TIBS provides numerous scholarships and innovative teaching/training grants to deserving students and teachers each year. 
TIBS 2021 eNewsletter, Fall Edition
Dear TIBS community,

Welcome to the 2021 Fall eNewsletter. 

We know that the 2021-22 school year has been a difficult one, maybe more difficult than the last two years, and that all schools have been affected by the challenges of teaching and learning during a global pandemic. We hear daily about the mental and emotional challenges being faced by both teachers and students. We also know that your schools and sometimes school districts are making monumental efforts to ease the strain of 21 months where we have all lived in a very different world. We applaud and admire your efforts to carry on with excellent instruction and concern and care for colleagues and students.

We know you are looking forward to the upcoming winter holiday break, as this year, more than ever, you are all in need of a well-deserved rest.

This edition of the newsletter will show some action projects taking place across programs around the state and some articles relating to social and emotional well being. It will also offer some advice on unit planning, especially in the PYP.

We are grateful for your continued support, and we truly appreciate your efforts to provide the students in your schools with the best possible educational opportunities in spite of the difficulties involved. Don't forget to keep us updated with your stories, photos, and videos! Send them any time, as it will be time for the Spring eNewsletter before we know it.

We wish all of you happy holidays and a restful winter break.

Best regards, 

Karen Phillips, TIBS Executive Director
Courtney Smith, TIBS Associate Executive Director

  • What We've Been Up To / What's Coming Up
  • Recently Authorized Schools
  • 2021/2022 Board Members
  • College Fair Update
  • Update from We Help Two/Bare Necessities
  • Self Care Article by Dr. Maria Hersey
  • Articles relating to mental and emotional health
  • Action projects on IB campuses
  • Article on PYP planning
  • Announcements
  • Contact Us
What We’ve Been Up To:

  • Longview (May 26-27): 297 trained
  • San Antonio/Edgewood (June 22-23): 98 trained
  • Austin (July 26-31): 610 trained
  • TAGT—Dallas (December 1-3)

What’s Coming Up:

  • Uplift Education Virtual Training—Dallas (January 3 & 4)
  • TIBS Spring Meeting—Virtual (February 25)
  • SXSWedu—Austin (March 7-10)
  • TAGT Leadership Conference—Georgetown (March 28-30)
  • TIBS College Fair—Virtual--Available now
  • IB Global Conference—San Diego (July 16-19)
  • TIBS Austin Workshops (July 25-30)
Congratulations to our newly authorized schools in Texas! We understand the level of commitment involved in just getting authorized, and we are very proud of all of your hard work. If you are not on this list and have been authorized, please let us know.

  • Berta Palacios Elementary (PYP)—Pharr
  • Bright Academy (PYP)—Frisco
  • Coronado High School (CP)—Lubbock
  • Houston MSTC (MYP)—Houston
  • Marcellus Elliot Foster Elementary (PYP)—Houston
  • Springwoods Village Middle School (MYP)—Spring
  • Uplift Wisdom High School (DP)—Dallas
  • Worthing High School (CP)—Houston
Linda Buie (At Large)--Longview ISD
Seby Meloni (At Large)--Houston ISD
Penny Tschirhart (At Large)--San Antonio ISD

Katie Biela (DP)--Uplift Education
Margaret Davis (DP)--Alcuin School

Toby Klameth  (MYP)--Lubbock ISD
Kaylene Rudd (MYP)--Westlake Academy

Kelly McBride (PYP)--International School of Texas (Austin)
Ashley Swindle (PYP)--International School of Texas (Austin)
The annual Texas IB Schools College Fair will continue as a virtual fair in 2022. The fair is available to IB students and families at www.texasibcollegefair.com . The face-to-face fair will return in the Spring of 2023.

Action Opportunities

Several Texas IB schools have partnered with We Help Two during the fall semester to make a difference in their communities through the Simple Bare Necessities program to provide much-needed personal hygiene products for students in their communities.

The program will be extended into the spring semester with schools that are interested to run the project from February to May.

For more information please visit this link. 

Submitted by Trevor Bergman,
Founder of We Help Two

Subscribing to Self Care

A recent Instagram post from @ selfcarewithwall shared an important thought for everyone to consider, but most importantly, for all the educators that are struggling to navigate the complicated and constantly changing realities of life, the following statement should ring true: “You are not selfish for wanting the same energy and love you give.” 

During my recent keynote address at the TIBS general meeting, we were able to discuss the importance and essential nature of self-care practices and strategies that could be implemented in our daily lives. Many of the participants shared that while they inherently understood the importance of social-emotional learning (SEL) and well-being for students, as teachers, we often forget to take care of ourselves FIRST. It is imperative to remember that our own self-care and well-being must be a priority. Remember, if we want to give it, we have to live it. This means that if we want our students to engage in well-being practices and self-care, we need to be willing to take the first steps and set intentions for mindful living in our own lives.

The simplest definition of mindfulness, offered by Dr. John Kabot-Zinn, is being present and in the moment. It is making space for reflection and connection. Mindfulness magazine recently published an article about nine practices to engage in which support and build well-being. The authors remind us that cultivating and protecting our well-being is a personal process that requires us to check-in with ourselves on a regular basis. Being open to whatever we may need to navigate stress, anxiety and overload is an important part of the process. Engaging in the habit of self-care is essential to our daily lives and well-being.

