Rowland Unified School District

Staff Only



 WALNUT – SEPTEMBER 12, 2011 – Rowland Unified Superintendent Dr. Maria Ott announced today that both Oswalt Academy and Ybarra Academy of Arts and Technology received official authorization and are now International Baccalaureate® (IB) World Schools, offering the Primary Years Programme (PYP), an international curriculum designed for students aged 3 to 12. There are currently only 26 schools in the state that are authorized to offer the prestigious PYP curriculum, that focuses on developing inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. Students at these K-8 academies can continue with the IB curriculum and receive an International Baccalaureate Diploma at either Nogales High School or Rowland High School, also IB World Schools.

            “The Board of Education and I are so proud of the extraordinary accomplishment that the educational teams of Oswalt and Ybarra have brought to our District,” said Ott.

            “After five years of hard work and dedication, we are so excited to be an IB World School,” said Ybarra Principal Annette Ramirez. “The tremendous efforts of our dedicated teachers, students and parents helped us achieve this goal. We also want to especially thank our PYP Coordinator, Crystal Hastings – it was due to her heart and determination that brought this program to life.”

            “I could not be more excited for the Oswalt staff, students, and community to now be officially recognized as an IB World School. The dedication of our tremendous teaching staff has paid off and the community has reason to be proud and to celebrate,” said Oswalt Principal Kevin Despard. “Both schools would like to give special thanks to the School Board, Dr. Ott, and the RUSD Cabinet for standing behind us 100% of the way. In addition, I would like to give particular praise to Robin Paerels, our IB PYP Coordinator, who worked tirelessly throughout this endeavor, and to Steve Gasca, both schools’ curriculum advisor, who helped guide us down the path to authorization.”

            Both schools are in the process of planning school-wide celebrations for this achievement on September 23, 2011. In March 2012, Oswalt & Ybarra Academies, in conjunction with Heart for Education, will be hosting a roundtable workshop for all PYP schools that are part of CAWS (the California Association of IB World Schools).

            For further information about the IB Primary Years Programme, visit

            Stanley G. Oswalt Academy is located at 19501 Shadow Oak Drive in Walnut.  For more information, visit  or contact Principal Kevin Despard at (626) 810-4109.

            Ybarra Academy of the Arts and Technology is located at 1300 Brea Canyon Cut-Off Road, in Walnut. For more information visit  or contact Principal Annette Ramirez at (909) 598-3744.

The Rowland Unified School District is proud to serve 16,000 students at 20 elementary and secondary schools in the communities of Rowland Heights, Walnut, La Puente, City of Industry, and West Covina. More than 5,000 adults (16+) are also served by the Rowland Adult and Community Education School. For more information about Rowland Unified, call (626) 965-2541 or visit 

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