• Mission  
    Wharton K-8 Dual Language Academy
    Mission Statement

    Wharton Dual Language Academy’s mission is to empower our students to become respectful, life-long, bilingual and bi-literate inquirers who celebrate diversity as responsible citizens of the world.

    La Academia K-8 de Doble Vía Wharton
    Declaración de Principios

    La misión de La Academia Wharton de Doble Vía es capacitar a nuestros estudiantes a ser respetuosos investigadores bilingües y biletrados, a adoptar una actitud activa de aprendizaje durante toda su vida, y que celebren la diversidad como ciudadanos responsables del mundo.
     
     

    Report on Evaluation Commendations for Wharton

    Section A: Philosophy


    Standard A
The school’s educational beliefs and values reflect IB philosophy.

    Practice 3: The school community demonstrates an understanding of, and commitment to, the programme(s).

    Findings of the team:
    The logo used in its promotional material is the one to be used by IB World Schools. Where the school mentions the PYP in its website or other literature, it does so in accordance with IB copyright policy. Beliefs and values are shared with the school community through parent meetings, weekly newsletters, the school's website, parent volunteer opportunities, and during student led conferences. Conversations with parents, students and other members of the school community demonstrate their enthusiasm for both dual language learning and the IB program. They expressed that though some schools in the Houston area have one or the other, they feel fortunate to have both programs in the same school.

    Commendation:
    The staff has created an enthusiastic, collegially supportive environment that is committed to students' learning success and well-being.

    Practice 6: The school promotes open communication based on understanding and respect.

    Findings of the team:
    Interactions and communications with different stakeholders are open and frequent through newsletters, email, teacher webpages, and parent meetings. Translators are provided during meetings to ensure that all parents understand the content of the meeting. Conversations with parents indicate that the culture of the school fosters respect and open communication. The school has implemented various programs including No Place for Hate, Fuel Ed's Empathy School, Welcoming Schools (LGBTQ inclusion), Face of the Homelessness Project, and Positive School Culture Coalition in order to promote respect.

    Commendation:
    The school has created a respectful learning environment based on understanding and respect throughout the school community.

    Practice 7a: The school makes provision for students to learn a language, in addition to the language of instruction, at least from the age of 7. Schools with two languages of instruction are not required to offer an additional language.

    Findings of the team:
    The school offers a two-way dual immersion program for all of the students at the school. Documents indicate that 100% of the students participate in the bilingual program. All students from the age of 4 are engaged in additional language programme learning. The languages offered in the PYP reflect the needs and interests of the student body.

    Commendation:
    The school has developed a full school bilingual and biliterate education program that is clearly aligned with the philosophy of the PYP.

    Practice 9+9a: The school supports access for students to the IB programme(s) and philosophy.

    a. The school implements the Primary Years Programme as an inclusive programme for all students.

    Findings of the team:
    The PYP is implemented in an inclusive manner, so that all students in all the grade levels in the primary section of a school, are engaged with the PYP. The school offers inclusion services to provide students with special needs additional support within the classroom.

    Commendation:
    The school has created an inclusion support system for their special needs students.

    Section B: Organization

    Standard B1: Leadership and structure
The school’s leadership and administrative structures ensure the implementation of the IB programme(s).

    Practice 3: The head of school/school principal and programme coordinator demonstrate pedagogical leadership aligned with the philosophy of the programme(s).

    Findings of the team
    The pedagogical leadership team has defined roles and responsibilities, which are evident in their job descriptions. These descriptions include support for the PYP curriculum framework. Teachers discuss the support and guidance that the PYP coordinator and members of the pedagogical leadership team extend. Documents indicate that each member of the pedagogical leadership team has attended at least one PYP training annually. These trainings include "Understanding Leadership" and "Leading with a clear vision and strategy".

    Commendation:
    The pedagogical leadership team has attended IB-recognized professional development above what is required to advance their understanding and ensure their l leadership is aligned with the philosophy of the PYP.

    Practice 4: The school has appointed a programme coordinator with a job description, release time, support and resources to carry out the responsibilities of the position.

