Carl Cozier Authorized as IB School

Students, families and staff at Carl Cozier Elementary School Elementary School celebrated the school’s official authorization as an International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Program School.

This marks the third elementary with the IB program, joining Northern Heights and Wade King, for Bellingham Public Schools. Alderwood and Birchwood elementary schools are candidate schools working toward authorization, and other schools are exploring the program. The IB program is available to any school in our district. Interested parents or staff members that want to learn more may work with their school’s principal.

Carl Cozier principal Eric Paige says that one of the aspects about Carl Cozier Elementary that he loves best is the diversity of the families and staff. Through them he learns firsthand about different perspectives and values from a wide range of groups.  “Learning through experience and valuing the perspectives of others, even if we don’t always agree with them, was something that interested me about the International Baccalaureate program,” Paige says.

It took three years of intense work and collaboration with the Cozier staff to adapt curriculum and be authorized as one of only seven IB World Schools in Washington to offer the Primary Years Program.

“The philosophy of the IB framework aligns closely with our district’s strategic plan The Bellingham Promise,” Paige continues. “The 36 units we teach are designed to develop the whole child and our students are taught to be healthy individuals and to explore their passion whether it is in the arts or academics.”

“I appreciate the support we have received from the other district schools using the IB framework and also the encouragement from our Cozier community while we were on this learning journey.  Becoming an IB World School has been a challenging and rewarding experience.”

IB is a transdisciplinary program that connects curriculum across grade levels and content areas, and focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both within and beyond the classroom. The program also includes world language instruction; at Carl Cozier, students are studying Spanish. To get authorized, schools go through an intensive, multi-year process that involves staff working collaboratively to adapt teaching to inquiry-based learning. Inquiry-based learning poses questions, problems or scenarios for students to explore and learn supported by teacher facilitation, instead of the teacher simply presenting facts or portraying a straightforward path to knowledge.

Some schools in our district have adopted other special programs, such as the Leader in Me at Sunnyland, an arts focus at Roosevelt, the Advancement Via Individual Determination ( AVID) program at our middle and high schools, and project-based learning for the new Options High School. Each school budget has funding that a principal may apply toward a special program, world language instruction or additional literacy, math, library or technology support.