The Communicator

PYP and MYP Update

March 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


CONGRATULATIONS TO 6TH GRADE PEIRCE PANTHER - ELLIOTT TOPP! He ranked 13th out of 50 in the Citywide Spelling Bee on March 10, 2017 at Lindblom High School.

The Learner Profile



We critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others. We seek and evaluate a range of points of view, and we are willing to grow from the experience.

The IB at Peirce

Preschool - How We Organize Ourselves

Kindergarten - Where We Are In Place and Time

1st Grade - Sharing the Planet

2nd Grade - Where We Are In Place and Time

3rd Grade - How We Express Ourselves

4th Grade - How We Express Ourselves & How the World Works

5th Grade - How We Express Ourselves


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

The MYP at Peirce


Please share your thoughts on the Senn-Peirce Middle Years Programme. This feedback is being gathered to prepare for our upcoming evaluation by the International Baccalaureate.

Student Spotlight:

How does IB help us "2B" OPEN-MINDED?

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Xander Jones- MYP Year 3

Coming into IB really changed my perspective on a lot of things. Everyday, we sit down and enforce what means to be IB. This has helped me, as a person, to see the world from a different view. It has opened my mind "majorly".

Leah Selau-MYP Year 3

Being IB helps you be open-minded, because IB introduces you to new things around the world that you wouldn't usually see. Everytime we learn something, we get new experiences that open our mind even more.

Alessandra Fiumara, MYP Year 3

IB helps you be open-minded because we have events like International Dance Night, that let you be open-minded about different dance styles and cultures.

Elliott Topp, MYP Year 1

IB helps you be open-minded because we're always thinking about the IB characteristics that you have to have. Then, we have to put all of those characteristics into accepting other people. We have to accept other people's religion, sex, race, and other stuff about everyone.

Carter Napoli-Tager, MYP Year 3

The IB helps me be open-minded, because it helps me think about other people who might be going through something, and how it might affect their life...or their learning. I can learn better by knowing how everyone affects one another.

What will the MYP students MARCH into this month?

Ms. Brugman- Language and Literature

Students will continue to travel through 8th grade history during Language & Literature. We are reading historical fiction in each class that corresponds to topics from Individuals & Societies: The Great Depression, WWII and the Holocaust, Mexican-American rights, and the Japanese Internment.

Mr. Skvarenina- Physical and Health Education

Students will finish work on their volleyball unit and begin a new health unit. Students will work in pairs to prepare and present a topic of importance to the class.

Ms. Lawrenz, MYP Year 2 Language and Literature

Students will be reading about young people who have taken a stand and made a difference in their communities. Specifically, we will be reading about Claudette Colvin, a 15-year-old student whose arrest for refusing to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Alabama (9 months before Rosa Parks) was the initial catalyst for the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955.

Mr. Greenwell- Spanish

6th grade-Students will continue learning about Mexico and present tense verb conjugations. Students will be able to talk about their classes and the classes of others.

7th grade- Students are learning about Ecuador and the home.

7th grade natives- Students will learn about past tense forms of verbs and the use of the subjunctive. Students will continue to read/write in Spanish.

8th grade- Students will learn about Costa Rica and leisure activities.

8th grade native speakers- Students will finish the unit on Puerto Rico and study jobs.

Ms. Hernandez- Science

Students explore the role of organ systems in providing nutrients and oxygen to the body and transporting and eliminating wastes (maintaining internal balance).The unit will also cover a comprehensive approach to sexual health and reproductive education

Ms Jetton- Year 1 & Year 3 Science

6th: Students will complete the unit, Earth’s Processes this month. We will explore plate tectonics and the movement of earth over time. Students will complete their current events research projects and present them to their class.

8th: Students will complete the unit, Energy, this month. They will finish their research on an Energy issue that the world faces and present to their class. Students will also bring their work to the Steam Night/Energy Fair to showcase their learning to the community.

Ms. Kerkstra- Year 1 Mathematics

Students are starting a new unit called “Don’t be Irrational.” This focuses on concepts such as rational numbers, absolute value, extending the number line to include positive and negative numbers and the coordinate plane.

Nancy Zawayta- Diverse Learners

In 7th grade Math we are wrapping up our Scale unit and students will be crafting scale models of skyscrapers/landmarks.

8th grade Science will be continuing our work with energy. Ms. Hernandez and I are pumped for the class debate in early March. Student are gearing up for STEAM Night to present their current work in energy!

Advisory will be tackling hardcore goal setting. Students will focus on academic and social emotional goals for the rest of the year.

We will focus on the following:

Where do want to be, how are we going to get there, and what help do we need to get there?

7th Science will be wrapping up the Infectious Diseases unit and will jump into Genetics. We are pumped because the correlation between invasive species (prior unit) to infectious diseases to genetics is quite serendipitous.

In Math and Science student classes have been moving towards student created rubrics. In Science some students have begun to lead Do Nows and will hopefully lead lessons soon too. Facilitating student ownership in learning and creation of learning opportunities is a goal for this year.

Ms. Hopkins- MYP Year 3 Mathematics

In the next unit, students will be asked to solve a series of crimes using critical thinking, science and math skills. As they move through the coursework and complete exploration tasks and activities, they investigate and gradually discover who, what, when, where and how of this plotted series of crimes. Ultimately the students solve the case to see how it’s happening and who is involved.

By the end of the unit, students will be able to:

● Recognize a right triangle, using the Pythagorean Theorem.

● Use the Pythagorean Theorem to calculate the length of the third side when they know the length of two of the sides.

● Apply the converse of the Pythagorean Theorem to verify right triangles.

Mr. Roche- MYP Years 1-3, Diverse Learners

Seventh graders will be finishing up Citizen 13660, a graphic novel about Japanese Internment. They will be writing a persuasive essay next. Eighth graders will start reading Maus

Ms. Puente- MYP Year 1, Language and Literature

6th grade has finished their Desktop Debates on their novel, Escape! The Story of the Great Houdini. We will begin our graphic novel, El Deafo by Cece Bell this week. The unit will focus on developing our understanding of visual literary. Graphic novels will be a refreshing change of pace for our Literacy program.

Talyia Eve Riemer- MYP Coordinator

In March, in addition to the sixth grade trip to Indiana Dunes and our S.T.E.A.M. Night (See below), the middle school will begin our annual PARCC tests. Students will be tested in Reading and Math, during the week of March 12. Let's all get our rest so that we can do our BEST!
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In honor of Women's History Month, MYP teachers share their thought on inspiring women...

Jane Addams

Jane Addams has been an inspiration throughout my life. Her work in creating the first census data regarding immigrants and health conditions was pivotal in shaping Chicago history. Her activism for women and children has always been inspiring and still relevant. “Utilization of Women in City Government” is a prevalent piece of literature still today that calls for the acceptance and honor of the critical role women play in society. As a female she was strong, driven and not afraid to fight for what she believed in. From the Hull House, to her speech at The Hague, her heroism as the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, her commitment to immigrants in tenement housing, her disagreement of entering World War I, and Jane Addams’ support for Roosevelt are just a few of the things she has done to impact my pedagogy. I feel empowered just writing all that!!! -Nancy Zawayta

Field Trip Forecast

  • A group of 7th and 8th graders will travel to our Nation's Capital, Washington, DC from May 10-12, 2017.
  • On May 26th, 8th graders will visit Robert Morris College for a day of Junior Achievement.
  • 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.

We learned Sign Language and Kickboxing at last month's LEARNING CELEBRATION!

Learning Celebration @Peirce Sign Language
Learning Celebration -KickBoxing @ Peirce

Spread Love! It's the Seventh Grade Way!

On Valentine's Day, under the leadership of Mrs. Keiner, homeroom 309 (MYP Year 2) decided to deliver Valentine's Day messages to EVERY one of the MYP students. They came in early and tucked the "love notes" into their classmates' lockers. When the messages were discovered, the MYP was "all smiles"! Thank you for spreading the love, Mrs. Keiner and 309!!!

Never fear, all the materials can be found HERE!!!

If you missed the Red Velvet Social, or IB Parent Information and Assessment session, all of the materials shared can be accessed through the link below. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Riemer @ (773)534-2440.

T-Shirts for Sale

We have new PEIRCE SWAG for sale. Brand new T-shirts in all sizes are available for $10!

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