The Communicator

PYP and MYP Update

The Current State of IB at Peirce

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

**The Verification Visit is COMPLETE!

**We should know the results by the time we come back from Summer Break.

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

November 8-10

The Learner Profile



We thoughtfully consider the world and our won ideas and experience. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development.



Thank you to the Peirce Community for making the PYP Verification Visit a HUGE success.

What happens next you ask....

**In 90-120 days (by the end of the summer) we will receive a report from the IB that tells us how we did. It will possibly include information in the following three categories:

1. Commendations - all of the great things that our school is succeeding in

2. Recommendations - what are some things that weed to continue to develop over the next 5 years

3. Matters to be Addressed - these are things that would need to be addressed immediately (we are hoping we don't receive any of these)

To all of the parents, students, teachers, and staff that were involved in the visit in any and all capacities


Have a wonderful Summer Break!!! See you at the Back to School Picnic in August.


Mrs. Lebovitz

PYP Coordinator

It's Summer - How to Keep the Inquiry Going

Museums to Visit

Museum of Contemporary Art

Chicago Children's Museum

National Museum of Mexican Art

DuSable Museum of African American History

Chicago History Museum

Smart Museum of Art

International Museum of Surgical Science

Museum of Contemporary Photography

Museum of Broadcast Communications

Swedish Museum

Museum of Science and Industry

Field Museum


Shedd Aquarium

Art Institute

And Many Many Many More! Just do a Google Search for Museums in Chicago

Visit a Park, Zoo, Farm, or Garden

Lincoln Park Zoo

Brookfield Zoo

Millenium Park

Lakefront Parks


Emily Oaks Nature Center

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Blackberry Farms

Historic Wagner Farm

Lambs Farm

Chicago Botanical Gardens

Morton Arboretum

Explore a Neighborhood

Here is an interactive Chicago Neighborhood Map. Pick a neighborhood, do some research, and then go and explore it.

Or find a tour at the Chicago History Museum or the Chicago Architecture Foundation.

There is so much to see in our City!

Have you looked at the Peirce PYP Documents lately?

Check them out on the Peirce Website!

You will find:

PYP Assessment Policy

PYP Language Policy

Peirce PYP Programme of Inquiry

Peirce Specialists Programmes of Inquiry

...And Much More!

The MYP at Peirce

Learner Profile Focus: REFLECTIVE

The MYP teachers at Peirce share what their students will be studying as the year draws to a close and REFLECT on their proudest moments of the 2017-2018 school year...
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Ms. Zawayta- MYP Year 2 DIverse Learners

June Studies-7th grade embarked to our state capital, Springfield on June 9, 2017. We will continue to explore pedigree charts, genetic mutations, and advancements in genetics today. In math we will continue to hit the slopes with slope and jump into some trigonometry as well. Within Advisory we will be linking the learner profile to our smart goals for this year and focusing our efforts on authoring new goals for the summer/7th grade.


My fondest memories from this year have to be any time I was working with kids and laughing. Whether it was in the classroom or on the playground, when students are having fun engaged in lessons they are learning. What makes me the most proud of this year is that Ms. Hernandez and I moved to student led lessons, student created do-nows, student created rubrics, and student feedback on lesson/assessment planning in Science. In Mathematics there was more student led initiatives as I learned from Mrs. Keiner how to produce quality formative and summative assessments students maintain ownership of during the entire learning process. Such collaboration is quite magical and leads to a lot of happy students.

Ms. Brugman- MYP Year 3 Language and Literature

June Studies

8th graders had many things to look forward to in June! We had a field trip sponsored by Gear Up to visit Robert Morris College. We also had a field trip to the Holocaust museum. Additionally, we will had the 8th grade luncheon on the Odyssey.


One of my fondest memories is the bus ride home from The Hunter and The Bear. I’ve never seen our kids so excited about a play! (They also sang all the way there and most of the way home.) Another very fond memory was watching the 8th grade perform their work for Writer’s Theatre. There was a great deal of collaboration and compassion when students shared sensitive information. One of the proudest moments was watching our Battle of the Books team compete in the City Finals!

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

June Studies

7th graders will review integers and continue to solve equations and simplify expressions

8th graders will move beyond graphing lines to solving systems of equations using elimination.

Reflection-My proudest moments were hearing students say, “Oh! I get it!” after struggling for a while, then attack the problem with renewed energy.

I was also really excited that students were into the poetry unit and created their own little poetry book.

Ms. Thompson- MYP Years 1-3 Music

June Studies

6th grade students continue to follow the historic Silk Road trade routes and our next stop is India From there we will “travel” to Turkey and end in Spain with Flamenco music. .

7th grade students have done a great job of building a community through our drum circles. We have set sail from West Africa towards the islands of the Caribbean with our first stop being Trinidad and Tabajo and steel drum music. Next we’ll study Reggae from Jamaica, Salsa from Cuba and Samba from Brazil.

8th graders are looking forward to their graduation and have chosen their graduation song, Try Everything from Zootopia.


I was very proud of some of the 6th grade’s Instrument Design Projects. Students worked in small groups to create their own country and design and build unique instruments out of everyday items. Their projects are on display outside of the music room.

The 7th graders are really beginning to listen to each other and our drumming circles are becoming very “groovy!”

I am anticipating that the 8th graduation will be a fond memory from this year and I know that the 8th graders will make their families proud as they sing their graduation song!