    Findings of the team:
    The school organization chart demonstrates that the PYP coordinator is part of the pedagogical leadership team. Documents indicate that this position is 95% PYP Coordinator and 5% Gifted and Talented Coordinator. Conversations with the PYP coordinator indicate sufficient time and resources are allocated in order for her to carry out the responsibilities of the role.

    Commendation: The coordinator enthusiastically supports the teachers in the implementation of the programme and has created an environment of open and respectful communication with staff and parents.

    Standard B2: Resources and support

    The school’s resources and support structures ensure the implementation of the IB programme(s).

    Practice 1: The governing body allocates funding for the implementation and ongoing development of the programme(s).

    Findings of the team:
    The school’s projected budget provides sufficient allocation of funds so that IB fees can be paid, ongoing professional development can take place, and resources to support the PYP can be purchased. Conversations with the pedagogical leadership team show understanding and support of the financial requirements of the programme. They explain the site-based decision making model provided from the district and the funds allocated for professional development and program fees. Conversations with the principal and PYP coordinator indicate in addition to what the school provides for program implementation, the parent committee also financially supports the program through fundraising. Conversations with district representatives show their understanding and commitment towards the proper and thorough development of the programme.

    Commendations: The parent community has allocated funding from its fundraising efforts to support the implementation of the programme. The governing body has allocated funding for the PYP above and beyond the requirements.

    Practice 3+3a: The school ensures that teachers and administrators receive IB-recognized professional development.

    a. The school complies with the IB professional development requirement for the Primary Years Programme at authorization and at evaluation.

     

    Findings of the team:
    The school demonstrates that staff participation in IB-recognized professional development meets the requirements for evaluation: teachers who were hired during the period under review have received IB recognized training. Conversations with the PYP Coordinator and teachers as well as charts in the self-study indicate that all faculty members (including the pedagogical leadership team) are offered the opportunity to attend IB recognized professional development through district workshops in the Houston area every year. They also show that most of them actually attend each year as well.

    Commendation:
    The school has planned professional development beyond the requirements, implementing a professional development policy that strengthens teachers’ understanding of the programme, beyond the requirements at evaluation.

    Practice 11: The school utilizes the resources and expertise of the community to enhance learning within the programme(s).

    Findings of the team:
    Planners indicate that many of the vast resources and expertise within the school and local community are utilized and are available for teaching and learning in the PYP. These resources include identifying problems within the community that can be investigated, arts and culture resources including Young Audiences of Houston, expert from FotoFest, community service workers, museums, guest speakers, and more.

    Commendation:
    The school has enhanced learning opportunities by utilizing the vast arts and cultural resources offered in the Houston area to support the PYP units of inquiry.

    Section C: Curriculum


    Standard C2: Written curriculum

    The school’s written curriculum reflects IB philosophy.

    Practice 9a: There is a system for regular review and refinement of the programme of inquiry, individual units of inquiry and the subject-specific scope and sequences.

    Findings of the team:
    The PYP coordinator and teachers are actively engaged in the review and refinement of the curriculum documents in various capacities.

    Commendation:
    The school has created processes and associated documents to make it easier for teachers to reflect on the missing elements in both their programme of inquiry and the related units of inquiry.

    Standard C3: Teaching and learning
    Teaching and learning reflects IB philosophy.

    Practice 14:Teaching and learning fosters a stimulating learning environment based on understanding and respect.

    Findings of the team:
    Attitudes of understanding and respect are observed in interactions between teachers and teachers, teachers and students and students and students, both inside and outside the classroom.

    Commendation:
    The school has built a comfortable learning environment based on understanding and respect throughout the school community.

    Standard C4: Assessment:
    Assessment at the school reflects IB assessment philosophy.

    Practice 8: The school provides opportunities for students to participate in, and reflect on, the assessment of their work.

    Findings of the team:
    In conversations, students and teachers demonstrate understanding of the value of peer and self-assessment. Samples of assessed student work contain student reflections and peer/self-assessments. Students and teachers can explain how they reflect at the end of each day as well at the end of a unit.

    Commendation:
    The school provides students with regular opportunities to participate in, and reflect on, the assessment of their work in all year/grade levels and subject areas.