The Communicator

PYP and MYP Update

February 2017

The Current State of IB at Peirce

Primary Years Programme (PYP) - Candidate School - Authorization Visit Spring 2017

**The Application for Authorization has been ACCEPTED!

**The Verification Visit is going to be May 25-26, 2017.

Middle Years Programme (MYP) - IB World School - Evaluation Fall 2017


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The Learner Profile


We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.

The IB at Peirce

Amazing Teacher Websites

Have you checked out all the amazing things happening in your child's classroom lately? You can find all of the websites on the Peirce website.

Here is a sampling of them.

PK Room 122 - Ms. Melman

K Room 128 - Mr. Wanberg

1st Room 102 - Ms. Fitzgerald

2nd Grade - All Classrooms

4th - Ms. Fane

5th - Ms. Nigh

6th - Ms. Puente

7th - Ms. Keiner

8th - Ms. Hopkins

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PYP Behind the Scenes Tours

Come one! Come All! The next round of PYP Behind the Scenes Tours has been scheduled. This round will be a mix between Inquiry and Social Emotional Learning. More information will be coming out in the next few weeks. See below for the schedule:

PK - March 15th - AM 8:15-9:45 and PM 12:30-2:00

K - March 7th - 1:30-3:00

1st - March 20th - 8:15-9:45

2nd - March 13th - 8:15-9:45

3rd - March 22nd - 1:30-3:00

4th - March 9th - 8:15-9:45

5th - March 22nd - 1:30-3:00

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Supporting the Inquiries

How can you support your students inquiries in the New Year

**Ask about what your child is learning in class

**Support and encourage interest and curiosity by following up with activities at home.

**Encourage and practice good communication skills such as starting conversations and debates about current events.

**Help your kids develop research skills online and from text.

**Enjoy building projects together in the home.


How We Organize Ourselves

Central Idea: People play different roles in society that impact our community.

Key Concepts: Responsibility, Function, Causation

Lines of Inquiry:

1. The responsibilities members have in a community.

2. How a community functions

3. How our actions impact the community.


Sharing the Planet

Central Idea: Animals and plants interact to create a system

Key Concepts: Change, Causation, Connection

Lines of Inquiry:

1. How plants and animals affect each other

2.The role environment plays in the lives of plants and animals

3. What living things need


1st Grade

How We Express Ourselves

Central Idea: Stories can engage their audience and communicate meaning

Key Concepts: Perspective, Function, Reflection

Lines of Inquiry

1. How to construct a story

2. What stories can teach us

3. How stories are created and shared


2nd Grade

Where We Are In Place and Time

Central Idea: The past impacts the future

Key Concepts: Connection, Perspective, Reflection

Lines of Inquiry

1. How we got to where we are

2. Everything changes

3. There is a sequence to all events

3rd Grade

How We Express Ourselves

Central Idea: Traditions and literature reflect the shared values of a culture

Key Concepts: Form, Causation, Change

Lines of Inquiry

1. How traditional stories reflect a cultures values and beliefs

2. The elements of our own cultural identities

3. The differences and similarities among cultures

ARTS PARTNERSHIP: Lookingglass Theater

4th Grade

How the World Works

Central Idea: Energy may be converted, transformed and used to support human progress

Key Concepts: Function, Form, Change

Lines of Inquiry

1. Physical and chemical weathering of rocks and minerals

2. Composition of rocks and minerals

3. The patterns in rocks and the explanation of changes in a landscape

5th Grade

How We Express Ourselves

Central Idea: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Key Concepts: Reflection, Form, Perspective

Lines of Inquiry

1. How appearance influences our perception

2. Arts as a form of expression

3. Influence of cultural and societal norms on the appreciation of things

The MYP at Peirce


Our MYP Teachers share what they love about Peirce and about teaching...

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Something I really love about Peirce is the student body diversity because you see topics from many different perspectives. I absolutely love it when my students have that ah-ha moment because you get to see the students grow and be passionate about the lesson or unit.

-Ryan Skvarenina, Physical Education and Health

I absolutely love it when my students embrace a challenge because that's when growth occurs. Dig deep and you will surprise yourself!

-Jinny Gerhardt, 8th grade Co-Teacher

Something I really love about Peirce is our students because they work so hard to represent the IB Learner Profile! Our students come from so many backgrounds they offer such a rich learning experience, and even take ownership of lessons by leading them! Their excitement is contagious and I feel confident in our future with them at the wheel!

-Nancy Zawayta, Year 2 (7th Grade) Co-Teacher

It always warms my heart when students run up to me with eyes shining to tell me how much they are enjoying a book they got from the library.

-Melanie Ferrand, Librarian

Something I really love about Peirce is the students because they are so hardworking, inquisitive and excited!

-Tabitha Harris, Year 1 (Grade 6) Co-Teacher

I love when my students speak Spanish in and out of class! !El mundo es un pañuelo!.

-James Greenwell, Spanish Teacher

Something I absolutely LOVE about Peirce is everyone’s willingness to go above and beyond to enrich student learning, because it shows how dedicated we all are to the children.

-Talyia Eve Riemer, MYP Coordinator

I absolutely love it when my students tell me they are excited about what they will be writing (instead of groaning when the assignment is given!) because I know they are confident in their ability to communicate through writing.

-Tiffany Brugman, MYP Year 3 Language and Literature

I absolutely love it when my students debate in class because you are able to see a lot of their personalities through their arguments.