Ms. Hernandez- Science

June Studies

Students explore fundamental principles of Mendelian genetics in pea plants and humans. They study asexual and sexual reproduction, the process of cell division, and the role of nature and nurture in determining traits. Near the end, students model the use of DNA technologies to solve real problems


One of my fondest memories was the Energy Debate led by the awesome 8th grade science class! There passion for debate is truly inspiring!

Mr. Greenwell- MYP Years 1-3 Spanish

June Studies 6th grade- Students are learning regular ER and IR verbs! Students are also studying Puerto Rico and food!

7th grade-Students are learning about sports in the Dominican Republic!

8th grade- Students are discussing the importance of souvenirs while traveling in Costa Rica!

7th grade native speakers- continuing to read and write in Spanish. We are working on short stories from Julio Cortazar and poems from Pablo Neruda.

8th grade native speakers- continuing to read and write in Spanish. Students will be selecting short stories from Ana Maria Matute to study the effects of the Spanish Civil War.

Reflection-My fondest memories from the year are from the different programming opportunities at Peirce, including the DC trip! The students and staff had a great time learning about the different historical sites in our nation’s capital.

Another fun memory was the International Dance night! Parents, students, and staff came together to learn and practice different dances from around the world! I can’t wait for next year’s International Dance Night!

Ms. Jetton- Year 1 & Year 3 Science

June Studies

6th graders will take their final assessment on the Weather and Climate unit. They will then complete a research project on a science topic of their choice.

8th graders will take their final assessment on Forces and Motion. They will then complete the Egg Drop Challenge!

ReflectionOne of my fondest memories is of the 6th grade trip to Indiana Dunes. I saw a lot of students come out of their shell which was great! It was fun getting to know the students outside an academic setting :) I was also very proud of their positive attitudes and behavior during the trip. The experience was amazing!!

Ms. Keiner: MYP Year 2 Math & Year 3 Science

June Studies 7th grade will finish off the year by completing their algebra unit and bringing their expertise to the 4th grade. The last two weeks of school 7th graders, for their summative unit assessment, will set goals with a partner from 4th grade and meet everyday to teach, practice, and help them make their math goal.

Reflection My fondest memory from this year was the NIU overnight trip with all of 7th grade. It was fantastic seeing all the students away from school, learning more about their personal likes, and watching them push themselves to learn outside the classroom.

Mr. Skvarenina- Physical and Health Education

June Studies-The students will finish up our softball/baseball unit. The students will also complete their final reflection on fitness testing. They will compare and contrast their scores from all quarters and set goals for the summer.


I am very proud of the effort 7th grade put into their dance and song performance with Giordano's. A lot of students stepped out of the box and tried something that made them uncomfortable.

I also really enjoyed working with the middle school students who joined cross country. The students put in a lot of work and continuously increased their times and ranking in the races.

Mrs. Gerhardt- MYP Year 3, Diverse Learner Co-Teacher

I was so proud of the 8th grade for coming together to raise funds in the Penny War and for the Move-a-thon. Students embraced the idea paying it forward and recognizing that many small acts can collectively have a big impact. Some of my fondest memories were Writer’s Theatre performances, the Alphabet Assembly, the trip to see the Hunter and the Bear, and going to the Museum of Science and Industry.

Ms. Kerkstra- Year 1 Mathematics

June Studies-6th graders will complete the introduction to algebra. We will continue writing expressions and equations, evaluating expressions and equations and work with independent and dependent variables.

Reflection-The kids’ activity books that students created for a summative assessment were amazing! The time, effort and collaboration showed by all students was a great example of what IB students should do every day!

Ms. Ferrand- Library

June Studies-Strategies for identifying “FAKE” news and reading books using the ebook format.

Reflection-The maturity and growth of the students from beginning of the year until now and the development of their reading preferences in genre and styles.

Ms. Lawrenz, MYP Year 2 Language and Literature

June Studies

Seventh grade students will complete the year by finishing their second argument essay on the feasibility of the construction of a border wall between Mexico and the United States. Students will also read The Goats, a novel by Brock Cole.


My fondest memories of this school year was experiencing the students’ cooperative and collaborative work during our Confronting Injustice unit and Writer’s Theatre. The 7th grade classes emerged as authentic IB risk-takers as they produced and performed skits on the power of teens taking action against injustice.

My proudest moment was co-coaching the debate team to the city championships and ending the season as the 2nd Place team overall in the Chicago Middle School Debate League. The team missed 1st place by a razor thin margin, but we are proud of this young team because they have shown themselves to be the ultimate IB communicators. The CMSDL consists of public, Catholic and private schools from Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.

Talyia Eve Riemer- Assistant Principal & MYP Coordinator

June Studies

In addition to bidding our 8th graders farewell, the rest of our MYP students will jump into their final Learning Celebration this June. It will feature Field Day Games, a Talent Show, and an Awards Assembly led by students. Special recognition will be given to students who have earned awards all four quarters.


As I reflect on the year, one of my fondest memories is of seeing the students who went to D.C., honoring our veterans. I was pleasantly surprised to see the students go out of their way to shake hands with, applaud, and share expressions of gratitude with the men and women in uniform that we saw in our nation’s capital.

T-Shirts for Sale

PEIRCE SWAG for sale. T-shirts available for $10! All proceeds benefit our 7th 7 8th grade trip to Washington DC.

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