SM’s Alvin Dunn school gains IB status

SM’s Alvin Dunn school gains IB status
Elementary school students on play structure. Stock photo

SAN MARCOS — A San Marcos Elementary school that is already poised to become a K-8 campus is now also becoming one of the select International Baccalaureate World Schools in North County.

Alvin Dunn Elementary, which is currently a K-6 campus off of Rancho Santa Fe Avenue, celebrated the achievement toward the end of the school year with a mid-morning assembly.

Created in Switzerland in 1968 with the goal to promote world peace, the IB program, according to its website, offers four programs for students ages 3 to 19 to help develop intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world.

IB schools are known for their academic rigor and student-driven learning process where teachers are more mentors and supervisors as opposed to more traditional schools, where a teacher’s role is more of the source of fact.

Schools like Alvin Dunn must go through a rigorous process of revamping their curriculum to embrace a more holistic form of education. The entire staff, under the stewardship of IB coordinator Yvonne Fojtasek, had to be retrained in the program’s elementary school model, called the Primary Years Program.

The six-unit program is based on six trans-disciplinary themes, aimed at helping students see subjects in a more global context: Who We Are, Where We Are in Place and Time, How the World Works, How We Organize Ourselves, Sharing the Planet and How We Express Ourselves.

The school’s application process was completed earlier this school year with a site visit by an international panel of program representatives, which gave Alvin Dunn program the critical stamp of approval.

Alvin Dunn’s planned expansion will allow it to become an IB middle school in 2017.

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