Primary Years Programme Schools .. Four-year long project results in certification for both VUSD magnet elementary schools; Vista joins San Diego Unified as the only other SD County district offering all three levels of IB.
VISTA, CA. May 2017 – On May 17th, 2017, The International Baccalaureate welcomed two Vista elementary schools into the global community of IB World Schools. Casita Center For Science, Technology and Math, and Vista Academy (of Visual and Performing Arts) each received confirmation from the international organization, congratulating the two magnet schools on their achievements.
“We are thrilled to become an IB World School. It truly is magical!” explains Vista Academy Principal Catina Hancock. “This [authorization] transforms the educational experience for our students. The IB Primary Years Programme has a rigorous, research- and inquiry-based curriculum that complements our ongoing focus on developing the emotional, intellectual, and artistic potential in every child.”
As to the 48-month long process of training teachers and integrating the IB curriculum, Hancock says, “This is a validation of four years of dedication, hard work, and focus on what is best for students in preparing them for the challenges of a global community.”
Adds Casita Center Principal Laura Smith, “IB sets the international bar for schools. As a California public elementary school principal, I am so proud to offer this caliber of education to our students.”
Smith is particularly pleased that the certification carries global recognition from fellow educators. “Educators world wide honor this training, and Casita is honored to be part of a global community of schools committed to developing knowledgeable, caring young people who will be ready to negotiate their futures successfully and make contributions resulting in a more harmonious and peaceful world.”
The International Baccalaureate (The International Baccalaureate Organization) is a global network of over 4,800 schools in 147 countries, serving 1.3 million students. Schools seeking to be certified go through an extensive process that includes professional development. Casita and Vista Academy teachers completed two years of coursework to earn the IB Certificate in Teaching and Learning. The VUSD teachers did this through Cal State San Marcos. Teachers also gained training in curriculum development and worked collaboratively to integrate content standards into units of study.
Vista USD Board member Cipriano Vargas joins the celebration. “As a former graduate of Vista Unified schools, I look forward to the impact our IB schools will bring to classrooms. IB programs help bridge the gap between a global perspective and Vista, in particular for many of our students who often times do not know the community beyond San Diego County. All of our students have great potential, this is another avenue to help reach those minds and better prepare them beyond high school.”
“Having Casita Center and Vista Academy recognized as certified International Baccalaureate schools is another shining example of the focus, dedication and hard work that our teams are modeling as leaders in educational innovation and excellence,” says VUSD Interim Superintendent Dr. Matt Doyle. “This certification of our two elementary schools completes our goal to create an uninterrupted IB pathway for students from preschool to graduation in both STEM and the arts.”
Andrew MacDonald, Chief Schools Officer for The International Baccalaureate, expressed in a letter that the IB, “Looks forward to welcoming your schools’ PYP faculty members into the IB community of educators, where they will find collaborators and a dynamic global network of professionals dedicated to the best practices in teaching students and in sharing those practices with each other.”
Elsewhere in the district, Vista Magnet Middle School offers an IB Middle Years Programme, and both Rancho Buena Vista High School and Vista High School offer an IB Diploma Programme. This makes Vista USD unique as one of the only California school districts to offer an IB pathway through all three grade levels. Vista joins San Diego Unified as the only other district in San Diego County to offer such a broad pathway.
For more information or to schedule an interview with a VUSD leader, contact Dave Palmer.
About the International Baccalaureate:…Founded in 1968 the International Baccalaureate (IB) is a non-profit foundation, which offers four high quality and challenging educational programmes for a worldwide community of schools. For close to 50 years, IB programmes have gained a reputation for their rigour and high academic standards, for preparing students for life in a globalized 21st century, and for helping to develop citizens who will create a better, more peaceful world. Currently, more than 1,3 million IB students attend over 4,500 schools in 147 countries. For further information about the International Baccalaureate please visit www.ibo.org