-Jasmyn Hernandez, MYP Years 2 & 3 (7th and 8th Grade) Science

I absolutely LOVE it when my students tell me about science-related things they learned outside of school because it shows they are excited and interested about the world around them.

-Ruth Jetton, Years 1 & 3 Science Teacher

Something I really love about Peirce is the enthusiasm students bring into the classroom every day. They are always excited and ready to learn, which makes my job even more fun that it already is!

-Amy Kerkstra, Year 1 Math Teacher


Ms. Brugman- Language and Literature

Students in periods 3 and 4 will be working with Writer’s Theatre throughout the month of February. Period 2 will be finishing Maus and beginning their longest novel of the year, Echo.

Mr. Skvarenina- Physical and Health Education

All grades will continue to work on their health related topics. The students will also begin their third round of fitness testing to see how close they are to the fourth quarter goals they set at the beginning of the year.

Mr. Greenwell- Spanish

6th grade- Students will learn about schools in Mexico!

7th grade- Students will learn about Sports in the Dominican Republic!

8th grade- Students will learn about amusement parks in Argentina!

Hispanohablantes del séptimo grado- Van a hablar de los tiempos del pasado y Venezuela.

Hispanohablantes del octavo grado- Van a estudiar Puerto Rico y objetos directos e indirectos. .

Ms. Hernandez- Science

Students study microbiology; cell size, structure, function and permeability; and systems of classification. They explore the function of the immune system and the growth of antibiotic-resistant organisms. A project on disease develops research skills.

Ms Jetton- Year 1 & Year 3 Science

6th graders will focus on plate tectonics in February. We will study and analyze earthquakes and the shifting of plates over time. Students will also continue to focus on their current events project and present their research and action pieces to the class.

Ms. Kerkstra- Year 1 Mathematics

In February, sixth graders will continue with arithmetic operations, focusing primarily on decimals and fractions. All four operations will be applied to decimals and fractions, with a particular emphasis on reading and decoding word problems.

Ms. Mangas- Years 1-3, Individuals and Societies

6th: The students will begin to explore Ancient Greece and compare the culture to other civilizations we have studied.

7th: The students will be studying Reformation

8th:The students are exploring reconstruction after the Civil War. The students are going to be preparing for tabletop debates through the use of argument centered education.

Talyia Eve Riemer- MYP Coordinator

In February, MYP students will find out how to make pottery, do Pilates, communicate in sign language, make comics and more at our Quarter Two Learning Celebration!

Move Over, Science Fair.... Hello, Energy Fair !

In place of a traditional Science Fair, this school year, Peirce will host its inaugural Energy Fair.The Energy Fair will be held on Tuesday, February 28th from 4:30-6:30 PM . Students will be on hand to deliver presentations to inform the Peirce Community of energy sources currently available, and how these sources compare to one another. Students will also be identifying trade offs or advantages to using the energy source they have researched.

Field Trip Forecast

  • The 6th graders will be heading out to Indiana to explore the Dunes Nature Center March 2 &3rd, 2017.

  • On Friday, February 17, 2017, Peirce MYP students will going to Village Crossing Theater in Skokie for a private showing of Hidden Figures, the story of the three African American women who made NASA's moon landing possible.

  • On Friday, June 9th,201, the 7th graders will also be visiting our Springfield during the third quarter to learn more about the history and government of the state of Illinois.

  • A group of 7th and 8th graders will travel to our Nation's Capital, Washington, DC from May 10-12, 2017.

We "BUSTED A MOVE" at Peirce School's First International Family Dance Night!

West African Peirce International Dance Night
Zumba Peirce International Dance Night


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Red Velvet Social- an IB ASSESSMENT & INFORMATION SESSION for MYP (Middle School) Parents

Thursday, Feb. 16th, 5pm

Peirce Library

Enjoy “Red Velvet Refreshments” as you mix and mingle with other Middle Years Program Parents!

  • Learn more about the IB Programme, IB Assessment and the IB Report Card
  • Give your input and feedback regarding the current implementation of the International Baccalaureate Program at Peirce.

Come for the sweet treats. Stay to have your say!

RSVP by February 13th, 2017 to

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Peirce Student Council’s Parent, Student, Teacher Volleyball Tournament

Wednesday, Feb. 22nd, 4pm

Peirce School Multi-Purpose Room

Volleyball Tournament Information!

Your support and efforts will help raise money for student scholarships for the Washington, DC trip.

Students and/or parents, who are interested in playing, will fill out a permission slip and pay $2.00 per lottery entry, to join our lottery. All permission slips and fees will be due by

Wednesday, February 15 th to Mrs. Graney.

On Wednesday, February 22 nd , all parents and students that have entered into the volleyball team lottery will meet in the Multipurpose Room at 4pm for the drawing. There will be total of 6 games played.All parents and students should come to the event dressed to play a volleyball game.

If you have any questions, please email Mrs. Graney at We are excited about this fun event and hope that you have a great time too!

T-Shirts for Sale

We have new PEIRCE SWAG for sale. Brand new T-shirts in all sizes are available for $10! Look for order forms that will be going home with students next week.

Helen C. Peirce School of International Studies

Kimberly Lebovitz - PYP Coordinator


Dr. Talyia Eve Riemer - MYP Coordinator


PYP Disclaimer for Being A Candidate School in the International Baccalaureate

Helen C. Peirce School of International Studies is a candidate school* for the Primary Years Programme. This school is pursuing authorization as an IB World School. These are schools that share a common philosophy—a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that Peirce Elementary School believes is important for our students.

*Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its four academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Programme or the Career-related Programme (CP). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted.

For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit