IB Consultant Visit

Apr 7th, 2017

On April 10th and 11th, we will welcome our International Baccalaureate (IB) Consultant, Ms. Kathy Couillard.  

Ms. Couillard is the principal at Handley IB World School in Saginaw, Michigan. During her visit, Ms. Couillard will observe, document, and experience our progress as a candidate school. She will also collaborate with us in creating an action plan for achieving authorization. Annunciation is currently in its second year of being an International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Program (PYP) candidate program. We plan to apply for authorization during the 2017-2018 school year.  

The IB organization sets forth a number of standards and requirements that schools need to incorporate and demonstrate prior to authorization. These standards fall under seven categories: school philosophy, leadership/structure, support/resources, collaborative planning, curriculum, teaching/learning, and assessment. We have been working diligently to question, reflect and create new practices at Annunciation to meet these standards. The PYP represents an approach to teaching and learning that is broad and inclusive. It is driven by a spirit of inquiry and a clear sense of purpose. Our goal is to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world.   

What changes will the IB Primary Years Program mean for our school?

  • School-wide adoption of the PYP approach will require changes in the classroom and throughout the school.
  • Engaging in this change process will have a beneficial impact on the whole school, individual teachers and, most significantly, on the quality of student learning.
  • A commitment to continuous school improvement.

What changes will the IB Primary Years Program mean for our teachers?

Teachers/staff ARE NOT expected to discard years of hard-earned skill and experience. Teachers/staff ARE expected to engage in reflection on their own practice, both individually and in collaboration with colleagues, with the primary aim of improving their teaching to improve student learning.

Did you know?

  • Every Wednesday we have two substitute teachers rotate through our elementary classrooms.  Having a substitute gives our teachers time to collaborate with their grade-level teaching partner, the IB Coordinator (Anne Laux), and our Tech Integrationist (Julie Loney) to plan and reflect on their practice and student learning.  Our focus is to ensure that our curriculum provides opportunities for student learning that are significant, relevant, engaging and challenging.
  •  On Tuesdays, our K-5 teachers meet (after school) to collaborate with their colleagues to focus on improving their teaching and student learning.  This time is used for professional development, creating systems and supports, and sharing current units of inquiry. 
  • Our K-8 staff and students meet on Monday mornings to celebrate, pray, and share the importance of the IB attributes and attitudes within our school community.
  • Since last fall, we have created a program of inquiry (POI), consisting of six transdisciplinary units in each of the six elementary grades. Each of the units has a central idea / essential question and three to four lines of inquiry. Our POI incorporates the MN Standards for math, language arts, health, science and social studies. There is a clear, age-appropriate progression for each transdisciplinary theme throughout grade-levels and a balance of age-appropriate skills throughout each grade-level.

View the Annunciation School K-5 Program of Inquiry (POI).  
If you have any questions or suggestions regarding IB candidacy at Annunciation School, please contact Anne Laux, IB Coordinator.  alalondelaux@annunciationmsp.org.

Anne LaLonde Laux
International Baccalaureate (IB) Coordinator