What is an International Baccalaureate® World School?

Founded in 1968, the International Baccalaureate® (IB) is a non-profit educational foundation offering four highly respected programmes of international education that develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills needed to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. Schools must be authorized, by the IB organization, to offer any of the programmes and be recognized as an IB World School. William Lipscomb Elementary went through a rigorous years-long certification process and was officially accredited in 2018.

What IB Programme is Offered at Lipscomb?

William Lipscomb is an active school in the Primary Years Programme (PYP) which focuses on students ability to think critically and independently. It also teaches students how to inquire with care and logic. William Lipscomb students continue their IB education at Jane Long Middle School (MYP Programme) and Woodrow Wilson High School (DP Programme). IB prepares students to succeed in a world where asking the right questions is a crucial skill that will allow them to flourish long after they leave school. Learn more about IB PYP HERE.

What is Different About IB Education?

IB PYP (International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program) is based on connecting information being studied to a culture of transdisciplinary themes. Each 6 weeks curriculum is based around a certain theme:

  • Who we are
  • Where we are in space and time
  • How we express ourselves
  • How the world works
  • How we organize ourselves
  • Sharing the planet.

Every subject studied during those 6 weeks should connect back to the central theme of those 6 weeks. Subjects are taught in a single classroom with emphasis on integration of material rather than separate math, science, social studies, & writing classes. Lipscomb teachers participate in whole school planning to make sure that all classes themes align with the focus for that 6 weeks.

Each grade level focuses on certain learner profile traits, emphasizing 1 or 2 at a time. The profile aims to develop learners who are: Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators, Principled, Open-minded, Caring, Risk-takers, Balanced, & Reflective. 


The main goal of IB is to develop self-sufficient, international minded students. Students are encouraged to be aware of what is happening to them in their lives and how their decisions affect others in other parts of the city, country, and the world. As well as to develop skills for independent inquiry and self-assessment.

What Does IB at Lipscomb Look Like?

Teachers teach the same curriculum that the state requires, the main difference is the way that it is planned out and taught throughout the year. All of their learning relates back to the transdisciplinary theme. Instruction will be more project based, theme-based learning rather then standardized lectures & memorization. The teacher’s role is more of a facilitator than solely an instructor. Inquiry based learning encourages students to ask questions and seek their own answers. 


As an example, here are our themes and lines of inquiry for each grade level in our first 6 weeks: 

First Six Weeks Themes

Pre- Kindergarten

Theme: Who We Are

Lines of Inquiry: What are the roles and responsibilities in our families? How are families diverse? How are our relationships interdependent on one another?



Theme: Who We Are

Lines of Inquiry: Why do we need to follow rules? How we can help others make good choices? What are the consequences if we make bad choices?



Theme: Where We Are In Place and Time

Lines of Inquiry: What choices do you need to make to be a good citizen? What is the plot of a story? What characteristics do you need to be a good scientist? How does the position of a digit impact the value of a number?



Theme: Who We Are

Lines of Inquiry: What qualities make you a good role model? How do your personal values impact your relationships? How do we adapt to different environments?



Theme: Who We Are

Lines of Inquiry: Which historical figures influenced society? How do human actions impact communities? What are the responsibilities of a good citizen?



Theme: Where We Are In Place and Time

Lines of Inquiry: How does the states of matter impact the environment? What is the pattern of geographic features and their effect on settlement in Texas?



Theme: How We Express Ourselves

Lines of Inquiry: How we classify matter? How does temperature change matter? What are numbers and how are they used in everyday life?

What Does PYP Look Like in the Classroom?

More community service and outreach, figuring out what is going on in their part of the world. All students and class levels have Spanish as an elective throughout the week similar to how art and music are currently scheduled.

How Are Students Evaluated?

We have the same DISD tests and report cards, but students will also have a reflection piece at the end of each 6 week period to do a self-assessment of how they are doing/learning. Teachers will be asking students to reflect on their own learning and teachers are asked to reflect on their own practices and style of teaching.

How Can Parents Support the IB Programme?

We want parents to have high expectations for their students with the goal of fostering college readiness by the time students are done with 5th grade. Parents can help by looking back at homework and relating it back to how this relates to home, community and the world. Expect to see a lot of writing assignments and a lot of reflection.

  • Ask questions about how the theme was presented to them and what they were able to take out of it.
  • Allow questioning, encourage inquiry and to talk to your students about their learning throughout the day
  • Know the units that your child is involved in
  • Share your thoughts and reasoning
  • Attend IB informational meetings
  • Volunteer for activities





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