LAND O’ LAKES — Pine View Elementary staff and students worked for two years to become Pasco County’s first fully authorized International Baccalaureate program for elementary students, serving 565 students in preschool through fifth grade. Pine View is designated a magnet school with an IB focus.
“The IB framework means students learn to think independently, drive their own learning, become culturally aware through a second language and be able to engage with people in a globalized world,” said Pine View principal Kay Moore, who’s led the school into the interdisciplinary framework of instruction.
“It was a slow process. We’ve integrated across all subject areas,” said Moore, who credits IB coordinator Erin Greco.
Greco understands, among other things, the staff training for the program. She said 100 percent of the staff must have two complete days of face-to-face training within an IB-authorized workshop.
Moore and Greco emphasize that the IB framework is not a new curriculum. It uses the same materials as other county schools. All subjects are integrated and students stay with the same teacher all day.
Individual educational needs are met with specialists working with the classroom teacher. Blended with the classroom instructions are art, music and physical education lessons. Every student also attends Spanish class once a week.
Miriam Probst welcomes students to Spanish. She invites Spanish-speaking students to be “experts” when a new word is introduced, allowing students to recognize the importance of relationships, a key trait of the program.
In building relationships, Monica Woods gave her third-graders the assignment of creating a “Me Museum.” Students brought in four personal items — called artifacts — representing something about themselves. The items and a short statement about each were displayed on their desks. The class did a gallery walk with a reminder that they were in a museum, which meant no touching of the artifacts.
“Being an IB school allows us to create units that not only incorporate the standards, but also are authentic student inquiry lessons,” said Woods. Lessons often start with a provocation, such as a picture of a cultural group. Students generate “I wonder” questions that guide instruction.
“Students are more engaged in their learning, and I love seeing them become internationally-minded citizens,” said Woods.
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“We were very pleased that Pine View Elementary earned the IB accreditation, aligning with IB programs at Pineview Middle and Land O’ Lakes High School,” said David Scanga, assistant superintendent for Pasco Schools.