FONTANA, CA – Dolores Huerta International Academy and Southridge Tech Middle School have been certified as International Baccalaureate (IB) World Schools, officially authorizing their IB instructional offerings and signifying the completion of Fontana Unified School District’s K-12 IB Continuum.
The continuum begins with the Primary Years Programme (PYP) at Dolores Huerta International Academy (DHIA), followed by the Middle Years Programme (MYP) at Southridge Tech Middle School and in grades nine and 10 at Jurupa Hills High School. The continuum culminates with the Diploma Programme, offered to juniors and seniors at Jurupa Hills High School.
“Now that we can officially say that we are an IB school, there is trust,” Southridge Tech Middle School Principal Dr. Roy Rogers said. “Many parents appreciate the work and foundation they receive at Dolores Huerta and the work we are continuing with their students, as well as the attention they get toward a rigorous and well-rounded internationally wide curriculum.”
The PYP curriculum framework prioritizes people and relationships in order to build a strong learning community. The programme emphasizes learning through inquiry and reflection, and stresses the character-strong attributes of appreciation, cooperation and creativity that are tied to more difficult skills that are taught in later years of the continuum.
The MYP curriculum focuses on eight subject groups: design, individuals and societies, language acquisition, language and literature, science, mathematics, arts, and physical and health education.
In addition, the MYP stresses a service-learning approach, inspiring students to explore local and global issues in real-life contexts – a concept that culminates with community service projects completed in eighth grade, through which students volunteer for a project that benefits the environment, senior citizens, homeless or struggling community members, their classmates, or create a project of their choosing.
“They learn that their education isn’t supposed to be isolated into math, English, social studies, and science,” Rogers said. “Rather, they can take the interdisciplinary concepts and connections they’re learning to the community where they can become change agents.”
The IB programmes provide students with an education that crosses disciplinary, cultural, national and geographical boundaries while encouraging students to become creative and critical thinkers.
“It gives our students a more worldly education and teaches them about things that are going on internationally,” DHIA Principal Sandra Loudermilk said. “It teaches them to be risk-takers and to be open-minded.”
In addition to receiving a globally-focused IB education, DHIA and Southridge Tech students also benefit from the other specialized programs housed at their schools, providing a comprehensive learning experience. Dolores Huerta International Academy offers a Spanish Dual Language Immersion program that aims to foster strong academic achievement in both English and Spanish, to help students develop high levels of biliteracy and bilingualism, and to develop students’ sociocultural competency.
As a Microsoft Showcase School, Southridge Tech Middle School incorporates technology into instruction to foster digital literacy and promote individualized, inclusive learning. Additionally, the school offers an Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program – which teaches students skills in research-based writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization and reading that prepare them for the rigors of high school and college – and a variety of electives and extracurriculars, including Spanish electives, athletic teams, and more.
“The District has been a huge support throughout the process and the transition of making this happen,” Loudermilk said. “Without their support and giving us the time for this to happen, we wouldn’t have been able to accomplish it.”