Hartford School Certified As International Baccalaureate School
By VANESSA DE LA TORRE
July 11, 2013
HARTFORD — Global Communications Academy has been authorized as an International Baccalaureate World School, the only one in the city school system and the eighth elementary program in the state to receive the distinction.
The Geneva-based organization informed Principal Kimberly Stone-Keaton this week that Global was certified for its primary years program for students in kindergarten to fifth grade, according to schools spokesman David Medina.
"Everyone has worked long and hard to make this happen," parent Samariya Smith said Thursday. "Ultimately, it benefits all the kids. We're excited about what this means for us."
Becoming an official International Baccalaureate school was five years in the making for Global teachers and staff. The school opened in 2008 and has based its curriculum on the rigorous IB model in which core academic subjects are framed through questions such as who we are and how the world works.
Global students are also taught traits of IB's "learner profile," including being principled, caring, open-minded, reflective and balanced.
Along with its elementary program, Global enrolls students in a few middle and high school grades, with plans for an eventual expansion to K-12. Its oldest students will be entering 10th grade in late August, when Global will be moving from its cramped quarters on Greenfield Street to a newly renovated school on the former Quirk Middle School campus with room for roughly 900 students.
Global is part of the school system's citywide choice program. Admission for new students is decided by a lottery, and Stone-Keaton said in a statement she believes the IB program will draw more families to the school.
A middle years program for grades 6 to 10 and IB's diploma program for grades 11 and 12 are also in the works.
The international model is what attracted Smith to Global for the education of her 6-year-old son, who will be entering second grade next month.
One of the school's features is that students begin learning a second language in kindergarten. Smith, who is president of Global's parent-teacher organization, said she recently walked in on her son watching a soccer match on TV — and that he understood at least some of what the Spanish-language commentators were saying.
West Hartford's Charter Oak International Academy and CREC's International Magnet School for Global Citizenship in East Hartford are also IB elementary schools. Three of the primary years programs in Connecticut are in Greenwich.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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