Ybarra Academy of the Arts and Technology is one of three K-8 schools in Rowland Unified School District. It is located in the eastern part of the school district in the city of Walnut, CA. The school opened in 1965 and has gone several modernization projects to accommodate the growing community and to improve the learning environment. In 2010 fifteen classrooms were modernized to including a new science lab with state-of-the-art technology capabilities and a new Wonder of Reading Library.
Student Demographics and Enrollment
Ybarra Academy of the Arts and Technology is a TK-8 School. Ybarra Academy serves a diverse community of children and families. As of 2016, 687 students attend Ybarra Academy including 21 Transitional Kindergartners, 55 kindergartners, 68 first graders, 71 second graders, 78 third graders, 75 fourth graders, 68 fifth graders, 83 sixth graders, 78 seventh graders, and 90 eighth graders. The ethnic composition of Ybarra Academy is 49% Hispanic, 31% Asian, 8% white, 5% Filipino, and 4% others. Seventeen percent of Ybarra Academy's student population are English Language Learners.
- International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme: The IB Primary Years Programme, for students aged 3 to 12, focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside. The most significant and distinctive feature of the IB Primary Years Programme is the six transdisciplinary themes. These themes are about issues that have meaning for, and are important to, all of us. The programme offers a balance between learning about or through the subject areas, and learning beyond them. The six themes of global significance create a transdisciplinary framework that allows students to "step up" beyond the confines of learning within subject areas.
- Who we are
- Where we are in place and time
- How we express ourselves
- How the world works
- How we organize ourselves
- Sharing the planet
The six transdisciplinary themes help teachers to develop a programme of inquiries–in-depth investigations into important ideas, identified by the teachers, and requiring a high level of involvement on the part of the students. These inquiries are substantial, in-depth and usually last for several weeks. Assessment is an important part of each unit of inquiry as it both enhances learning and provides opportunities for students to reflect on what they know, understand and can do. The teacher's feedback to the students provides the guidance, the tools and the incentive for them to become more competent, more skillful and better at understanding how to learn.
Any school wishing to offer the Primary Years Programme and attain IB World School status must first go through the authorization process. The requirements for authorization are the same for all schools, even though the process is administered slightly differently in each IB region. The process is designed to ensure schools are well prepared to implement the programme successfully.
This is a challenging programme that demands the best from both motivated students and teachers. Schools can access an extensive package of IB professional development for teachers and administrators and commit to ongoing professional development. Teams from the organization visit IB World Schools from time to time in order to support an ongoing process of review and development, using standards and practices that apply to all IB World Schools.
- Meet the Masters: The Meet the Masters experience begins with a multi-media assembly using slides, artist voices, and music where the children learn about the fascinating lives and famous works of the Master Artists. We have 35 artists units available in 5 tracks. Interactive questions and multi-media content will keep the students interest while walking through a virtual museum filled with interesting stories and facts. An art background is not necessary because all lesson plans are scripted, illustrated and timed. The art vocabulary, artist name cards, art elements, props and visuals are all included and organized – nothing to research or gather. Now that the children have a true connection to the artist, it is time to introduce the techniques which made the art revolutionary. Back in the classroom they will work on a mostly self-guided follow-up packet which will be the pencil-on-paper means for your student to learn from the Masters. The worksheets reinforce the material previously presented in Introducing the Masters, and further prepares them for success in Step 3 (Working with the Masters). After learning the inspiration and techniques of each Master the children are ready for the real fun. Your classroom will transform into an art studio as the well-equipped teacher leads the students on a step-by-step journey through the art project. Often in the same medium, style or subject matter as the Master, the students will discover their creativity while developing confidence in their own unique abilities. Training DVDs can assist the teacher with step by step detailed instructions.
- Resource Specialist Program (RSP): Ybarra Academy’s resource specialist program (RSP) is a form of special education that is available to students who have mild to moderate learning disabilities and who are having trouble in one or more areas of classroom learning. A teacher who is credentialed in Special Education heads an RSP. This specialized credential helps the teacher address a variety of learning disabilities. Special Ed teachers also are skilled in assessment for learning disabilities, which might constitute a portion of their work, as well as assessment of students in meeting predefined goals. The RSP teacher might employ assistants called resource specialists who work in the RSP classroom or work with individual students or groups as needed. Ybarra Academy has 19 RSP students and 1 inclusion.
