Cook Elementary Earns IB Program Status

Cook Recognized as an IB School
Posted on 10/20/2018
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Hazel Goes Cook Elementary has received official recognition as an International Baccalaureate (IB) school, the only elementary school in the South County to offer an IB program.

To earn the designation as an IB Primary Years Program for elementary schools, Cook completed numerous “candidate” requirements as part of a rigorous process that began five years ago.

Principal Gabriela Llamas said she was proud of her staff and students for their hard work in implementing the program.

“We wanted to offer our students a more holistic education that will instill in them the skills, knowledge, and outlook that are keys to success in today’s global economy,” Llamas said. “At the same time, we wanted give our teachers the opportunity to be a part of an international network of experts leading the field in education. We are excited about becoming an IB School. With the Primary Years Program, we can develop a foundation for students as they progress to middle and high school International Baccalaureate programs if they so choose.”Student raises her hand during class at Cook Elementary.

For close to 50 years, IB programs have gained a reputation for their rigor and high academic standards, for preparing students for life in a globalized 21st century, and for helping to develop citizens who will create a better, more peaceful world. In the South County, Bonita Vista and Castle Park high schools offer an IB diploma program.

The Primary Years Program is for students ages 3-12. Students are provided with a rigorous transdisciplinary curriculum that challenges students to deepen their conceptual understanding and knowledge across subject areas.

“Students explore topics with global significance and are guided to deepen their learning through collaboration and questioning,” Llamas said.

How will Cook students benefit?

“At Cook students are taught WHY they should know something and how it connects to other subjects and the world around them,” Llamas said. “It means students often decide the direction of instruction, based on their curiosities and inquiries. It means high quality teaching and learning—challenging instruction and worldwide knowledge.”

Students collaborate during class at Cook Elementary.Asked what it means to be “internationally minded,” Llamas explained: “It is a thoughtful, critical perspective that applies to who we are and what we do. It includes how we communicate, our political awareness, cultural understanding, celebrating diversity, global awareness of global issues, and a reflection on how knowledge is constructed and applied. At Cook, we focus on moving students toward becoming people who reflect on the characteristics of the “Learner Profile and their own growth towards these goals.”


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