LB’s Jan. 14 Board of Ed. Meeting Highlights Enrichment Programs

The Jan. 14 meeting of the Long Beach Public Schools’ Board of Education focused on enrichment programs. A thorough report detailed the science research program at the secondary level and the LARC and SPIRIT programs for elementary students.

Director of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics 6-12 Dr. Deborah Loverich provided an overview of the science research program and offered several students an opportunity to share their experiences. Partners Savannah Kile and Leah Shokrian described the project they collaborated on, for which they observed snails in order to draw conclusions about the preservation of turtles in the Western Bays. Fey Villagomez discussed her participation in a opportunity at SUNY Stony Brook and credited the high school’s program for preparing her well. Justin Weissberg explained the work that went into his project on oyster reef sustainability.

The students shared their enthusiasm for the science research program. “We become the scientists that we read about in the textbooks,” said Leah. “Understanding these tools goes beyond just high school,” said Justin. “It’s about learning how to apply your knowledge and your own skills to solve problems in the real world.”

The next half of the presentation was presented by Director of Elementary Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Sean Murray and LARC and SPIRIT teacher Justin Sulsky.

LARC, an acronym for Learning Activities to Raise Creativity, is the district’s gifted and talented program that focuses on goals related to critical thinking, problem solving, creativity and group process. Students are taught based on inquiry and essential questions, and participate in a number of competitions and events such as the WordMasters challenge each year. 

SPIRIT stands for Specialized Program Integrating Research, IB Principles and 21st Century Technology. It is provided for all students and helps them to apply the knowledge they acquire in the classroom to the broader world. SPIRIT lessons and activities incorporate the IB Learner Profile traits and follow an inquiry-based learning process.

For more information and to view the full presentation on LARC and SPIRIT, please visit and select the “Presentations and Letters” link under the Board of Education menu.