Students are taught to be caring and principled and to have high expectations for learning. We are here to develop knowledgeable and caring young people who help create a better and more peaceful world through cultural understanding and respect,” said Julie Beers principal of CIS.
Cleveland Municipal School District partnered with Cleveland State University in 2010 to create Campus International School located at 30th and Chester in the CSU Cole center.
The school began with 120 students, grades k-2 and now has 320 students grades k-4.
Each year a new class of kindergarteners will be added.
Campus International School stresses multiculturalism providing students with an international outlook allowing them to better understand their place in the world.
It even teaches Mandarin (Chinese) as a second language beginning in kindergarten.
CIS is quickly becoming known for its International Baccalaureate Curriculum.
The IB curriculum began in Switzerland in 1968, by the International Baccalaureate a nonprofit organization.
It encourages international mindedness in students, a positive attitude to learning and reflects real life. It also stresses through its learner profile the development of the whole student.
“I believe the IB creates a culture where children take learning seriously. Students are taught to be caring and principled and to have high expectations for learning. We are here to develop knowledgeable and caring young people who help create a better and more peaceful world through cultural understanding and respect,” said Julie Beers principal of CIS.
“But the interesting thing is the Primary Years Curriculum. Two of the main goals is promote international mindedness and to make sure everything students learn they will put into action to make the world a better place.”
The IB Primary Years Program is rooted in six themes.
“Who we are”, “Where we are in place in time”, “How we express ourselves”, “How the world works, “How we organize ourselves” and “Sharing the planet.”
These themes give teachers the opportunity to thoroughly initiate a program of inquiries which require active participation on behalf of every student.
According to IB “an example of an inquiry about “who we are” students might look at “families and friends”. In order to understand better the central idea that “people need families and friends” we might look at how families are similar across cultures, how we make and keep friends, why we need families and friends, and families and friends through literature and arts.”
The traditional disciplines retain a role in the IB Primary Years Program. The six specified subjects are language, mathematics, science, social studies, arts, and personal, social and physical education.
IB students are nurtured very carefully right through their formative stage in the Primary Years Program, where they are developed into lifelong learners by learning how to blend with the IB Learner Profile. IB learners strive to be Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators, Principled, Open-Minded, Caring, Risk-Takers, Balanced and Reflective.
“I love the collaboration with CSU. I think it’s exciting and unique for Cleveland schools. Although I’m new to the IB program I love kindergarten so it’s a great opportunity to teach here,” said kindergarten teacher Kathleen Taylor.
The IB program takes student-centered approach. Students are in-charge of their learning from the beginning of an inquiry cycle until taking action.
The program is known for its continued assessment where students reflect on the process as well as the outcome.
The IB advocates versatility, catering to students with different learning styles. To do that however, the teachers have to know their learning style and what their interests are.
Parents are also thrilled to have the new innovative school.
Although there is a waiting list for students, parents who already have a child in CIS automatically can have another child placed there.
Misty Anderson has two children at CIS. One in second grade, the other in kindergarten.
She says she very pleased with the new school.
“I like the curriculum and this school is very different from normal schools. I like that they teach Mandarin too. They try to teach kids to compete internationally. And it has a small student teacher ratio. The teachers are also very involved.”