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Valley Vista Elementary: Candidate School for the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program

From International Baccalaureate's Head of Authorization, February 15, 2018:

Valley Vista Elementary is a candidate school for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Program (PYP) and pursuing authorization as an IB World School.  IB World Schools share a common philosophy- a commitment to improve the teaching and learning of a diverse and inclusive community of students by delivering challenging, high-quality programmes of international education that share a powerful vision.

Principal Catina Haugen and the Valley Vista teaching staff began investigating this programmatic shift in January 2017. Teachers took a field trip to an IB school in Napa and a team attended an IB conference over summer. Upon their return in August, they decided to take the plunge and commit to becoming an International Baccalaureate school.


What's happening now?

The IB Learner Profile is an integral part of classroom, playground, and campus life. Mrs. O is teaching Spanish to all students once or twice weekly. Teachers are finishing up Unit 1 planning and each grade level is jumping into its first Unit of Inquiry this spring! Our IB Coordinator, Jen Ortlinghaus, is coaching grade levels, coordinating steps toward authorization and supporting our new teachers and auxiliary staff in implementation.


What does this mean for students?

Students and staff at Valley Vista are learning the 10 Learner Profile attributes and beginning to build them into their vocabulary on a regular basis. Teachers are turning their curriculum to a global view when possible, taking small steps toward the globally-minded, action-oriented goals of IB. Inquiry is the major underpinning of IB so we are embracing what inquiry really means in all it's different forms, from guided to structured to open.  Each type gives more or less guidance to students depending on the topic and age of students.  All three fit in every classroom. Valley Vista students will experience their first Unit of Inquiry this spring.  


For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit