Loomis Union School District opened a Charter, August 2008, implementing the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, best known for its high school diploma program geared to prepare students for university matriculation. The Loomis Basin Charter School will educate students from the IB primary years into their middle years and is located on the grounds adjacent to Franklin School.
After long study and investigation, the Loomis District Board and Superintendent decided upon aligning the charter school with that of the International Baccalaureate program, primarily because of its history of success in educating students ready, able and willing to play a part on the world stage. It took three years to become a fully accredited International Baccalaureate school.
The district planned a “phased” approach, beginning with a Primary Years Program (PYP) for qualified students from ages 5 through 10 and then added additional grades each year until Loomis Basin Charter School became a K-8 school.
The charter school will focus on the development of the whole child, as he/she develops and applies knowledge learned in the classroom to the world, emphasizing academic, social, physical, emotional and cultural development. Knowledge in this context is comprised of six curricular/subject areas aligned with California State Standards and is developed through inquiries into six trans-disciplinary themes of global significance. Additionally, Spanish was incorporated into the language subject area giving students the opportunity to learn a second language. Teachers and students use key questions that are concept based to structure Units of Inquiry.
A group of parents and teachers worked to identify the needs for school and students then offered advice to administration. Highly qualified teachers will be trained to implement the IB philosophy and begin creating units of inquiry using their standards-based curriculum. The majority of Loomis Basin Charter School teachers spent a week prior to the school's opening at an International Baccalaureate training. An additional two weeks of curricular training occurred prior to the start of school.
It would be said that without the long study by the Loomis Union School District Board and Superintendent Paul Johnson, the Loomis Basin Charter School would still be somewhere over the horizon. We were fortunate to have been guided in this project by the very best leaders and visionaries in education.