The Communicator

PYP and MYP Update

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

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.

Officer Friendly Visits Preschool and Kindergarten

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Engage in Inquiry

  • 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.

Supporting Language at Peirce

Check out the power point titled "IB and Inquiry @ Peirce Presentation to BAC - 3/15/17" on the Peirce Website - click here.

While there, check out the Peirce PYP Language Policy.

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

And coming soon...

Peirce Specialists Programmes of Inquiry

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.

MYP Teachers are RISK TAKERS! Find out how!!

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Ms. Puente- MYP Year 1, Language and Literature

Joining the Chicago Debate League was both the riskiest and satisfying program I have had the honor to be leading. From the small group of six students three years ago to more than 30 students and continues to grow. Learning to argue on world topics has been the most valuable endeavors for our students. We absolutely love it!

Next on the Agenda For April: We have completed our graphic organizer and our final Summative Assessment Essay for our novel, El Deafo by Cece Bell. Students wrote fabulous argument essays and produced compelling papers! Our next step in the unit is to begin working with Writers Theatre to produce text (MYP-Criteria C) for a perform event.

Ms. Brugman- MYP Year 3 Language and Literature

In February of 2001(instead of staying at home and saving some money after student teaching) I decided to move to Chicago. I figured I would spend a few years “playing” in the big city and then return to Ohio. Sixteen years later, I’m still here - and still at Peirce! I’ve been fortunate enough to create a happy life in Chicago, even though part of my heart is still in Ohio.

Next on the Agenda for April: 8th graders are in the midst of studying the Holocaust and WWII through various novels. Students are focusing upon developing independent thesis statements and writing analytical essays. The 8th graders will be going to MSI the first week of April to specifically tour the WWII exhibit. They will also see Dream Big at the Omnimax Theater and tie it to learning from science.

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

A while ago I decided to travel around Australia by myself for three weeks. I didn’t know anybody there, didn’t really know how to get around, and definitely did not have enough money in case I had an emergency, but everything worked out really well. I met people I’m still friends with 15 years later, I got to touch a penguin, and I discovered that Vegemite on a sandwich is actually pretty good.

Next on the Agenda for April: In Math, MYP Year 2 students will begin working with probability and statistics. The 8th graders will finish up with the Pythagorean Theorem, which I am sure they are very thankful for, and begin learning about parallel and intersecting lines, transversals, and the properties of angles created by these lines.

Ms. Hopkins- MYP Year 3 Mathematics

I took a risk by hanging upside down while parasailing!! Super Fun!

Next on the agenda for April:
We are starting a new unit called, "Watch Your Step…You May Collide! In this unit, students will:

  • Write and solve systems of linear equations by graphing.
  • Write and solve systems of linear equations by substitution.
  • Write and solve systems of linear equations by elimination.
  • Solve systems of linear equations with no solution or infinitely many solutions.
  • Solve linear equations by graphing a system of linear equations.
  • Solve real-life problems.

Ms. Hernandez- Science

I signed up for my first marathon back in high school. It was the scariest and best decision of my life! I will be running my 5th marathon this year!

Next on the agenda for April: In Science, MYP year 2 and 3 students will begin with our unit on Sexual Health. Topics will range from safe sex practices to decision making strategies. Students will create educational brochures on sex education and resources available to the community.

Mr. Greenwell- MYP Years 1-3 Spanish

I was a risk-taker by jumping out of a plane… with a parachute of course!

Next on the agenda for April:

MYP Year 3- Unit on Costa Rica and daily activities

MYP Year 2- Unit on Ecuador and irregular present tense verbs

MYP Year 1- Unit on Mexico and School.

Ms. Andrade- MYP Years 1-3 Design and technology

I take risks because I dabble in Real Estate.

Next on the agenda in April: MYP Year 1 students will complete Blender Designs of a Robot and a Solar Car which will then be uploaded to SketchFab for feedback.

MYP Year 2 Students will complete Scratch Programming games and present to other classes for feedback.

MYP Year 3 students will complete coursework in CodeCombat and CodeAcademy developing a foundation for learning programming languages in high school.

Nancy Zawayta- Diverse Learners

I used to have a paralyzing fear of descent, going up is always easy, down is always terrifying. Whether it is hiking down a cliff or climbing down a ladder I used to have to take my time moving on down. I don’t like being limited in my outdoor activities so I started mountain biking in Palos. Although I was fearful of fast paced descent, I knew facing my fear head on was the appropriate way to get over it. Flying down a cliff at 35 mph will sure make you feel hiking down a cliff is easy. My risk was well worth the reward as I am able to pursue activities that offer challenging ascent and descent variations now. Aside from crashing into a tree one foot away from a ravine, I have been happy riding down cliffs regularly.

Next on the agenda for April: MYP Years 1 and 2 Science classes will begin their sexual education lessons. In MYP Year 1 Math we are exploring Paw - Ville, a community with family systems (small groups) where students have to budget, work through problems to earn income, and pursue other sources of income. Real world application of mathematics will offer students an upper hand at evaluating their budget, converting percents to decimals, and the correlation between ratios. When we conclude in this process we will be running a Stock Market activity where students learn how to navigate the stock market, identify trends, and forecast the success of certain stocks. In Advisory we will be focusing on creating a service action project for 4th quarter to show how we are CARING, PRINCIPLED, REFLECTIVE, and RISK TAKERS in our community.

