The Communicator

PYP and MYP Update

APRIL 2016

The Current State of IB at Peirce

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

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

The Learner Profile


We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change.

Balanced - May

We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives—intellectual, physical, and emotional—to achieve well-being for ourselves and others. We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live.

Spotlight on IB

Student Led Conferences - April 13, 2017


The pilot of the first student led conferences at Peirce was amazing. A special thanks to all of the teachers that volunteered to trial them - Ms. Sweeney (1st), Ms. Dietz (1st), Ms. Bencel (2nd), Ms. Mangas (3rd), Dr. Terzian (3rd), Ms. Zisook (3rd), Ms. Wasson (4th/5th DL), Ms. Nigh (5th), and Ms. Leventis (5th). Their students did a fabulous job being Risk-Takers, Thinkers, Communicators, and Reflective, taking ownership of their learning and sharing their work with their families.

Some of the feedback that was received included:

1st Grade Parent - "I like hearing in her own words what matters most to her and holds more value and meaning."

1st Grade Parent - "Really allows for the student to think about how best to explain what they are learning and how they experience that learning."

2nd Grade Parent - "I like Peirce encouraging her to take responsibility."

2nd Grade Parent - "The satisfaction of seeing my son take responsibility of his work and show proudly his accomplishments in this period."

3rd Grade Parent - "This was an excellent initiative that helps the independence of our children...also to make them feel part of their learning process."

4th Grade Parent - "It was nice to see him care about the information he was telling me."

5th Grade Parent - "Putting the responsibility in the student's hands seemed to encourage her taking ownership of her areas of strength and areas for growth."


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The PYP at Peirce


How the World Works

Strand: the interaction between the natural world and human societies

Central Idea: Relationships within the environment impacts change

Key Concepts: change, function, form

Related Concepts: relationships, physical changes, adaptation, structure

Lines of Inquiry:

1. What an insect is

2. A plants impact on the environment.

3. The characteristics of animals


Who We Are

Strand: Personal Physical Mental and spiritual health

Central Idea: The human body is made up of systems that perform functions and influence both physical and emotional health

Key Concepts: Function, connection, causation

Related Concepts: consequence, interdependence physiology, human body

Lines of Inquiry:

1. Body systems and their functions

2. Health and well being of systems in the human body

3. Social and emotional health

First Grade

Sharing the Planet

Strand: communities and the relationships within and between them

Central Idea: Structures and the relationships of natural and designed objects are related to their functions.

Key Concepts: causation, connection, function

Related Concepts: impact, similarities, systems

Lines of Inquiry:

1. How offspring are similar to adults

2. How humans/plants/animals protect themselves

3. Patterns in behaviors of offspring from parents

Second Grade

Sharing the Planet

Strand: communities and the relationships within and between them

Central Idea: Living things interact within habitats

Key Concepts: causation, connection

Related Concepts: impact, sequences, relationships, interdependence

Lines of Inquiry:

1. Functions of animals in a habitat

2. Diversity of life within a habitat

3. Interdependency of living things

Third Grade

How We Express Ourselves

Strand: ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture beliefs and values

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

Key Concepts: form, causation, change

Related Concepts: adaptation, culture, beliefs and values

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 amongst cultures

Fourth Grade

Sharing the Planet

Strand: peace and conflict resolution
Central Idea: Renewable resources can create and/or reduce conflict
Key Concepts: responsibility, causation, connection
Related Concepts: peace, conflict, revolution, power - balance, equality, utopia, prejudice, -isms
Lines of Inquiry:
1. Causes and resolutions of conflict

2. Renewable energy resources

3. Natural Earth processes and the impact on humans

Fifth Grade

How the World Works

Strand: the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment

Central Idea: Earth's systems are impacted by human advancement.

Key Concepts: function, causation, change

Related Concepts: interdependence, systems, technological advancements

Lines of Inquiry:

1. Ethics systems - hydrosphere, geosphere, atmosphere

2. Solar Systems impact on the Earth

3. The effects of human advancement on the environment

The MYP at Peirce

Peirce School College and Career Day

Students participated in 3 Career related sessions and 1 Junior Achievement College and Career Readiness session. We were so excited to offer 2 sessions in Spanish this year and look forward to expanding that next year! A huge thank you to all of our presenters and community businesses for helping out!

What students had to say.....

