St. Louis Language Immersion French School, Spanish School Named International Baccalaureate World Schools

Students at SLLIS

From St. Louis Language Immersion Schools:

Congratulations on IB World School status
The last day of school before Winter Break, The French School and The Spanish School received confirmation from International Baccalaureate Organization that they are now authorized IB World Schools for the Primary Years Programme (PYP). Authorization is an amazing testament to the work of our teachers, teacher assistants, Heads and Assistant Heads of School, and Primary Years Programme Coordinators over the past five years. Similar to private school accreditations, IB World School status confirms that our schools have met the IB’s international standards for philosophical alignment, governance, staffing structures, professional development, curriculum development, and engaging students in the action cycle. Over the past five years, each school has welcomed teams of PYP educators from Canada, Mexico, the US, and the UK into their schools for site visits, focus groups, document analysis, and critical feedback. Following those visits, our applications were reviewed by teams in the US and Switzerland to bestow our final authorization. Thank you to the teacher teams, parents, students, administrators, Board of Directors, and UMSL faculty who met with our visiting PYP teams to share our progress and questions during implementation.

What does IB World School status mean?
In 2013, IB celebrated 45 years of providing internationally recognized education opportunities. The French School and The Spanish School have joined the ranks of 1,100 elementary schools worldwide, 400 in the US, and only 3 others in Missouri to offer Primary Years Programme. The French School and The Spanish School are now the first and only public schools in the US to provide PYP and total immersion education for all students in an urban setting. Our education model is truly groundbreaking.

This is a great victory for all of our students, but in true IB fashion, authorization is just the beginning of our work. Every few years The French School and The Spanish School will undergo additional site visits to confirm the depth of inquiry-based instructional practice, teacher engagement, and student action in accordance with IB standards. Authorization is the best way to start the new year. It gives us clear opportunities for reflection on our success to-date and goal-setting to strengthen our practice in the year ahead.

Looking forward: The Chinese School and The International School
Authorization for the PYP takes a school 3-5 years to achieve. Now in its second year of operations, The Chinese School has begun its application process for PYP authorization. All full-time instructional staff have received their first curriculum training and are working closely with their PYP Coordinator to deepen their understanding and implementation of inquiry-based instructional practice. We anticipate that The Chinese School will host their first consultant visit in 2014-15 and their authorization visit in 2015-16. When The International School opens this fall, they will begin the process to be authorized for the Middle Years Programs (MYP) for grades 6- 10 and then the Diploma Programs (DP) for grades 11 and 12. Once The International School becomes authorized for the Diploma Programme, SLLIS will join the ranks of a handful of schools worldwide that offer the IB continuum for all students.

Joining an international mission
St. Louis Language Immersion Schools is proud to join the international education community committed to the IB mission:
The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programs encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

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