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International Baccalaureate (IB) Archive of Information

May 22, 2013

Letter from the Superintendent: International Baccalaureate (IB) Update

April 16, 2013

Dear Parent(s) and or Guardian(s):

In case you are not aware, at the April 4th Board of Education Meeting, the Board of Education voted to discontinue the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. We would like to take a moment to thank our educators for being the strong instructional leaders they are.

There was a great deal of work put into implementing the IB program at the Emma C. Chase building and a great deal of work put into building the IB program at the George L. Cooke and Kenneth L. Rutherford buildings. As noted at the meeting, we are extremely pleased with the strong instructional work that has been done as a result of this program. It is also important to note that we intend to build forward, take what we have learned from IB, and build toward a successful future implementing the college and career readiness expectations demanded of the Common Core. Our work with IB has absolutely perched us at an excellent starting point to undertake this rigorous task.

Discontinuing IB was not an easy choice. As you know, budgetary limitations imposed by the tax cap forced us to look not just at our ability to carry forward with the program this coming year, but to take into account the fiscal capabilities to continue the program in three years and beyond. In looking at the information, it was evident that we would need to make reductions each year in order to comply with the imposed cap, and we wanted to set forward on a path that would allow for compliance with cap, but would also allow us to aspire to the vision that we become "One Monticello."

Although fiscally we could not continue forward with the program, we know full-well that we will reap the future benefits of the educational dedication and instructional improvements that resulted from IB's implementation.

Your partners in education,

Daniel A. Teplesky, Superintendent of Schools & Tammy Mangus, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction 

International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) at the Chase Elementary School

IB Coach: Linda HolmesLink to Official IB Web Site

Emma C. Chase Elementary School was designated an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School on December 7, 2009. This honor and achievement represents a culmination of years of hard work by the Chase administration, faculty, staff and students. Our Primary Years Programme (PYP) for students aged 3 to 12, focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside.

CLICK HERE to view the IB created video: Education for A Better World: The IB Primary Years Programme

At Chase, we believe that knowledge is “actively built, not passively learned”. We offer an inquiry based curriculum that empowers students as they develop as knowledgeable, respectful, compassionate, and responsible world citizens and reflective life-long learners.

Our curriculum is collaboratively crafted by teams of our own teachers and our lessons are taught and thoughtfully revised to reflect best practices in education and to best meet the needs of our students. Curriculum, lessons, and learning activities are based on National and New York State Standards.

What Makes the IB Unique?IB

The Primary Years Programme (PYP) focuses on the heart as well as the mind and addresses social, physical, emotional and cultural needs as well as academic ones. At the heart of the PYP is a commitment to structured inquiry as a vehicle for learning. Six transdisciplinary themes help teachers and children explore knowledge in the broadest sense of the word.

Teachers and students use key questions that are concept based to structure the units of inquiry. They acquire and apply transdisciplinary skills while developing an understanding of these important concepts. The development of explicit attitudes and the expectation of socially responsible behavior are also essential elements of the program.

We emphasize the development of the whole student – physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically.

Developing the International-Minded Student

The bedrock of the Primary Years Programme (PYP) is the Learner Profile. We use these ten attributes to define and develop an internationally minded person. At Chase, we think: “What kind of person do we want our students to be?” The aim of the PYP is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.

The Chase learning environment fosters students in their development of international-mindedness as our students learn to be: inquirers, thinkers, communicators, risk-takers, knowledgeable, principled, caring, open-minded, balanced and reflective. In all areas of the school, the teachers and staff model these attributes. Learning experiences are created so that the students are able to develop these characteristics. The profile helps teachers and students establish goals, plan units of inquiry, and assess performance.

CLICK HERE to view the IB Learner Profile Video

IB Learner Profile



develop their natural curiosity
acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning
enjoy learning and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.


explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance
acquire in-depth knowledge
develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines.


exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems
make reasoned, ethical decisions.


understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes communication
work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.


act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect
for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities
take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.


understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories
open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities.
accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view


show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others
demonstrate a personal commitment to service
act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment


approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought
have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies
bravely and articulately defend their beliefs


understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others.


give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience
assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development.


All students at Chase Elementary school continue developing international-mindedness by learning a second language. Spanish instruction is part of our curriculum beginning in kindergarten through fifth grade.


PYP Essential Elements

To achieve a balance in learning, the PYP emphasizes the five parts of the curriculum which are called the Essential Elements of the curriculum.



Curriculum at Chase Elementary School is organized K-5 into Six Transdisciplinary Themes. These themes are designed to guide students and teachers to focus on the “big ideas” important to learning about ourselves and the world. They are both simple and very complex. Each theme is taught at each grade level with appropriate emphasis for the age and stage of the student. Students spiral through the themes during their studies at Chase building an ever-growing understanding, deeper connections and comprehension, and a strong knowledge base.

Each of the Six themes involve about six weeks of guided inquiry each year. Themes are intended to be “Transdisciplinary”, which simply means that each theme includes areas of study and curriculum from all the various subject matter. Teaching and learning become more relevant, real, and authentic when students meld mathematics, science, literacy, social studies, and other content areas into an inquiry.


