This summer, Foster Elementary School went from an Improvement Required school to International Baccalaureate status.
An IB school is a continuum of international education through highly educational, and challenging, programs for students ages 3 to 19. Going from IR to IB was due to a change in instructional goals and practices, according to Foster IB coordinator Darnisha Allen. Principal Traci Lightfoot attributes the success to a “team effort” and applauded the teachers who took the vision they have had since 2017 and surpassed it by doing more than just meeting standards.
“Our campus and community have undergone an evolution, you might say,” Lightfoot said. “In 2019, we became an A-rated school in the state of Texas .… personally, and professionally, it’s a wonderful accomplishment that had been a goal, and I believe our schools and urban communities can thrive and be excellent.”
The IB program has four different programs depending on grade level of student. These include working on personality traits, critical thinking skills, inquiring, communications, respectfulness, and being open-minded. Students focus on acquiring these skills during their time in school. The continuum of these classes throughout the student’s education is key. Once a student gets into the diploma program in high school, they take six IB classes and “Theory Of Knowledge,” which is equivalent to 18 college credit hours. Students must build these skills early on, starting with the Primary Years Programme in elementary school.
Senior Manager of Innovation and Postsecondary Programs Sevasti Meloni refers to the IB program as more of a “holistic approach.”
“It’s not what you know, but how you know it,” said Meloni.