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Chimborazo ES is now an International Baccalaureate World School

12/05/2014 7:49 AM by

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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