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Harvest Goes International!

Harvest Middle School is Awarded Magnet Grant Helping It Become an International Baccalaureate/Dual Immersion School

Harvest Middle School is beginning the process of applying for IB candidacy and training teachers for 21st Century classrooms.

Harvest Middle School is beginning the process of applying for IB candidacy and training teachers for 21st Century classrooms.

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There’s an air of excitement at Harvest Middle School these days as the school recreates itself as an international magnet school. With the support of a federal Magnet School’s Assistance Program (MSAP) grant awarded to the Napa Valley Unified School District in October 2013, the school will become Harvest International Baccalaureate (Candidate)/Dual Immersion Magnet School.

 Staff is preparing to apply for candidacy this spring to become an authorized International Baccalaureate World School through the International Baccalaureate Organization.  The IBO is a non-profit education foundation and leader in international education.  Harvest will offer the Middle Years Program, one of four programs of the IBO, that encourages students to be active learners, developing their intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world.

 When authorized, Harvest will join 3,698 IB schools worldwide that offer its four programs, (Primary Years, Middle Years, Diploma and Career Certificate).  All IB schools promote three fundamental concepts: communication, intercultural awareness and holistic learning.  The communication aspect stresses that listening, speaking and writing in multiple ways, including in more than one language, is essential to learning.  Intercultural awareness develops students’ knowledge of their own cultures as well as others.  Holistic learning links subject areas to show how learning in school is an interrelated whole. According to the IB Organization, the mission of an IB school is “to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.”

Harvest will join Napa’s two IB Primary Years Programs currently offered at Bel Aire Magnet School (candidate) and Mt. George International School. The alignment between the IB Primary Years Programs and the IB Middle Years Program will benefit students by instilling foundational skills in preparation for rigorous high school coursework and post-secondary studies.”

Harvest will join Napa’s two IB Primary Years Programs currently offered at Bel Aire Magnet School (candidate) and Mt. George International School. The alignment between the IB Primary Years Programs and the IB Middle Years Program will benefit students by instilling foundational skills in preparation for rigorous high school coursework and post-secondary studiesHarvest will continue to provide students from Napa Valley Language Academy the opportunity to participate in Dual Immersion classes via the International Spanish Academy.

 Teachers at Harvest Middle School are immersed in professional development related to the tenets of IB and concept-based unit planning. HMS teachers, Jenny Banta and Julie Jones, stressed, “Harvest is already recognized for preparing students for college and career readiness, so the IB emphasis only enhances the quality education we offer our young scholars.  Teachers are eager to create units that encourage deeper understandings connecting all IB subject areas.”  The eight subject areas students take include Language and Literature, Arts (including choir, band and strings), Mathematics, Physical Education and Health, Individuals and Societies (Social Studies), Sciences, Language Acquisition (Spanish) and Design.

 The latest course offering of a Design course will inspire students to investigate, plan, create and evaluate projects.  Currently, HMS students, under theEYES OF THE HAWK news direction of journalism teacher, Joe Paniagua, have created an online news site https://hmsnews.org/, the first middle school in NVUSD to offer this course option.  Students report on school news, sports and student life and upload articles and photos online.

Beginning in the 2014-2015 school year, Harvest will launch a Design and Animation course using Toon Boom Studios, a global leader in digital content and animation software.  The school will establish a digital design lab which will have state of the art ThinkCentre computers, digital video editing equipment and flexible seating options.  Harvest will be one of a handful of schools in Northern California offering an animation and design class. Principal, Carlos Flores, points out, “The Napa Valley Unified School District, under the board’s direction, has long been a leader in developing 21st century skills in students.  The animation lab aligns well with this priority and provides a unique opportunity for Harvest students to utilize their creative energies.”

Toon Boom in the Classroom

 Harvest Middle School has openings for incoming 6th graders next year.  Interested fifth grade students can apply to attend Harvest IB Candidate/Dual Immersion Magnet School by submitting an Open Enrollment Application by January 31st at 3:30pm to their elementary school office. No separate applications or projects are needed.  If the number of applicants exceeds the number of opening a random lottery process will be conducted by the Napa Valley Unified School District.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Harvest Goes International!”

  1. Mrs. Riddell on February 1st, 2014 3:10 pm

    What a great piece of journalistic writing about becoming an IB school! Both comprehensive and informative, the article sets the stage for more great news about Harvest to come! Good job, Eye of the Hawk staff!

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Harvest Goes International!