Kudos to Sarah Smith Elementary, whose International Baccalaureate Programme is among those examined in the latest issue of Atlanta Newcomer magazine. As explained in the article, IB offers a diversified form of education that spans several subject matters and helps prepare students for life in a global economy — one of the key goals of the Atlanta Public Schools. (Hat tip to Principal Sidney Baker for the head’s up!) Here’s a peek:
IB education is divided into three programmes — Primary Years (PYP), Middle Years (MYP) and IB Diploma — that span ages three to 19 and share a common philosophy and characteristics. Atlanta International School is the only school in Georgia that offers all three programmes; in fact, it’s one of only 10 schools in the U.S. that includes the continuum. “In the PYP, the goal is to teach conceptually,” says Jason Johnston, IB/PYP Coordinator at Sarah Rawson Smith Elementary School in Buckhead. In PYP, students learn to make connections in multiple subject areas and extract key concepts, which can be applied to a variety of situations and problems. For example, instead of just studying the U.S. Civil War, students might look at civil wars across the world to understand what war means more generally. In the future when students recognize aspects like “conflict,” they can continue to understand them in a variety of contexts.