Falls Church’s Mount Daniel School and Thomas Jefferson Elementary have received official word they have earned the distinction of being an International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme World School, authorized to offer the rigorous and acclaimedPrimary Years Programme (PYP).
The PYP focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside. The program offers a balance between learning about a subject area and learning beyond it to measure its global significance; allowing students to connect what they learn in the classroom with the world around them.
Becoming an IB World School is a lengthy, rigorous process. Since 2008, teachers at both Mount Daniel and Thomas Jefferson have worked together to develop a curriculum that is consistent with the inquiry-based philosophy of the PYP program. The students have been benefitting from this new approach and the way it capitalizes on their strengths and interests.
Then, in the first weeks of December 2011, both schools had Verification Visits with visiting teams from the IB office. The teams met with administrators, teachers, specialists and parents, and evaluated the schools’ preparedness to continue to implement the PYP. After the visits, the teams reported their findings to the regional, national and international IBoffices, who now have determined that both schools should immediately be authorized as IB World Schools.
Mount Daniel and Thomas Jefferson are proud to join George Mason High School, which became the first IB Diploma Program World School in the State of Virginia in 1981. Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School will begin training to join the IB Middle Years Programme after grade transitions are complete following the expansion of Thomas Jefferson.