their desks. It has been wonderful to add in from my tool bag for Mindfulness Meddy Teddy and his posture work involving movement for the students. I present a special movement posture to the students and have Meddy Teddy a soft cute flexible bear demonstrate the same posture. Students and Teachers then follow the lead of myself and Meddy Teddy and sometimes they even get to hold Meddy Teddy in the posture work too.
My journey at LVA with Mindfulness and Movement continues for the 2017 and 2018 school year. I am beyond honored to be at my children’s school and serving the LVA community with my work in Mindfulness and Movement. Yoga Club kicks off on Monday, September 11th and runs every Monday afterschool for 4th, 5th, and 6th graders till November 6th. Mindfulness Techniques in the Classrooms will be throughout fall for 4th, 5th, and 6th graders and with a review of visits in the spring time before testing time. As the Mindfulness train and energy grows counselors and staff in the high school at LVA are catching on to the importance of Mindfulness and Movement for Mental Health and Leadership. I was able to offer my work last year to 9th through 12th graders for Mental Health Awareness with various practices and at the top of this year shared practices with the DP 11th and 12th grade students who will be counselors on the 7th grade camping trip. Mindfulness and Movement train is growing like wildfire throughout LVA campus and I can’t wait to share more of our progress over this year and in the future.
Over the next couple of months, I will be continuing to mentor three LVA High School seniors on a documentary about LVA’s journey with Mindfulness. The documentary is called Mindfulness and Movement~ Be the change you want to see. We are hoping to share this with the LVA community once completed and look forward to celebrating this amazing journey in Mindfulness and Movement with all of you.
A huge thank you to Lynn Fischer, Amber Kraft, and Quanesha Johnson for all their support with bringing Mindfulness and Movement to LVA. I also, would like to acknowledge the LVA High School Seniors working on the documentary Brian Aldana, Gianmarco Fernandez, and Michael Domic. This Mindfulness journey would not be possible without all of you and your ongoing support.
Let’s Move and Be Mindful Together~
Movement Specialist and Mindfulness Coach
Dear Lehigh Valley Academy Families,
Welcome to the 2017/2018 school year. We are looking forward to embarking on our 16th year of operation! This promises to be a year filled with exciting opportunities for all of our students, faculty, staff and families as we strive to find more ways to continuously improve and develop.
The 2017/2018 school year will provide engaging, meaningful and rigorous work in our classrooms, combined with special events and a variety of
extracurricular activities certain to encourage our students to be involved and stay connected! We will continue to build upon and refine our proven foundation of best learning practices and innovative teaching strategies through the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years, Middle Years and Diploma Programmes.
Lehigh Valley Academy is committed to inspiring life-long learning in a caring environment where diversity is accepted, respected and appreciated. I look forward to a very positive and productive year together! I extend a special, yearlong invitation to our families to join us at school activities and events whenever possible.
We want . . . we need . . . and we value your involvement and support in your child’s education! Your active participation is key to your child’s success.
Here’s to an AMAZING new school year as we work together to make Lehigh Valley Academy a great place to learn and work each day!
Bethlehem, PA (May 19, 2017) – The Lehigh Valley Academy Regional Charter School (LVA) announced today that their charter has officially been renewed. The charter renewal authorizes operation from January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2021 without enrollment caps.
In accordance with Pennsylvania Charter School law, LVA is required to participate in a charter renewal process every five years with both of its chartering school districts, Bethlehem Area School District (BASD) and Saucon Valley School District (SVSD). The charter approval process stalled in December due to the inclusion of enrollment caps in the charter approved by the BASD Board of Directors . LVA filed for an appeal with the Charter Appeals Board (CAB) and filed a lawsuit in Northampton County seeking to maintain the legal right to operate without limitations on enrollment. In January, SVSD and LVA approved and executed a charter agreement that did not include any enrollment caps.
LVA’s charter appeal was granted, receiving a unanimous vote of approval by the Charter Appeals Board. Pennsylvania Secretary of Education, Pedro A. Rivera, signed the charter agreement on Bethlehem Area School District’s behalf. As an executed charter was achieved that does not include any enrollment caps, the lawsuit filed in Northampton County will be withdrawn.
Lehigh Valley Academy CEO Susan Mauser stated, “As the school year comes to a close, we are pleased to have a signed charter agreement. We are thankful that the Charter Appeals Board quickly executed this decision.”
In addition to the signed charter, LVA received notification that the Middle States Association (MSA) approved its mid-term report, thus authorizing LVA’s continuing designation as a MSA accredited school through 2021. Mauser commented, “This charter renewal and the MSA Accreditation, in addition to regular evaluations by the International Baccalaureate (IB), are independent assessments that validate Lehigh Valley Academy’s commitment to excellence.”
Lehigh Valley Academy Regional Charter School (LVA), located in Bethlehem, PA is an accredited public charter school serving 1,700 students from 16 separate school districts in the Lehigh Valley. LVA is the only fully authorized International Baccalaureate World School in Pennsylvania that offers an IB continuum to all students in grades K-12. Beginning with full-day kindergarten and continuing through a student’s senior year, the school emphasizes inquiry-based learning and critical thinking to prepare a student for higher education and the 21st century globalized environment. LVA is committed to developing young people into active, knowledgeable and caring members of a world-wide, diverse society. http://www.lvacademy.org/
The Personal Project, a requirement for Year 5 students (10th grade) in the MYP (Middle Years Program), is a project where students can basically focus on any topic they are interested in, as long as they complete the cycle of Investigate, Plan, Take Action and Reflect on their chosen topic.
I have been playing flute for six years. Over the years, I have developed a deep passion and respect for flute and music itself. Involved in many ensembles and taking advantage of every opportunity to perform, fed my curiosity of wanting to learn more about music. I wanted to further my knowledge by expanding my realm of music from playing to composing. So, for my Personal Project, I decided to focus on music, specifically composing music for the flute and teaching my piece to kids. I created timelines and lists to ensure that my project would be successful and completed on time. After, I had researched “Music Theory” and used my previous knowledge to create a two-part flute piece: Nature’s Chorus. Before I began teaching, I collaborated with the Jr. and Sr. High School Band teacher: Ms. Riccio, the 4-6 Band teacher: Ms. Ewaniuk and my private flute teacher to get their advice on what I could do to improve my song.
After both myself and my three teachers evaluated the song and I made the necessary changes, I started teaching it to Ms. Ewaniuk’s four flute players. I was so excited to teach and watch my piece come to life. The four flutists: Alexis, Grace, Joelle and Sofia exhibited enthusiasm and dedication in learning the song in every lesson. Each lesson consisted of new techniques in playing the flute learned and improvement in the song. They were so fun to work with and I am really glad I had the opportunity to to work with four talented musicians and offer them some advice on being a musician! After we had worked on the song for about four weeks, it was time for our first concert!
On April 8th, the 4-6 Jaguar band and choir had a concert at the Sands Casino. Along with their performances, my flute quartet performed Nature’s Chorus. I was so ecstatic and proud of how far they had come since their first time playing my piece and was so happy that they had fun while practicing and playing it! We have another performance on May 10th, along with the 4-6 Band and Choir, and I cannot wait to hear their performance! I am so thankful to have had this experience because it provided me with exposure and perspective on music and teaching that I could not have gotten anywhere else! I also want to thank all of my teachers that supported me throughout this entire project and LVA for giving me this opportunity!