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Education

Rountree Elementary Becomes an Official 'International Baccalaureate' School

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The six themes within the IB Primary Years Programme./Credit: International Baccalaureate Organization

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/rountree-elementary-becomes-official-international-baccalaureate-school_69448.mp3

The designation came this week. Teachers and staff at Rountree have been working toward the International Baccalaureate, or IB, recognition since 2009, when the school became an official candidate for the program. Since then, Springfield’s Board of Education set aside funding and teachers received preliminary training.

The Primary Years Programme is built for students aged three to 12. David Martin, principal of Rountree Elementary, said the curriculum was introduced gradually over the last couple of years.

“Kind of the heart of the curriculum is these units of inquiry that the teachers developed, and they are based around these global themes.  So what happened the first year [is] each grade level developed two units. These are six week units; they are trans-disciplinary in nature, so they incorporate reading, math, social studies and science,” Martin said.

Each year, an additional two units were added until each grade level reached a total of six.  In these units, children learn critical thinking by asking questions and conducting presentations of what they’ve learned.

In February, two IB representatives evaluated the school’s program. That evaluation consisted of interviewing teachers, parents and students for a report that was sent to regional, national and international offices.

Now that the school is officially IB approved, the curriculum will continue, and its progress will be evaluated in another four years. Martin said the school community is celebrating.

“Teachers, and our community and students have…they’ve really worked very, very hard to get to this point. I just could not be prouder of the school community for what they’ve done here,” Martin said.

Follow this link to  learn more about Primary Years Programme and its six themes of global significance.

For KSMU News, I’m Anna Thomas.