Pine View Elementary School has received its official authorization to offer the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme.
The school, at 5333 Parkway Blvd., in Land O’ Lakes, has been working for three years toward attaining the authorization. It is the first public school in Pasco County to achieve the distinction.
As of May 1, there were 1,716 schools offering the IB PYP, in 109 different countries worldwide, according to the IB Organization’s website. In the United States, there are 504 public schools offering the IB PYP.
Pine View Middle School already is operating as an IB Middle Years Programme, and Land O’ Lakes High School offers the IB Diploma Programme, as well as a pre-IB programme for ninth-graders.
Pine View Elementary Principal Kay Moore said being a PYP candidate school has been a journey.
“One of the requirements to be authorized is that 100 percent of your staff has to go through International Baccalaureate training. So, we spent a lot of time and resources to train teachers,” Moore said.
Initially, the elementary school was looking for a way to provide a choice option for parents.
“We had declining enrollment over the past few years,” Moore explained, noting that Pine View was losing students to Sanders Memorial Elementary, a STEAM Magnet School, and charter schools, such as Imagine School and Classical Prep.
“We wanted to offer choice, and IB seemed to be a natural fit because of the middle school and the high school,” Moore said. “It completed a feeder pattern.”
While Pine View’s motivation was to be competitive, the experience has been illuminating for everyone involved, Moore said.
“We learned that this is a teaching style that’s good for kids,” Moore said.
It also “was a great growth opportunity for our staff,” she added, noting that as teachers became more familiar with the PYP, they embraced it.
Their attitude was: “This is the kind of teaching and learning we want for children.’
“It was, ‘Wow, this is just good teaching’,” the principal said.
“So our staff buy-in was 100 percent because of that,” the principal said.
Moore credits Erin Greco, the school’s IB coordinator, as playing a pivotal role in the school’s transition to becoming a PYP.
She described Greco as being a catalyst.
“She’s been going through extensive training and studying, and is very self-motivated,” Moore said.
Teachers are pleased to be able to offer this educational approach, she added.
“One of the teachers got up at a parent meeting and said, ‘Just think, we’re going to offer your child IB, without the expense of IB,” Moore said.
Parents are enthused by the program, too.
“The IB team came in and interviewed the parent groups. They said that is our strength. Our parent support is truly our strength.
“I think a lot of them recognize that this is something special, that their children and they get to be involved with,” Moore said.
Besides achieving the PYP designation, Pine View is also a magnet school now.
Students within the school’s normal boundaries are automatically in, but others living outside the boundaries can apply to fill vacant spots. The vacancies are filled through a lottery.
When parents inquire about the program, they often have questions about the curriculum, Moore said.
“The curriculum is not different. We still do the state standards. The difference is we teach in an interdisciplinary fashion, where we integrate reading, writing, science, social studies — with a focus on connecting kids globally,” she said.
“Delivery is different because we try to do it on an inquiry basis, so that kids have choice and voice. When they do have choice and voice, they own it. We encourage them to go beyond the lessons that teachers may give and do their own inquiry,” she said.
There’s also more hands-on learning, Moore added.
The students aren’t the only ones learning in a new way, the principal added.
The teachers also are true IB learners, Moore said. “They’re inquiring, ‘How can I make it better? What can I read, what can I study — to make this experience better for kids?’”
And, they aren’t the only ones who are welcoming opportunities for new growth.
Moore, an educator for 38 years, said she feels invigorated.
“We are definitely not at the end of this journey. Every year, we are going to refine and make things better.
“The world is a lot smaller now, because of all the connections.
“This allows us to have that global perspective and really help children see and accept differences, and tolerate — and yet be discriminators of their own learning. That’s what excites me,” Moore said.
For more information, contact Pine View Elementary at (352) 524-0600.
What is the Primary Years Programme?
The Primary Years Programme (PYP) is a curriculum framework for young learners aged 3–12 designed by the International Baccalaureate (IB).
Founded on a philosophy that recognizes a child’s natural curiosity, creativity and ability to reflect, the PYP generates a stimulating, challenging learning environment to nurture those assets and foster a lifelong love of learning in every child.
The PYP, like all IB programmes, is transdisciplinary, meaning students learn across subject areas, while investigating big ideas.
Does the PYP have a specific set of standards?
In the PYP, students learn about significant concepts through units of inquiry.
The six transdisciplinary themes that guide units of inquiry and compose a year of study are:
- 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
Units of inquiry interweave subject areas, such as mathematics, language arts, science and social studies.
This approach encourages students to make their own connections between what they learn in core subject areas and how it relates to the world around them.
Source: International Baccalaureate website
Published July 03, 2019