Pan American Academy Charter School is a recognized International Baccalaureate World school offering both the Primary and Middle Years programmes and home to the first Primary Years Programme (PYP) in the city of Philadelphia.
Students in Kindergarten through Grade 5 are a community of learners participating in the IB Primary Years Programme, which focuses on the development of the whole child. Students in grades 6 to 8 are a part of the IB Middle Years Programme, developing life skills and critical thinking abilities through interrelated academic courses. All students participate in an inquiry based curriculum in two languages; English and Spanish.
The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.
Pan American Academy Charter School uses the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) as a curriculum framework. The PYP is an international, transdisciplinary program designed to foster the development of the whole student; physically, socially, intellectually, aesthetically and culturally.
The PYP engages students in an inquiry based approach to learning whereby they develop new understandings conceptually. The programme strives to develop concepts of personal, local and global significance upon which children can make meaningful connections to the world around them.
Six transdisciplinary themes provide the framework for units of inquiry at each grade level and these form the school’s Programme of Inquiry.
The IB Middle Years Program at Pan American Academy Charter School provides a framework that encourages students to embrace and understand the connections between traditional subjects and the real world. As a result, students develop critical and reflective thinking skills. The MYP transitions students from transdisciplinary learning in the PYP to interdisciplinary learning.
In the programme model for the MYP, students develop disciplinary (and interdisciplinary) understanding.
In the MYP, approaches to learning (ATL) gives students the opportunity to demonstrate skills for learning including collaborative learning through inquiry. Concepts highlight how students can construct meaning and make connections across disciplines. Global contexts emphasize the practical applications of learning.
Inquiry-based learning results in student-initiated action and service in the community. The MYP culminates in the personal project (for students in MYP year 5), however, at Pan American Academy Charter School our programme ends in year 3, therefore students culminate the programme with the community project. The community project focuses on community and service and gives students an opportunity to develop awareness of needs in various communities and address those needs through service learning. As a consolidation of learning, the community project engages students in a sustained, in-depth inquiry leading to service as action in the community.
Students in the MYP explore eight subject groups: language and literature in English, language and literature in Spanish, individuals and societies, sciences, mathematics, arts, physical and health education, and design.
Teachers model a caring attitude by nurturing relationships with students and their families. In late summer teachers conduct home visits to review expectations for academics and behavior. During the school year teachers post curricula, assignments and grades online and make daily phone calls home. At the end of each trimester, teachers deliver and discuss report cards face to face. Such professionalism, commitment and transparency reinforce a principled approach to excellence in education—an example for our students to emulate.
Whether your child is in general education, special education, or is an English Learner, a good teacher makes all the difference in the world. A good teacher motivates, inspires and nurtures their students in their classroom. Pan American Academy Charter School utilizes inquiry based instruction to engage all students in collaborative learning.