Mildred Helms Elementary is committed to developing knowledgeable, inquiring, and caring lifelong learners within an intellectually challenging, transdisciplinary program emphasizing international-mindedness.
The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.
These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.
Learning is spiraled through the grades and aligned with state standards. Units incorporate all content areas, including math, science, language and literacy, social studies and fine arts. There are six transdisciplinary themes that are covered in each grade level. Here are some examples:
Who We Are... An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families; friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.
Where We Are in Place and Time... An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations, and migrations of humankind; the relationships between, and the interconnectedness of, individuals and civilizations from local and global perspectives.
How We Express Ourselves...An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.
How the World Works...An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.
How We Organize Ourselves... An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.
Sharing the Planet...An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.
The greater depth of knowledge that is developed over the years provides the foundational skills that are necessary for study in all advanced content areas as well as for lifelong learning.