"I really liked the session that I went to in Spanish. It was so nice to hear and use my home language at school. We do have a Spanish class but I would like to use Spanish more." - Mia Silva

"The psychology session was interesting because Mr. Leander is able to help people work through hard situations so that they do not want to give up on life. He teaches people to learn how to cope with the stresses they have in their lives." - Xanath Villegas

"The 8th grade Junior Achievement session helped us identify who we are and how we think. Knowing these things about us can help us find a career that is well suited for us so that we are happy in our careers." - Ruth Lopez

"The session about making a business or restaurant presentable was cool. The owners and managers she to make decision about everything- like how to decorate the walls, which types of plates to buy, and how to design their menu. I never thought about all of those decisions." - Bobby Betterman

"I felt really comfortable in the Spanish session because I got to use the language I use at home. It showed me that being bilingual will be very helpful to me in the future." - Alfredo Mendoza

"The business session was enjoyable because it focused on computer technology and math- 2 things that I really enjoy. I can see myself in the business field in the future." - Rachel Nguyen

"The session about the hoax hunter was really interesting. She investigates stories on social media to see if they are true or not. If she finds someone who is lying about a situation she tries to get them help." - Leslie Ruiz

6th Grade

Language and Literature: Related Concept- Structure and Style

"In order to analysis the book to predict the killer, we had to learn and understand how the author used style and structure to help the reader think about the text."- Giselle Moreno

Design: Key Concept- Development

" We learned to use communication skills to design and develop projects using webtools to solve the problems kids face everyday." - Yuliana Mojica

Mathematics: Debatable Question- Why are fractions better than decimals?

"Fractions are better than decimals because you cant figure out how many parts are in the whole with decimals but with fraction you can so it is easier to calculate in your head." - Luke Kaufman

Art: Debatable Question- Is there a correct way to do art?

"There is no way "correct" way to do art. You can create art anytime you express yourself and your creativity. other might not like it but it is still art" - Sydney Hoppenworth

Physical and Health Education: Related Concepts- Function, Balance, and Interaction

"To have a balanced team, you have to interact by communicating, predicting what the other players might do, and supporting your teammates."- Amina Alkhatib

Individuals and Societies: Related Concept- Sustainability

"In ancient times, the people of Greece used technology like boats and different ways to construct things to defeat and take control of other people and their lands in order to continue their way of life and sustain.

7th Grade

Physical and Health Education: Key Concept- Systems

"Systems are important in sports because all players have to know their job and when to communicate with others so you can pass the ball and have a successful team."- Berenice Garcia

Language and Literature: Key Concept- Communication

"In class we are learning about how to communicate to get your point across effectively. We will use communication for the rest of our lives, during high school, college, and our career. the more we practice now, the better we will be in the future." - Melanie Aguliar

Design: Key Concepts: Communication and Relationships

"We designed PSA's using webtools to raise awareness about global issues. You need to be able to build relationships and communicate with others so that you can convince them your issue is important and they should join the fight." - Katia Jaimes

Science: Key Concept- Systems

"This unit was important because we learned that our bodies are made up of different systems that all work together to keep us healthy. We need to know how our bodies work so that we can make good decisions about our futures." Johnaton Sumba

Individuals and Societies: Key Concept- Systems

"Learning about the wolds history helps us look at the advances people have made through time and space and how those advances have impacted different government systems." - Brandon Mora

Mathematics: Key Concept- Relationships

"Relationships are everywhere in math. You have to know how shapes and numbers are related to each other to know if they are similar or different. You need to understand relationships in order to understand math in general."- Atziry Gutierrez

Music: Key Concept- Communication

"People from all over the world communication through music and build new instruments to communicate their feels about their life situations, like slavery." - Karen Rameriz

8th Grade

Physical and Health Education: Key Concept- Systems

"We had to use the teamwork system in order to be successful team and win the game. We had to pass the ball, stay in formation and have fun." - Carlos Tapia

Music: Conceptual Question: How do musicians improve the quality of their work?

"Musicians improve the quality of their work through communication. They have to know the original piece and create new pieces that complement the original." - Jae Evans

Language and Literature: Factual Question: What is the Holocaust?

"The Holocaust occurred during World War 2, when the Germans murdered Jewish people and others because of their religion or race. I think it was one of the most tragic events in our World's history because over 9 million people were killed. Unfortunately, genocides are still happening today, for example in Syria."- Joshua Rodriguez

Mathematics: Key Concepts: Relationships

"We learned about translation and transition and how mathematical relationships impact shapes." - Marcos Sandoval

Science: Related Concept- Consequences

"As a human being on our planet, we have to be conscious of our impact on the environment because we proved it is much harder to reverse the impacts of pollution verses preventing the pollution in the first place." - Thuyanh Pham

Design: Conceptual Question- Can technology solve problems?

Technology can be used to solve problems by innovating new ways to do this better or faster. For examples, new technology in hospitals make it easier to save people from illness. We can also create games to help kids learning skills and knowledge." - Armando Carrera

Individuals and Societies: Debatable Question-Should the US get involved in wars outside of the US?

"Sometimes I think that the US should not get involved with wars outside of the US because getting involved could lead to more enemies for the US and right now we don't need anymore enemies." - Jaime Alanis

Helen C. Peirce School of International Studies

Kimberly Lebovitz - PYP Coordinator


Jillian Estanich - 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