About Izzi B

Our mission is to provide an educational experience that is equitable, intellectually stimulating, and inspires curiosity to ensure our students will be academically prepared, socially and environmentally responsible, culturally responsive, and personally fulfilled life-long learners. In order to achieve this mission, we must have a clear school culture plan. As such, our plan focuses on the following: 

  1. Relationships and social-emotional learning 
  2. Collaboration and a move towards shared leadership 
  3. Academic excellence through challenging and meaningful instruction 
  4. Social justice, environmental awareness, service learning, and global citizenship 
  5. Diverse student demographics 
  6. Family and student engagement

Relationships and Social-Emotional Learning

Experiencing deep caring relationships is a basic need that all human beings share, and one that is inextricably tied to resilience, joy, and ultimately to academic success. In this way, the heart of the school rests in building an inclusive community in which caring relationships are the foundation of our work. Further, studies show that positive teacher-student relationships support growth in language, conceptual knowledge, academic achievement, motivation, engagement, attention, positive behaviors, and social competence. Thus, teacher-student relationships are at the core of our relationship-based model. 

We believe that teaching social and emotional learning (SEL) competencies are as important as teaching academic competencies. In our global 21st century society, students need more than ever to develop strong SEL competencies. Among the skills needed for success are the ability to communicate with people from diverse backgrounds, collaborate, demonstrate self-control, listen to and pose respectful questions, and examine situations from a variety of perspectives. When students take an active role in creating a safe environment they feel more comfortable talking about learning, taking risks, and being challenged; and when students learn strategies for having meaningful conversations with classmates, they are better equipped to face difficult situations and challenging interactions outside the classroom. Because SEL provides a foundation for creating an open and accepting environment, students develop trust in themselves and others, build friendships with a broader range of classmates, and learn how to interpret the world.

Collaboration and Shared Leadership

IBCS values collaboration between all members of the community and believes in the power of shared leadership at all levels. Through shared leadership, students, families, and staff bring their voices into the process, thus strengthening the entire school community. Ongoing collaboration and shared leadership empowers teachers, staff, and the greater school community to promote shared ownership for success, foster innovation, and make efficient use of resources. 

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” – Hellen Keller 

The IBCS leadership and teaching frameworks are built upon our shared philosophy that collaboration and distributed leadership increase efficacy which in turn leads to better outcomes for students. Examples of innovative, collaborative and distributed leadership structures include: 

Academic Excellence Through Challenging and Meaningful Instruction

IBCS offers engaging, compelling, and essential questions to inspire curiosity. Teachers employ inquiry-driven instruction, and incorporate themes of social justice, civil rights, environmental awareness, and service learning, thus giving students opportunities to deeply explore their personal connection to the larger world. This ensures students recognize their future is inextricably tied to the rest of humanity. Our curriculum and instruction is grounded in research-based best practice, differentiated to meet the diverse needs of our students, and strives for academic excellence for all students. 

Academically challenging and inquiry-driven instruction is based on real-world, relevant, and compelling content. We strive to deliver content and instruction umbrellaed under larger universal and timeless concepts. Specifically, each grade level aligns their year-long instruction to a specific concept as outlined below: 

Using this model,  students learn to make connections, think critically, grapple with complex texts and ideas, and find relevance in what they are learning. 

Service Learning and Global Citizenship 

Emphasis is placed on service learning and the development of global understanding and citizenship. We promote student involvement in service learning projects in each class and grade level. Every effort will be made to make connections between our areas of study and people in our world. 

Culturally Responsive Teaching and Anti-Racist Policies

DPS Equity Statement Racial and Educational Equity is our collective responsibility.  We will achieve equity when we dismantle deeply rooted systems of oppression that have historically resulted in inequitable access and distribution of opportunities and resources for those who represent marginalized identities, including race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, language and ability. We will create conditions where we all belong, are included, and have clear purpose (why) and have the autonomy to lead in our respective areas. By creating these conditions, we will eliminate the predictability of success or failure for our students and team members.

At Izzi B we seek to become antiracist educators by:

Family and Student Engagement 

In addition to fostering trusting and caring teacher-student relationships, we actively develop strong school-family relationships and create opportunities for students to develop relationships with students in other grades. Furthermore, we value and celebrate diversity in all its forms within the school community, and recognize that each student is an individual who brings a unique history, specific interests, stories, strengths, and challenges into the school setting. Thus, we create opportunities for teachers and staff to build relationships with families. Examples include: 

Teachers facilitate daily Dragon Crew meetings in which students are in community with each other and hold each other to high standards of academics and character.