One goal in Special Education is to help students learn in regular classroom settings, which is called mainstreaming. An RSP might be set up so that teachers or resource specialists work with students in their mainstreamed classrooms. Especially if many students in a particular classroom require assistance, the RSP might focus on the teacher or resource specialist going to a class and assisting at certain designated points during the day, such as the times devoted to acquiring language or math skills.
The needs of each student are often designated by Individual Education Plans (IEPs). In some cases students might benefit from “pull-out” time. In these cases, students visit an RSP classroom for part of the day, possibly every day or several times a week, to work on basic skills.
An RSP can change yearly to adapt to the changing needs of students who require assistance. One important aspect of any RSP is continued assessment of a student’s ability to meet IEP goals. When IEP meetings are convened each year, benchmark goals are set. The RSP teacher must be able to target his or her teaching methods toward helping each student achieve individual goals. When goals are not achieved, more testing might be required to better define the specifics of a student’s learning challenges.
- English language Learners (ELL's): English Language Learners make up 18% of Ybarra Academy's student body. From the day they enroll in school they are designated English Only (EO), Initially Fluent English Proficient (IFEP), or an English Language Learner (EL). Of our English Learners, 39% are IFEP and 21% have been Reclassified Fluent English Proficient (RFEP). English Learners receive English Language Development services 30 minutes daily in leveled groups. These groups are composed of students that are a maximum of one English language developmental level apart. These students also receive Specifically Designed Instruction en English services in the core academic content areas until they are reclassified.
- Student Council: Student Council is a student-based civic organization designed to help promote school spirit and leadership among students. Students participating in all levels of the Council will maintain a high standard of personal conduct. Council members will demonstrate leadership qualities by serving as good examples of behavior through their words and actions. All Council members will be expected to participate in approved activities, which will serve to enhance the quality of both the physical and behavior environment of the school. The purpose of student council is: To develop positive attitudes and to practice good citizenship, to promote harmonious relations throughout the entire school, to improve student/faculty relationships, to improve school morale and general welfare, to provide a forum for student expression, to plan special events or projects. Benefits of being involved in student council include: opportunity to improve reading and writing skills, gain experience in public speaking, and learn how to make a positive impact on school and community environment. In addition, student council serves as a chance to meet new friends and work with a wide variety of people.
All of our students receive 50 minutes a week of Music. Each student has the option to either take part in a choir, play a band instrument, or play a string instrument. Music is taught by a credential teacher that specialize in music.
Band, and Violins: All of our middle school students are offered Band which is taught by Mr. Richard Schermer at Ybarra Academy as a daily elective class.
After-school enrichment classes: Various fee based after-school enrichment classes are offered to parents during the school year such as Theater, Mad Science, Young Rembrandts and Chess Masters.
Sports Program: After-school sports are offered to 5th through 8th grade students. Students learn the skills and rules necessary to play soccer, basketball, softball and volleyball. Teams play against neighboring intermediate and elementary schools within Rowland Unified. Teachers serve as coaches for the different boys and girls sports.
Cheer and Dance squad: Cheer and Dance Squad is offered to 6th, 7th and 8th grade students at Ybarra Academy. The squad learns routines from two Rowland High School volunteers. The squad is supervised by two teachers. They cheer at school sporting events and other school activities.
Drama Club: The Drama Club meets after school and is open to all 7th and 8th grade students. Students learn about theatre and practice acting techniques. It is coordinated by a teacher.
Our School Awards and Achievements:
- 2016 California Gold Ribbon School Award
- International Baccalaureate World School
- Ybarra Academy also received the "California Cares" Award in October 2005 for raising money and hope for the victims of the Hurricane Katrina
- 2010 Grand Opening of Wonder of Reading Library
- First K-8 school in the Rowland Unified School District for the 2007-2008 school year
- Won second place as a school in the annual Buckboard Days Parade in the Equestrian category
- Certified in 2003 as a "National PTA Parent Involvement School of Excellence."
- 1997 and 2005 California Distinguished School