How Many Dual Language Programs In The United States K-12 International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program Comes to Washington D.C. Schools

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International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program Comes to Washington D.C. Schools

Shephard Elementary School Immersion Program

Washington DC Schools are eager to start a new language immersion program at the elementary school level. Beginning in August 2006, pre-Kindergarten students from diverse foreign language backgrounds joined the new language immersion program. In particular, children who speak French and Spanish are needed to start this two-way immersion experience. Students participating in the program will receive French-English or Spanish-English content courses taught by teachers who speak the target language fluently. Children born in late 2001 and early 2002 and who speak a foreign language are encouraged to enroll.

The Shepard Elementary School program is part of the Washington DC Public School System’s ongoing efforts to integrate the International Baccalaureate program at the elementary school level. Starting in August 2006, all school levels at Shepard Elementary School will begin participating in this internationally recognized program.

The program of the primary year

The primary year program is designed to teach the whole child through a range of interdisciplinary activities. Designed for students aged three to twelve, it involves an overall development of the mind, body and heart and focuses on the child’s needs in all forms of development, including social, physical, emotional, cultural and academic . The curriculum is published in English, French and Spanish. The first year program is designed to prepare students for the International Baccalaureate Program, a college preparatory program offered in high schools around the world, including many locations in the United States. The introduction of the Primary Years Program in Washington, DC is in response to the large international community that lives and works in the area.

How Shepard Became an IB World School

To teach the primary year program, Shepard has to go through several stages to ensure that the curriculum reflects an international standard. Washington DC schools entered the Consideration Phase for the first time, as they conducted research on the ability for schools like Shepard to meet the rigorous requirements for admission to the program. The district conducted a thorough analysis of the philosophy and curriculum, and identified the resources that would be needed to implement the Early Years Program.

During the Application Phase, the school goes through all the necessary procedures to implement the new program. This involves training teachers to use the new curriculum, as well as raising the resources needed to deliver the program. Shepard Elementary School must then implement the program for a full school year to complete this phase. The school district of Washington DC will assist Shepard to start the program in August 2006. This test phase will determine how Washington DC schools are able to handle the rigors of the demands of this international school system.

At the end of the trial phase, scheduled for August 2007 for Shepard Elementary School, a delegation from the International Baccalaureate Organization will visit the school. During this visit, members of the delegation decide whether the school has demonstrated success in implementing the curriculum. If the school does well, the school becomes authorized to offer the program and obtain the internationally recognized status of International Baccalaureate World School. The IBO will continue to visit and monitor the school’s progress every five years.

Training of Teachers

The teachers at Shepard Elementary received special training to meet the demands of the internationally recognized curriculum. Before being authorized to teach the program, the principal, administrative staff and teachers all undergo training of some kind. Some teachers attend IBO workshops. Many of the teachers in the Washington DC school district attended a school-based training organized by the IBO. Teachers are also encouraged to keep up to date with IBO’s online curriculum center in addition to attending conferences and workshops.

Shepard Elementary has taken the first steps to bring Washington DC public education to an international level by entering these first stages of the International Baccalaureate Primary Year Program.

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