Who we are: an inquiry into
  • The nature of the self
  • Beliefs and values
  • Personal, physical, mental, social, and spiritual health
  • Human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures
  • Rights and responsibilities
  • What it means to be human
Where we are in place and time: an inquiry into
  • Orientation in place and time
  • Personal histories
  • o Homes and journeys
  • The discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind
How we express ourselves: an inquiry into
  • The ways which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture
  • Beliefs and values
  • The ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity
  • Our appreciation of the aesthetic.
How the world works: an inquiry into
  • The natural world and its laws
  • The interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies
  • How humans use their understanding of scientific principles
  • The impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.
How we organize ourselves: an inquiry into
  • The interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities
  • The structure and function of organizations
  • Societal decision-making
  • Economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.
Sharing the planet: an inquiry into
  • Rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things
  • Communities and the relationships within and between them
  • Access to equal opportunities
  • Peace and conflict resolution.


What do we want the children to know?

The Programme of Inquiry is a guiding document written and revised collaboratively by Chase grade level teams which include all teachers here at Chase. It is organized into six themed units by grade level, to frame the curriculum of the school year. Each Unit of Inquiry will include a Central Idea and Lines of Inquiry, Key Concepts, Attitudes, Learner Profile Attributes, and Trans-disciplinary Skills to be developed during the inquiry. In addition, each classroom will display the current unit of inquiry along with student questions and work.

The Programme of Inquiry or POI is displayed next to the main office at Chase. Current units of inquiry will be marked with tags: “Now Showing” and the upcoming inquiry will be labeled “Coming Soon.” IB

All units are based on teaching through
• Wondering
• Questioning
• Experimenting
• Researching
• Emphasis on meaning and understanding


• Linking new knowledge with existing knowledge (Vygotsky)
• Meaningful play (Piaget)
• Making connections (Bruner, Gardner)


• Learning styles (Gardner)
• Helping kids in their inherent need to make sense of their world

CONCEPTS: Teaching and Learning is Concept Driven

At Chase, teaching and learning is concept driven. Eight Key Concepts define types of questions that can be used to thoroughly explore any topic or inquiry. Students and teachers use concepts to create questions, expand understanding and comprehension, and to delve deeper into the curriculum. Imagine a subject or area that you might like to learn more about. Concepts create building blocks for learning.


Why a Concepts-Based Curriculum?

“The traditional design of a curriculum did not come into question when business operated with an industrial model that called for factory workers whoIB could follow orders, carry on repetitive tasks with little thought, and work in relative isolation. But business has changed drastically, and education is adapting to meet the need for workers who can identify and solve complex problems, think independently as well as in team situations, and exhibit the characteristics of leaders no matter what their job in an organization.” - Lynn Erickson, 2002

SKILLS: What do we want the students to be able to do? IB

Best practice in education has always included a strong skill component. The construction of meaning and, therefore, understanding is complemented by the students’ acquiring and applying a range of skills. At Chase Elementary School, our curriculum includes Trans-disciplinary Skills incorporated within the units of inquiry. Together with New York State and National Standards, Trans-disciplinary Skills provide the foundation of skill development to enable our students to succeed.


ATTITUDES: What do we want students to feel, value and demonstrate?

“While recognizing the importance of knowledge, concepts and skills, these alone do not make an internationally minded person. It is vital that there is also focus on the development of personal attitudes towards people, towards the environment and towards learning, attitudes that contribute to the well-being of the individual and of the group.”

Making the PYP Happen: What attitudes does the PYP suggest that schools should encourage?




ACTION: How do  we want the students to act?

We encourage a positive attitude to learning by challenging students to solve problems, show creativity and resourcefulness and participate actively in their communities. Students at Chase are challenged to choose his or her actions based on learning and interests that arise during inquiries. The Action Cycle is a working model to guide learning experiences, research, inquiry and social interactions. This never ending cycle includes reflection, choice and action.


Why is a commitment to inquiry and the construction of meaning important?

‘The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.’ - Plutarch

Inquiry is a cognitive and communicative act that links inner and outer dialog, enabling learners to discover the power of their own minds.

The curriculum at Chase Elementary School emphasizes the active construction of meaning so that students’ learning will be purposeful and infused with inquiry.



CLICK HERE to read the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme General Regulations

IB News Story Archive

Chase Elementary School Honored with International Baccalaureate StatusChase IB

December 2009

For three years, the staff and students at the Emma C. Chase Elementary School in Wurtsboro have worked tirelessly to adopt an internationally respected approach to teaching and learning that will prepare students for the challenges they will face during their educational experiences and in their future lives. As of December 7, 2009 the school has been officially authorized to teach the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP).

The basis of the IB program is to help students acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in the global economy and the 21st century world. The program is designed to inspire teachers and excite students through inquiry and reflection. Using the concept of transdisciplinary learning – merging the lines between subjects such as math, science and ELA – students are given the opportunity to take an active role in connecting multiple concepts and utilizing a variety of skills regardless of the Chase IBindividual lesson. These methods of learning help students actively participate in constructing knowledge. This is a shift away from traditional teacher-directed instruction.

