Anasazi becomes candidate school for IB program

Anasazi is at 12121 N. 124th St. (Submitted photo)

An internationally recognized, global education is closer to reality at Anasazi Elementary School as it is a Candidate School for the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme.

Anasazi, 12121 N. 124th St., is in the Desert Mountain Learning Community in the Scottsdale Unified School District. The IB aims to create global student citizens who learn to think critically and creatively about the world and its issues, and how they relate to them.

In adopting IB’s interdisciplinary framework of study, Anasazi joins nearby Mountainside Middle School, a candidate school for the IB Middle Years Programme and neighboring Desert Mountain High School, which offers the IB Diploma Programme, according to a press release.

Anasazi Principal Jennifer Waldron says she is looking forward to the journey of becoming an IB World School.

“We are on a mission to provide our students with a world-class education with the same elite curriculum you would find at a private school, but in a public education setting that is accessible to all,” she said in a prepared statement.

“We embrace the role Anasazi will play in completing SUSD’s goal of offering a pre-kindergarten through 12th grade IB track of study, empowering students to meet the demands of the future that awaits them.”

In becoming an IB school, Anasazi teachers will become students themselves and receive the intense, collaborative, professional development necessary to deliver the PYP’s inquiry-led, project-based instruction.

The training gets underway later this month when IB PYP coordinators from other states fly in to work with Anasazi staff for three days.

Ms. Waldron says the training is ongoing and will continue throughout the school year on early release days and in staff meetings, a release states.

One of the immediate changes ahead for Anasazi students is they will start learning Spanish. Studying a foreign language is an IB requirement at all grade levels.

The IB certification process can take up to four years, but Ms. Waldron says she hopes to accomplish it in three. If successful, Anasazi would become Arizona’s sixth IB PYP school.

“It doesn’t surprise me that Principal Waldron is pursuing the IB’s rigorous requirements with determination,” SUSD Superintendent Dr. John Kriekard said in a prepared statement.

“She is totally committed to raising the bar for our students, and we are excited about what this opportunity offers Anasazi. These young leaders will have a clear path in front of them, from pre-kindergarten through high school, to pursue a global education, right here in Scottsdale, Arizona.”

While the three schools are in the Desert Mountain Learning Community in northeast Scottsdale, under Arizona’s open enrollment education options, any parent from within and outside SUSD can enroll their child to access this unique learning track.

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