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“The inquirer stands at the border of knowing and not knowing”

Judith Wells Lindfors

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SCHOOL ACCOUNTABILITY REPORT CARD

This state required annual report provides information on student achievement, environment, resources & demographics.

 

Current report (2014/15) released January 2016.

 

English / Spanish

 

More about SARC

About us

Mission statement

Bel Aire Park staff, parents and community will work collaboratively to develop a program of meaningful, authentic learning experiences that create wonder, enthusiasm, and risk-taking in our students.  We strive to develop life-long learners whose questions, thinking, and compassion can create a more peaceful world.   

What is Inquiry Based Instruction?

A huge part of our PYP/IB Magnet theme and what makes our school unique is the inquiry-based approach to learning.  It is learning through asking questions, exploring, experimenting, researching, asking more questions, predicting, making connections to prior learning,solving problems in a variety of ways, and making and testing theories.  When students actively pursue their own learning they are much more likely to develop deep understanding of concepts as opposed to what is just told to them by others. 

In our program we use what is called structured or guided inquiry where teachers help students use their curiosity and questions to develop skills and knowledge around big central ideas and themes.  In addition, the inquiry includes a variety of perspectives, such as: scientist, artist, historian, social scientist, mathematician, etc.  We call this "trans-disciplinary" learning, the way we naturally learn new things.

Rigorous Education at Bel Aire Park

What Makes an IB Education Rigorous?

A word that is often mentioned in discussions about education today is “rigor”. This word can have many different interpretations by parents, teachers, students, policy-makers and the general public. As an authorized IB school, Bel Aire is working toward a high standard of rigor to aim for in the education of students. Our definition of rigor is in alignment with the philosophy of IB as we apply research-based best practices in international education that successfully prepare students for the challenges of the world they graduate into.

As the Bel Aire staff strives to challenge Bel Aire students with rigorous learning experiences, the following practices guide our instructional planning and delivery.

Rigor in the classroom is established by:

  • Involving students actively in their own learning
  • Engaging students with rich, relevant content
  • High level questioning (by adults and students)
  • Providing opportunities for students to express voice and choice
  • Emphasis on depth of learning, not just coverage
  • Emphasis on developing skills for the purpose of increasing our ability to inquire, think creatively, and apply learning to real life problems
  • Focusing on the quality of student work rather than on the quantity
  • Challenging all students to use critical thinking skills (such as analyzing, synthesizing and evaluating information and making inferences, considering multiple perspectives of an issue, defending a position and reflecting on their learning)
  • Using ongoing assessment to identify students’ current level of understanding and adjust instruction to meet individual needs
  • Empowering students to apply what they learned through self-initiated action in the community

The following practices are often falsely described as being indicators of rigor. Rigor is not:

  • Assigning students a greater quantity of work than normally expected
  • Teaching all students the same way
  • Lecturing and drilling students as the primary means of instruction
  • Focusing only on skills
  • Filling an empty vessel with knowledge
  • Based on test results alone

As we receive ongoing training from IB we are creating an environment where children are receiving an education that is indeed rigorous. We are thankful for everything parents do at home and at school to support the rigor of children’s learning experiences at Bel Aire Park Magnet! 

Parent Participation

Parent Involvement is an important component of our school program and a hugely important factor in the success of your student and others.  When students know that their parent knows about and is involved in their learning, they are more likely to succeed academically, socially, and emotionally.

In addition to helping your own student, being involved is a great way to make a difference in the life of a child.  Research shows that the single most important factor in whether a student will succeed in school is having one significant caring relationship with an adult at school.  That adult can be you! 

Our expectation is that all families participate in one or more of the following categories.  We ask for a commitment from every family of 20 hours of volunteer time per year:

 

Classroom -Assist the teacher during instruction time as directed, and/or share a specific talent or interest.  Teachers also may     have materials or other paperwork tasks that can be done at home.  You could also do a classroom support job: scheduler, be an FFC rep, party organizer, etc.

 

School-wide - As a school we need help with many committees and events.  The Family Faculty Club (FFC) is always looking for help on our various fundraisers and events.  You can also serve on our governing bodies; School Site Council and ELAC.  These councils work with teachers and other staff to ensure success of our school program and oversee the school budget.  Our FFC is always hard at work to support our school programs and community.  Go to our page for more information.

 

School Support - one way that parents can really help out and work with our kids and families is to sign up for a school safety support job.  These include playground supervision, morning line-up supervision, and curb-duty (monitoring drop off/pick up) both in the morning and afternoon. 

 

Please contact your child’s teacher and/or parent liaisons if you need more information about how to help.  Martha Lopez, our community liaison is also a great resource for help in meeting the expectations.