In the couple of weeks since Seneca Academy received the notice from the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) that we are finally authorized as a Primary Years Program (IB/PYP), our focus has been on advertising and marketing; getting the good news out to everyone we can. Throughout all of that though, I’ve been reflecting on what authorization means to me, and to the school.
I think this recognition from the IBO primarily provides validation: of the hard work we have done, and the accomplishments we have made. It means our teachers, administrators and students have lived up to a long list of standards set by international experts in education.
But this authorization hasn’t changed us significantly since we received it. We started on a journey when we first applied to become an IB/PYP school 4 ½ years ago, and we have come a long way on that journey. As a result of our efforts over the past years, our students are conversant in the learner profile (http://www.ibo.org/programmes/profile/) and the attitudes we promote, are comfortable asking and answering conceptual questions, and are more knowledgeable about the wider world. Our teachers regularly plan together, and are creative in finding ways to fully engage students in the learning process. Our Parent Association is focused on ways to integrate global awareness and multi-cultural activities into their events.
However, our journey isn’t over. Seneca Academy has always promoted lifelong learning, which is supported by the IBO. We will continue to routinely be reflective of our practices and strive to enhance them. Receiving the IB authorization at this point in time is much appreciated (and exciting) confirmation that we are on the right path, and is recognition of how far we have come. It is encouragement to continue on our journey, and we will.
Fundamentally, Seneca Academy has been implementing the Primary Years Program for some time now; authorization now gives us permission to trumpet that to the world!
PS. We would love your help with that trumpeting so please feel free to spread the word!