Teachers and school administrators strive to help students achieve all As, but when their school receives a B designation, it can’t get better that that! What exactly makes a B so special in this case? Simply that the school has now joined a global community of International Baccalaureate (IB) schools.
This is the case for Dallas ISD’s Arthur Kramer Elementary School, which has received an IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) designation. The PYP program focuses on developing students’ academics while preparing them to become active, caring, lifelong learners who demonstrate respect for themselves, others, and the world around them.
“There is pride and happiness surrounding Kramer Elementary School’s community as they have become the first official International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme school in Dallas ISD,” said Executive Director Dr. Mark Ramirez, who leads the feeder pattern for that school. “The journey ahead not only for Kramer students, but for teachers as well, will be exciting, as this international designation will open doors to many learning opportunities for the entire Kramer elementary community. I am extremely proud and happy of all those involved in making this achievement possible.”
What exactly does it mean to be an IB school?
“For students, being part of an IB school means that they will have an opportunity of being part of transformative learning experiences,” said Kramer principal Kate Walker. “Students at Kramer will have a unique opportunity of learning about the world through curriculum and interactions with other people, which will make them more culturally aware. They will also learn to better engage with people in an increasingly globalized, rapidly changing world. As the new principal, I feel honored to have come to Kramer at such an exciting time, where we can not only celebrate, but our community can be assured that we will continue to implement the IB program.”
The IB program develops challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessments. Curriculum will include teaching and learning opportunities, which explore local and global issues and opportunities in real-life contexts.
In order to become an IB school, campuses must complete an authorization process, which takes a minimum of three years to complete. Kramer Elementary achieved this designation on schedule under the leadership of former principal Katherine Eska, who is now principal at Dallas ISD’s North Dallas High School.
Eska commends district support, teachers, parents, and students for this accomplishment. “Becoming an IB school takes high-levels of collaboration from all of our stakeholders,” she said. “Under direction from our invaluable IB Coordinator, Kim West, teachers transition instruction to be interdisciplinary and inquiry based. Students embody the Learner Profile and parents are true learning partners in the process. Kramer is the first authorized Primary Years Programme in Dallas ISD thanks to the hard work and dedication of the whole school community. I am so proud of the Kramer team and look forward to seeing their continued growth as an IB World School!”
Teachers and other staff at Kramer elementary will join an IB community of educators who will have the opportunity of collaborating online to share best practices in teaching students and will have access to other resources to enhance their professional growth.
Dallas ISD has three other IB schools: J. L. Long Middle School, Harry Stone Montessori Academy and Woodrow Wilson High School.