The Pueblo Chieftan

Desert Sage seeking IB credentials

Students at Desert Sage Elementary School are becoming international learners — probably without even realizing it.

The school is in the process of applying to become an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program school, and this year teachers are writing, teaching and assessing the six units within the PYP program.

DSE Principal Jeanette Baysinger said the school has encountered a bit of a hiccup, but is still pursing the IB authorization.

“Anna (Roman, the school’s IB Coordinator) has stepped in to teach second grade after Elizabeth Marino passed away this fall,” Baysinger said.

“She’d stepped in to help while Marino was ill and we felt that it was important to offer the consistency to the students.

“She’s a master teacher, so she’s really doing well helping in this role. With her not in the role full-time (as coordinator) it has slowed us down a little, but we’re still moving forward.”

Baysinger said the goal for this school year was for teachers to create the six units and begin putting them into practice in the classroom.

Roman is offering as much guidance and input as possible while still leading her classroom.

Last spring, the school had a visit from an IB consultant, and four more teachers went to additional IB training during the summer months.

“By the end of the year, we hope to have the units written and taught. And then we’re also working on specific policies at the school, like the foreign language piece,” Baysinger said.

The students at DSE are now in their second year of receiving Spanish instruction.

All grades have Spanish once a week for 40 minutes, and Baysinger said it’s been amazing to see how the students in their second year are excelling.

The other thing the school is working on are “learner profile attributes,” which are woven into the entire school curriculum. They are things the IB philosophy believes make children international learners. “It doesn’t matter what country you’re in, it’s important,” said Baysinger. “Like being caring and things like that.”

She said the hope is to move toward submitting the authorization application in the fall, which would then include a team of consultants coming to the school to be sure all standards are implemented appropriately.

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