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Chimborazo ES is now an International Baccalaureate World School

An update from Matt Illian, Chimborazo Model School Task Force Chair:

Greetings Church Hill Neighbors, We are thrilled to share that Chimborazo Elementary School is now a fully authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, Primary Years Programme (PYP)! What does this mean? Chimborazo is the first authorized Primary Years Programme (PYP) (which is for elementary schools – MYP is for middle school and DP for high school students) in the central Virgina region. Every single child who attends Chimborazo Elementary School will receive an IB education. Every teacher and administrator has undergone extensive IB training and will continue to receive IB certified training. Among many strengths, an IB education is inquiry-based, transdiciplinary and internationally-minded. As one teacher expressed to me, “the IB way is what inspired me to go into teaching.” When did this process begin? In September 2010, the Chimborazo PTA, with support of then Principal Cheryl Burke, voted to conduct a feasibility study to see if the PYP would be a fit for Chimborazo. Since that time, the school has been engaged in an IB candidacy process. So many have helped – too many to count – but there are some that deserve special thanks:
  1. The Chimborazo teachers and staff who have worked many long hours to help the school receive authorization. Special thanks goes out to Molly Muse and Sirez McCoy who, in addition to their teaching duties, have been co-coordinators in ensuring that the staff receives proper training in an IB education. Also, we thank Interim Principal Lancaster-Gay for her tireless support during this last year.

  2. Chimborazo parents and community members (too many to name) who volunteered in many different ways including: attending task force meetings, designing – selling and installing yard signs, fundraising, baking goods, hosting info-parties, volunteering at neighborhood festivals and PTA events.

  3. Our city leaders including our School Board Member, Don Coleman, for ensuring that this effort remained a priority on the School Board and our City Council Representative, Cynthia Newbille, who was important cheerleader and helped direct significant City Council funding for this project.

  4. Chimborazo’s retired principal, Cheryl Burke, who retired last June, helped Chimborazo believe that they were ready make a transformational change and helped get this process started. RPS Instructional Specialist for Gifted Programs, Anthony Washington, for guiding the school towards authorization and helping with training.

  5. Every person who contributed financial resources to help this effort raise approximately $400,000 to ensure proper training, accrediting fees and materials were available for the school. This effort is a shining light for what a public/private partnership can accomplish for the good of our children!
In recognition of this huge accomplishment, there will be an IB authorization celebration party – likely in January. More details will follow. Best Regards, Matt Illian Chimborazo Model School Task Force Chair

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CHillFormerIBer 12/05/2014 at 8:28 AM

Awesome!! So exciting to hear.

David Conmy 12/05/2014 at 8:33 AM

Congratulations, Matt and everyone else involved! What wonderful news!

Kentucky fried 12/05/2014 at 9:11 AM

What a monumental week for the children of ChurchHill. CHAt’s fantastic news followed by Chimbarazo’ s achievement.

Congratulations to all the grown ups, who worked so hard for the children!!

Jessica Hoffa 12/05/2014 at 10:33 AM

I am so pleased to hear this! The amount of work from all of you to achieve this was undoubtedly monumental. For 3 years, I served on the original BOD for the Patrick Henry Charter school as a motivated parent determined to provide sone choices for those of us that did not want to move out of Richmond to educate our children. What a fantastic option you’ve added for Richmond School district parents! THANK YOU!!!

Karen 12/05/2014 at 10:53 AM

This is great also!!!!! I love living in Church Hill!

Kathleen 12/05/2014 at 1:11 PM


Catherine Illian 12/05/2014 at 1:19 PM

Such great news!
So exciting!

kirsten gray 12/05/2014 at 1:45 PM

Congratulations! Thank you for all your hard work -great news for Church Hill!

John Whitworth 12/05/2014 at 2:53 PM

Matt and all the team,
Your aspirations and hard graft have resulted in a transformational change for the Church Hill / Chimborazo community and thousands of students will now have a great start in life – all down to you and the staff. A great team effort !!!

East Grace 12/05/2014 at 3:32 PM

As the parent of an IB graduate, I can tell you this is a wonderful opportunity for the students of Chimborazo. Many, many thanks to all who helped make this possible. You have given an incredible gift.

33chicks 12/06/2014 at 5:30 AM

This is terrific news for Church Hill. Can children outside of the Chimborazo district attend the school? If yes, then what steps does one take to do this?

Catherine Illian 12/06/2014 at 7:56 AM

My understanding is that Chimborazo is open enrollment like all RPS schools. I think open enrollment starts in Jan or Feb

VSKelly 12/09/2014 at 9:20 AM

Congratulations! What a GIANT accomplishment for the city schools & Chimbo. I hope to see more movement in this direction in the city. I love living in the city and don’t want to move to a surrounding county or pay for private school for my child to get a good education!

Matt hIllian 12/09/2014 at 11:33 AM

Although this accomplishment is huge, our neighborhood schools still have great needs for committed volunteers. If you’re not involved in some way, please consider calling your local school to find out about tutoring opportunities as a math or reading buddy. Several of the schools have full time staff members who help volunteers know how to best plug in. You could also join the PTA – and help with fundraisers.

Chimborazo hosting International Food Festival to celebrate new International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme ‹ CHPN 01/14/2015 at 8:26 AM

[…] a long process, Chimborazo Elementary is now officially recognized as an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. This makes Chimborazo Elementary the only IB PYP school in all of central […]


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