Ms. Jetton- Year 1 & Year 3 Science

I took a risk by changing careers in my late 20’s. I decided to return to school to get my teaching degree after working in the corporate world for 4 years.

Next on the agenda for April: This month in MYP Year 1 Science, we will begin with our unit on Sexual Health. After Spring Break, our unit, Heat Wave will begin. Heat Wave will be a six week unit covering weather and climate.

MYP Year 3 Science will also begin the month with our unit on Sexual Health. After Spring Break, we will dive into our unit on Forces and Motion.

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

In high-school I was a dance major, which meant I had to actually perform in front of my peers. Each month there was a performance. I did not realize when I signed up for this major that I actually had to perform… in front of the ENTIRE school. Yikes!!! I can’t ever remember being that scared. In retrospect it prepared me for teaching and standing up in front of large groups of people. I’m glad I took that risk!

Next on the agenda in April: MYP Year 2 students “Moved on up!” to “Paw-Ville” probability city. This month MYP Year 2 students are working as ‘families’ to solve rigorous statistics and probability math problems and earn paws to keep the city of “Paw-Ville” thriving and successful. Some days are prosperous and some have real-life disasters that need to be mathematically solved to keep the city safe and sound. Each family will create a tourism commercial that promotes “Paw-Ville” using statistics and probability as their summative assessment.

Mr. Skvarenina- Physical and Health Education

Growing up I played a lot of sports and I really wanted to play in college. I took a risk and picked to a college that I was unsure if I was going to be able to make the team. I was able to make the team and make friends that I still talk to to this day.

Next on the agenda for April: As the weather turns and opening day is upon us,the students will begin work on baseball/softball/kickball unit. All middle school classes will explore these sports as well as some of the history behind it. Students will also complete the final leg of fitness testing, reflect upon, and review their scores and goals from the entire year.

Ms. Kerkstra- Year 1 Mathematics

I attended college at the University of Missouri, six hours from home and not knowing a single other person going there. Within a few weeks, I met people who not only shaped who I am, but whom I still count among my closest friends to this very day.

Next on the agenda in April:

In MYP Year 1 Math, will begin our new unit, “You’re Being Irrational.” This unit will focus on rational numbers, integers, positive and negative numbers, coordinate planes and absolute value.

Ms. Ferrand- Library

I took a risk in expanding the genres of books I was reading and was pleasantly surprised to find I liked so much more AND I was a risk-taker when I caught Greenwell during his landing.

Next on the agenda in April: All grades will continue checking out books to read for pleasure, additionally unit subjects as they relate to “risk taker”

MYP Year 1 - Components of mysteries

MYP Year 2 - General biographies as well as those about young activists

MYP Year 3 - The Holocaust

Ms. Lawrenz, MYP Year 2 Language and Literature

Starting a debate club at Peirce without any formal background in debate was quite a risk. Each time we attend a tournament, we face coaches, judges and opponents with more knowledge and experience. The students on our team have demonstrated the determination to face uncertainty and have risen to the challenge. We now have one of the top middle school debate teams in the city of Chicago. I’d say it was worth the risk.

Next on the agenda in April: MYP year 2 students will be working with Writers’ Theatre to extend our unit on young activists. Using improv techniques, the student will present a collection of stories, poems and scenes that feature both personal and historical choices that highlight the courage and strength of young people. In addition, we will continue our work with Argument Centered Education to analyze debatable issues that have emerged throughout the unit.

Talyia Eve Riemer- Assistant Principal & MYP Coordinator

When I was in college, despite the fact that I have never been a fan of competition, I entered the Miss Black Western Scholarship Pageant. Being a contestant in this competition not only bolstered my self confidence, but also gave me an opportunity to meet some wonderful women, with whom I am still friends with today. This risk was worth it because I “stepped out of my comfort zone” , won 1st place, and scored some extra money for school!

Next on the agenda for April:

This month’s MYP Learning Celebration is Career Day! On April 21, students will talk with professionals representing a wide variety of Careers. This will not only broaden students perspectives, but also give them some valuable input that they can use in making decisions about their futures.

Student Spotlight: Find out how our MYP students are doing their part to protect our Earth!

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Career Day at Peirce is April 21, 2017

Career Day is part of the Spring Learning Celebration that takes place at the end of the quarter. On this day, students in our Middle Years Programme (grades 6-8) attend four hour long presentations given by our guest speakers, professionals representing a variety of careers. The purpose of our Career Day is to have students meet and talk with a variety professionals in different career fields to help them explore their interests and to create realistic plans of action.

As a result of Career Day, we would like our students to know:

  • It's never too early to start planning for your future. The choices you make today have a great impact on your tomorrow.
  • There are a wide variety of careers available to you. You can do whatever you choose with the proper preparation and training.
  • You can always change your mind. May people start down one career path and later pick something different.

Register HERE to be a part of Career Day at Peirce. If you cannot attend, please consider sharing this information with other colleagues who may be interested in speaking at Career Day.

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

MYP Teachers are RISK TAKERS!

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.