In October 2019, Lehigh Valley Academy Regional Charter School (LVA) welcomed a team from the International Baccalaureate Organization (IB). The team’s assignment was to conduct a full evaluation of the school’s Primary Years Programme (PYP) in grades Kindergarten through 6th grade. IB completes these reviews on a regular basis in order to ensure “that the standards and practices of the programme are being maintained” (IBO, 2020, p.1). Over the course of two days, the IB representatives met with teachers, students, parents, Board members, and administrators. They visited classrooms, observed school activities, and examined lesson plans and student work.
Lehigh Valley Academy recently received a copy of the completed Evaluation Report. As a result of this glowing evaluation, LVA achieved a five year reauthorization of the Primary Years Programme. The report indicates LVA is showing satisfactory development in all of the standards and that there are no matters to be addressed. The document also lists the following commendations from the team:
- The school community demonstrates a strong commitment to international-mindedness.
- The parents are knowledgeable and supportive of the Primary Years Programme.
- The school has developed additional language supports that are clearly aligned with the philosophy of the PYP.
- The school effectively supports student language and learning through the development of students’ mother tongues and the acquisition of other languages, including the host country or regional language and culture.
- The CEO, the school principals and programme coordinator demonstrate strong pedagogical leadership aligned with the philosophy of the programme.
- The coordinator has supported the creation of an inclusive community built on respect.
- The school has created and implemented a framework for daily, dedicated collaborative planning time for teachers.
- The librarians are an integral part of the programme and ensure that students’ language development is supported.
- The teachers are fully engaged in the collaborative development of unit planners and the review of the programme of inquiry.
- The school has prioritized time for collaborative planning and practice.
- Teachers explicitly use data on assessment of student learning in the planning process.
- The school has built a community where parents and students are welcome and encouraged to share their culture and belief systems.
- The school supports students with learning needs by ensuring credentialed teachers are part of the teaching team.
LVA would like to take this opportunity to thank Ms. Kelly Eddinger, PYP Coordinator, and the faculty and staff in the ES K-6 program for their hard work through this process. This was definitely a team effort and the report indicates that our school is implementing the PYP extremely well. We see the results reflected in our students every day!
International Baccalaureate Organization (2020) Evaluation Report – Lehigh Valley Academy Regional Charter School