Chase Principal Susan Gottlieb and IB coach Linda Holmes have successfully overseen the transition to ensure that the IB curriculum is aligned with the New York State Learning Standards. This has brought the quality of the educational experience at Chase to a higher level by providing additional richness and rigor to learning.

“By connecting concepts, a child becomes better at problem-solving, analyzing and utilizing his or her own creativity,” explained Ms. Holmes. “This helps keep students focused, engaged and self-motivated to learn.”

In the IB, students and teachers base their experience on a Learner Profile which includes the characteristics of being inquirers, thinkers, communicators, risk-takers, knowledgeable, principled, caring, open-minded, balanced and reflective - all things that help educate the whole person.

The IB was introduced to Monticello Schools by Superintendent Dr. Patrick Michel, who developed the program in the Pine Bush and Clarkstown schoolChase IB districts. Chase Principal Susan Gottlieb and her faculty felt that the IB was a good match educationally and philosophically to what was already happening in the school and to best practices in education. Thus in 2006, they began the professional development, collaboration and planning required for the IB PYP. Duggan, Cooke and Rutherford Elementary Schools are presently in various stages of the IB process toward authorization.

The IB also provides middle school and high school programs which may be explored by the district in the future. For more information, visit

Photo 1: Chase Elementary School Principal Susan Gottlieb is flanked by students from Eileen Kolaitis’ kindergarten class during a recent visit. The students, from left, Madison Lee, Jailyn Labuda, Danny MacDonald, Brenden McGar and Brandon Reside, participated in a science-based laboratory experiment about mixing colors – a fresh approach to the lesson designed to infuse excitement for learning in the students.Chase IB

Photo 2: IB coach Linda Holmes, center, leads her weekly collaborative grade-level meeting with fifth-grade teachers, from left, Keith Babbitt, librarian Susan Couture, Marilyn Lounsbury and Karen Crofoot. During these sessions, lessons are designed and critiqued with the help of Ms. Couture, who has been instrumental to the success of the IB program which requires an abundant amount of research and literature.

Photo 3: Chase Elementary School third-graders like the IB curriculum which helps them become more aware of their behaviors and encourages them to be kind and caring to others. In their study of maps and geography, it also helps them understand the many similarities between their culture and other world cultures.

Photo 4: Chase’s official IB PYP certificate.

Example of how second-graders’ inquiry into “personal choices affect the environment” inspired them to independent action

In class, students participated in discussions, projects, experiments and research about systems to recycle, reduce and reuse waste as well as each individual’s responsibilities toward the environment. The IB structure of the lessons encouraged students to connect their learning to their lives and the world around them. It was also designed to develop higher-level thinking and a deeper understanding for different concepts, thus creating a greater self-awareness and self-empowerment in the students. Subsequently, independent of the school requirement and with reflection on what they had learned, various students took the initiative to implement community and family projects. One student collected old jeans to donate for a program that uses denim for housing insulation. Another student organized a litter pluck for her family. While many other second-graders implemented and enforced stringent recycling rules at home for themselves and their relatives.

Link to Official IB Web SiteIB History (from

The International Baccalaureate was founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1968 as a non-profit educational foundation. A group of talented, forward-thinking teachers at the International School of Geneva, with assistance from several other international schools, created the IB diploma Programme. What started life as a single programme for internationally mobile students preparing for university, has today grown into three programmes for students aged 3 to 19. The IB offers high quality programmes of international education to a worldwide community of schools. There are more than 775,000 IB students at 2,816 schools in 138 countries. Carrying forward the ideals and dreams of the IB founders, the organization exists to provide high quality education for a better world.

Our Motto:

“Be a better a better world.”

Our Mission

The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end, the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment. These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

CLICK HERE for the Chase Elementary School International Baccalaureate listing

International Baccalaureate Programme at KLR

IB Coach: Claudia Cordisco

Kenneth L. Rutherford School is a candidate school* for the Primary Years Programme. KLR is pursuing authorization as an International Baccalaureate World School.

IB World Schools share a common philosophy that includes a commitment to high quality, challenging international education. The Kenneth L. Rutherford Elementary School believes that philosophy is important for our students.

*Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its three academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), or the Diploma Programme (DP) and the (IB Career-related Certificate).

Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted.

For further information about the International Baccalaureate, visit

The International Baccalaureate at KLR

First-graders learn about the ecosystem of the desert (3/7/12)

KLR students research the tall tales of the Wild West (3/7/12)

KLR Fun Friday Assembly Celebrates Life and Courage (3/5/13)

KLR students learn to be a champion (2/15/13)

Third graders create posters of water cycles  (2/12/13)

Fifth graders create covered wagons as part of IB unit (2/12/13)

KLR student collects books for Sandy Hook Elementary School students  (2/12/13)

KLR teachers utilize centers for hands-on learning (10/24/12)