The San Fernando Valley has its first fully accredited International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. Chatsworth Hills Academy (CHA) has just joined an elite group of 505 schools in the United States to provide this rigorous, challenging and unique program of education in its Primary Years Programme (PYP) serving children ages 3 to 12. The IB program is currently taught in 159 different countries and is one of the fastest-growing, most in-demand educational programs worldwide.
“I am truly excited by all that we have to offer our students,” CHA Headmaster Adrian Allan said. “As we’ve begun to incorporate IB pedagogy, the level of engagement and open-mindedness has significantly increased, bringing an added dimension of learning to the classroom.”
During the past two years, CHA has worked toward the IB program certification including visits from IB program evaluators, implementation of IB program standards and comprehensive teacher professional development training.
“The purpose of the extensive application process is to ensure that parents and students can be certain that each IB World School, wherever it is located, is held to the same rigorous performance expectations,” Allan said.
According to the IB website, the Primary Years Programme (PYP) “presents schools with a comprehensive plan for high quality, international education. It provides schools with a curriculum framework of essential elements — the knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes, and action that young students need to equip them for successful lives, both now and in the future.”
The CHA academic philosophy has always aligned with IB principles such as small class size, close teacher-student relationships, project-based learning and use of technology. But now, CHA will continue to implement the PYP curriculum for international education that is engaging, relevant, challenging and significant for learners.
IB World Schools work within a global community, creating frequent opportunities for shared learning and collaboration with others. The IB also helps schools with program planning and optimization. This may include mentoring, coaching, consultation or self-guided learning online.The PYP certification comes with many benefits for students, teachers and the school including:
IB Program Benefits Students
- Students will be encouraged to think independently and drive their own learning.
- Students will become more culturally aware, through the development of a second language.
- Students will be able to engage with people in an increasingly globalized, rapidly changing world.
- According to research, students in the IB program perform better on assessments and earn spots in top universities.
- Students apply their learning in real-life situations and develop skills they will need to be successful in the future.
- Students learn how to research, collaborate effectively with others, manage their time and responsibilities, develop critical thinking and effective communication skills, and have opportunities to take action and make a difference in their communities and the greater world.
- Students are much more engaged with the curriculum due to the real-life experiences, opportunities to pursue their interests, and ability to show what they’ve learned through methods that best suit their individual learning styles.
IB Program Benefits CHA And Its Teachers
- Teachers have access to high quality professional development that encourages critical thinking, self-reflection and dedication to lifelong learning and continuous improvement.
- Teachers can utilize innovative and diverse education frameworks, unit planners, teaching resources and evaluation tools.
- Teachers can access a variety of high quality professional development and attain certifications.
- CHA and its teachers now have a worldwide network of highly respected IB World Schools, working together to share best practice.
The school’s Middle Years Programme (MYP) has also been accepted into the certification process and Allan expects that confirmation to come later this year.
“As an IB school, CHA is uniquely suited to equip our students with the skills and resources they’ll need to succeed in our rapidly changing and increasingly global world community.” Allan said.
Founded in 1968, the International Baccalaureate® (IB) is a non-profit educational foundation offering four highly respected programmes of international education that develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills needed to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) was introduced in 1997. It followed the introduction of the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the Diploma Programme (DP) – established respectively in 1994 and 1968. For more information about the IB, visit ibo.org.
Chatsworth Hills Academy is a college preparatory school in the San Fernando Valley serving students from Early Childhood (ages 2 1/2 – 5) through grade 8 whose mission is to create a community of lifelong learners who collaborate effectively in the pursuit of knowledge. CHA is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools and is accredited by both the California Association of Independent Schools and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. For more information or enrollment information, visit chaschool.org