Anna Borba Elementary School

Anna Borba Elementary School is located in Chino in the Inland Empire of Southern California. The journey to becoming an authorized IB World School has been an exciting trip. Anna Borba is a public school-of-choice in the Chino Valley Unified School District. Originally, the school was developed under the fundamental philosophy of the 1970s of a back-to-basics approach to curriculum with additional emphasis on parent involvement, high expectations for student behavior, as well as stricter homework and dress code policies. Over the years, with the implementation of state standards and districtwide policies, the lines between the fundamental program and the other schools became somewhat blurred.

In 2003, the District superintendent charged Kathy Hemlock, the current principal with investigating programs that would again make Anna Borba unique in the District and justify it continuing to be a school-of-choice. Mrs. Hemlock did much internet searching, talking to other educators, and visiting schools with various magnet programs. In her search, she discovered the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. Kathy had experience with the Diploma Program through a family member. After doing a lot of reading, research, and attending a Level 1 training, she determined that she would present this program to the staff and parents. Thus began five years of hard but rewarding work!

Throughout the candidate and authorization process, Mrs. Hemlock has been the true cheerleader for the program. As with any public school, money is always a concern. She figured out many creative ways to ensure that all teachers were able to go to trainings, that staff development opportunities came to the school, that planning time was made available to all grade levels, and that the parents received multiple chances to receive information and observe and participate in classrooms.

The wonderful part of this program is that the entire school community has recognized that it truly utilizes best teaching practices to motivate students to want to know more. A fifth grade student said it well. When asked what he thought about the way he was able to approach learning through a particular unit of inquiry he simply said, "It feels good!"

It is very satisfying to know that the hard work and dedication of everyone involved has made Anna Borba Elementary the first authorized PYP school not only in the Chino Valley Unified School District, but also in San Bernardino County and it has become the foundation for a districtwide K – 12 IB program.

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