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Elementary school's hard work pays off

Published February 25, 2007


ST. PETERSBURG - Officials at James. B. Sanderlin Elementary got word this week that the school has received final authorization as an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme - the county's first.

"We're just literally so ecstatic," said principal Denise Miller.

Ralph Cline, IBO deputy regional director for North America and the Caribbean, confirmed the authorization.

"Our (site) visit was to see if, in our estimation, they were implementing the program correctly and completely, and they were," Cline said. "We look to see whether a school is able to present the program, believes in the program itself, and that governance of the school system supports it as well."

The program's goal is to help students develop a better understanding of their own culture so they can appreciate and understand other cultures, Cline said.

Full authorization will provide the school with more resources from the IBO, Miller said. The process includes three phases and can take anywhere from 18 months to four years to complete.

"This has been such a collaborative effort. The root of this effort is in the teachers. They've worked so hard. It's such a rigorous curriculum," said Joyce Reichle, Sanderlin's PYP coordinator.

A second primary years program has been proposed at Clearwater's Sandy Lane Elementary, which would be funded through a Magnet School Assistance Program grant.

By the numbers

A first for county

96 Number of IB Primary Years Programme schools in the United States.

9 Number of IB PYP schools in Florida.

1 Number of IB PYP schools in Pinellas County.

Source: International Baccalaureate Organization

[Last modified February 24, 2007, 20:54:44]

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