International Baccalaureate
More Global

The International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum fosters the intellectual, personal, emotional, and social skills of students that enable them to live, learn, and work in an interconnected world.

The IB curriculum is ideally suited to achieve our goal at CIS* of offering an innovative, holistic, high-quality education because it …

  • Allows for students to learn how to learn, teaches ethical behavior, emphasizes the importance of serving society, and supports students’ different interests and talents
  • Offers a continuum of education that consists of three individual programs
    • Primary Years Program (PYP) for ages 3 to 12,
    • Middle Years Program (MYP) for ages 11 to 16,
    • Diploma Program (DP) for ages 16 to 19.
  • Encourages international-mindedness
  • Promotes a positive attitude to learning by encouraging students to ask challenging questions, critically reflect, and develop research skills
  • Provides performance-based portfolio assessments
  • Mandates professional development for teachers and staff
  • Regularly updates its curriculum
  • Includes an important community service component
  • Is widely respected by colleges and universities around the world

It is administered by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), a non-profit foundation registered in Switzerland. As of January 2017, there are over 4,000 schools around the world offering IB programs.

 

Primary Years Program (PYP)

The PYP is specifically designed for the youngest students. It focuses on the total growth of the developing child, affecting hearts as well as minds and addressing social, physical, emotional, and cultural needs in addition to academic welfare. It combines the best research and practice from a range of national systems with a wealth of knowledge and experience from international schools to create a relevant and engaging educational program.

This program offers a comprehensive, inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning. It provides an internationally designed model for concurrency in learning and incorporates guidelines on student learning styles, teaching methodologies, and assessment strategies.

It perfectly suits the mission of CIS* with our emphasis on Differentiated Learning, Bilingual Education, and the Community.

The PYP consists of five essential elements:

  1. Knowledge: Content in math, languages, social studies, science and technology, arts, and personal, social and physical education.
  2. Concepts: Important ideas that have universal significance regardless of time or place within and across disciplines. Concepts are presented in the form of questions that drive the inquiry.
  3. Skills: Those things the students need to be able to do to succeed in a changing and challenging world: thinking skills, social interactions, communication, self-management, and research.
  4. Attitudes: Characteristics that are expressions of fundamental values, beliefs, and feelings about learning, the environment, and people. Students are developing the following attitudes: appreciation, commitment, confidence, cooperation, creativity, curiosity, empathy, enthusiasm, independence, integrity, respect, and tolerance.
  5. Action: Demonstration of positive action and service. Students are encouraged to reflect, choose wisely, and to act responsibly with their peers, school staff, and in the wider community.

The subject areas are taught through transdisciplinary themes in order to help students make connections between the subjects, thereby facilitating more effective learning.

Please visit the IBO website (www.ibo.org) to learn more about the IB curriculum.

Bilingual Education
More Connected

At CIS*, your child will be learning two languages by learning in two languages. Our bilingual immersion program provides your child with a proven head start in life:

Linguistic advantages:

  • Immersion programs enable students to become literate and fluent in two languages.
  • Children learn basic concepts such as spelling, grammar and sentence structure in both languages. As such, immersion language learning enables them to understand and work within each language, rather than striving to impose the linguistic parameters of one language onto another.
  • Not only do the children learn two languages, but their bilingualism will assist them in learning other languages. Indeed, studies indicate that fluency and skills in one language assist in the language acquisition of a second language, and possessing skills in two languages can boost the learning process of a third language.
  • In addition, bilingual immersion programs allow children to achieve better mastery of their native language than programs where monolingual children are schooled solely in their mother tongue!

Cognitive advantages:

  • Language immersion programs help children to develop more flexible mental skills than monolingual studies.
  • Bilingual programs have shown to improve students’ academic performance.
  • Children in this type of program have increased visual problem-solving skills and are better adept at pattern recognition, abstract thinking, and using logic. This is because bilingualism has been shown to make the brain more flexible, and during childhood, our brains are more malleable, facilitating simultaneous connections among many different symbols, words, and concepts.

Social advantages:

  • The social advantages that true bilinguals enjoy are easy to understand. Thanks to immersion language programs, they have intimate access to two cultures, which helps strengthen their identity and sense of belonging.
  • Interacting with children with other native languages and cultures, young people learn to adapt to different cultural settings. In the process, they become open-minded, adaptable, and respectful adults who are able to contribute to a multicultural and interdependent world.
  • Feeling at home in two languages enables a deeper understanding of different lifestyles and value systems, and opens the path to enhanced career and educational opportunities.

At CIS* neither Spanish nor English is considered a foreign language. Our bilingual immersion program places equal emphasis on both languages. In Kindergarten through third grade, students will be more exposed to their new language. Eventually half the time will be devoted to each language. This balanced approach is key to achieving the native intimacy with each language that fully bilingual and bicultural individuals enjoy.

True bilingualism is not taught. It is experienced. Just as babies and toddlers learn to walk, smile, and laugh by watching their parents, young children become bilingual through regular exposure, engagement, and natural interaction. At CIS*, your child’s experience mimics this parent-child linguistic interaction in that he or she will learn and play alongside native English-speaking and native Spanish-speaking teachers and students.

Our school is made up of children from all around the world. Inside and outside the classroom, students from different cultural backgrounds work and play together, sharing and developing each other’s language skills, and learning about each other’s cultures, traditions, and value systems.

This bilingual immersion approach is not new. Its successful track record throughout the world indicates that it is the most effective form of bilingual education and that its linguistic and cognitive benefits endure throughout a child’s lifetime.

Differentiated Learning
More Personal

One size does not fit all.

To truly do justice to each and every student, teachers proactively plan varied approaches to what students need to learn, how they will learn it, and how they express what they have learned.

Differentiated Learning means teaching with the child in mind rather than adopting a standardized approach to teaching and learning that presumes that all students of a given age are in the exact same place academically.

Regardless of what a teacher decides to differentiate — whether it’s the subject matter, the learning process, or even the environment where learning occurs — differentiation is both awareness of and active response to students’ various learning styles. It involves exercising flexibility in assessment, grouping, and instruction to create the best learning experience for each student.

At CIS* we …

  • use a balanced mix of direct instruction and open, student-centered education.
  • engage our students through learning-by-doing (hands-on projects, expeditionary and experiential learning).
  • use technology to enhance differentiated instructions.
  • de-emphasize textbooks in favor of varied learning resources.
Community
More Communal

A school for the community by the community.

Building a new school

  • where students are engaged in their learning and feel at home,
  • where highly qualified and engaged teachers enjoy good salaries and benefits to be able to live in a major city like New York City,
  • where parents see themselves as part of a team that together with the school wants to ensure that their students receive the best education,
  • and where the tuition is kept at a minimum in order to allow as many families as possible to attend the school,

requires a lot of strength, energy, and resources. It is a huge task, that only can be achieved if the community becomes actively involved and all constituents collaboratively work together. Only then can we create something that will make a difference to the entire community.

This active involvement can mean many things. Become a board member or an adviser to the school with your expertise in real estate, finance, and/or legal matters. Or help as a volunteer with fundraising, marketing, maintaining the website, after-school activities, and organizing community events!

Whatever you’re good at and passionate about, this is the place to put it into action!