The Challenge School received notification in 2004 from Geneva, Switzerland that the school has been authorized as an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (IBPYP).
The Primary Years Program (PYP) focuses on the development of the whole child. The PYP offers a framework for curriculum development that balances state and district requirements with the natural questions and wonderment a student brings to learning. At the heart of the PYP is a commitment to structured inquiry as a vehicle to connect students personally to their learning and capitalize on their engagement and motivation. The IB commitment focuses on developing critical thinking and an intercultural understanding by students. The PYP is entrenched in best practices in education so we can have the strongest program for our students.
Curriculum is organized around six themes: "Who are we," "How we express ourselves," "Where are we in place and time," "How the world works," "Sharing the planet," "How we organize ourselves." These themes allow focused, in-depth exploration of content. Also, teachers and students use key, concept based questions to structure inquiry into each unit of study. Natural connections of disciplines are explored and examined.
The aim of all IB programs is to develop internationally minded students who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet help to create a better more peaceful world. IB learners strive to be:
· Inquirers who actively enjoy learning and have the necessary skills to conduct purposeful research.
· Thinkers who initiate critical thinking skills to problem-solve.
· Risk-takers who approach new roles and ideas courageously and defend what they believe.
· Knowledgeable students who explore global themes and gain information.
· Principled students who have integrity and fairness.
· Caring students who show sensitivity towards the needs of others and are committed to action and service.
· Open-minded students who respect the values and traditions of others and seek a variety of points of view.
· Communicators who express ideas confidently in more than one language, including the language of mathematical symbols.
· Balanced students who understand the importance of being both physically and mentally healthy.
· Reflective who students analyze their personal strengths and weaknesses to reflect on their own learning.
PYP is a "stand alone" program that does not require the students to pursue IB as their high school option. Our overall program still focuses on preparing students for the upper level classes at each of our high schools. We are very proud to be associated with this program and organization.