Cultivating and protecting our well-being is deeply personal. It requires us to check in with ourselves regularly and be open to whatever we may need to feel less stressed, more fulfilled, and at ease. In this guide to well-being, you will explore nine habits to integrate into your daily life that will serve as helpful tools in sustaining emotional wellness. In the article, 9 Mindful Habits for Well-Being - Mindful, the authors identify nine practices or habits that you can engage in on a daily basis to support our well-being. These practices or habits are:
·      Meditation or mindful awareness
·      Inquiry
·      Engagement
·      Presence
·      Gratitude
·      Compassion
·      Movement
·      Relationships
·      Contribution

Of these nine practices, which are just the beginning of a myriad of possibilities, which one resonates with you most? Which one can you set an intention for today to support and enhance your own well- being? Remember, the first step is the most important. Identify one of the practices that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine. Commit to making this a priority for yourself and for others. You deserve it!
For additional resources, please visit this Padlet of curated well-being and self-care resources. For further information or questions, please visit us at  https://www.globaleduadvisors.com

Submitted by Dr. Maria Hersey, Keynote Speaker for the TIBS Fall Coordinator/Administrator Meeting
CAS Project Leads to a Community Garden and Mental Health Opportunities

Through the Denton High School Environmental Club, we have started a community garden at Asbury United Methodist Church here in Denton. In the 6 weeks we have been working on our community garden, we have come a long way. It started out as an overgrown, trash covered, grassy area outside of the church and has already begun to be a beautiful, vibrant garden. We started this garden because we heard that it would be turned into a parking lot and wanted to instead use the amazing space to help feed people in our community.

Our wonderful team of students from the Denton High School IB program and various science clubs have learned many new skills on how to plant our own food, take care of a garden, understand seed depths, types, structures, and more. Not only have we learned about plants and gardening, we have learned about the importance of mental health. Through this experience, we have grown closer together as peers and developed a greater appreciation for this great earth, as well as the time we have spent out there every Saturday this past month and a half. This garden has been a great outlet for everyone involved to relax and take in the magnificence of our garden and the earth.  

For more information, watch the video:


Written by Corina Pavelek, Denton High IB Junior. Submitted by Beth Hughes, DP Coordinator, Denton High School.

IB and EQ: A Positive Relationship for Our Students

The emotional well-being of our students is a high priority at our IB School of Distinction at Lamar Academy, in McAllen ISD. As part of our district initiative, our campus houses an Emotional Quotient Specialist who plans curriculum, provides support, and engages students in their own social and emotional learning. 

The overall district goal of this program is “For every MISD student to graduate with the knowledge and skills in self-care, cognition, and the ability to create healthy environments and relationships that are culturally responsive, equitable, and supportive.” For our IB students, this means additional discussions as they tie the aspects of the EQ to their IB Learner Profile attributes. 

Students participate in multiple activities through classrooms, events, an EQ symposium, and strategies on EQ topics such as: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, social skills, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, self-esteem, thinking errors, healthy habits, test anxiety, nonverbal communication, healthy relationships, time management, and growth mindset. These allow our IB students to make connections to and receive additional practice with their Approaches to Learning Skills. Some of the key highlights of the initiative include: EQ Student of the Month, EQ Ambassadors that will assist with the implementation of EQ on campus, and community service opportunities that can be tied to MYP Service or CAS experiences. 

 As our IB program moves forward with this social and emotional support, we know it is a practice that is best for our students, and it will be beneficial for them in our ever-changing global society. 

Submitted by Rachelle Downey, DP Coordinator, Lamar Academy, McAllen ISD

A Student's Response to a Need

At Arthur Kramer World School, Rhema Silas, 3rd-grade, was inspired by his mom after seeing a video of students in Africa walking to school carrying their school supplies in trash bags. He didn't think that was fair; so, he created a plan and asked a few of his classmates to help with fliers, announcements, posters, and videos to ask for donations.

He collected throughout the month of November with a goal of 200 backpacks. Our community surpassed the goal, and he collected 265 backpacks. His dad's church is working with a non-profit organization to send the backpacks to Nigeria, Ghana, and Sudan next month.

This story was featured on NBC 5 Morning News in their segment called Tell us Something Good. Rhema's project definitely meets the standard of being something good: A third grader making a difference in the lives of students on another continent.

Submitted by Kim West, Arthur Kramer World School, Dallas ISD.
Service and Action

Action (learning by doing and experiencing) is a key component in constructivist models of education, including the kind of teaching and learning common to all IB programmes. Service, as a subset of action, has always been a shared value of the IB community. IB learners strive to be caring members of the community who demonstrate a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and to the environment. [MYP From Principles into Practice (2014)]

In late October, students at Thomas Jefferson High School (San Antonio ISD) participated in a service-learning project that involved reading spooky tales to readers at Fenwick Academy. The high schoolers read to students in grades K-3 following a predetermined schedule in 20-minute increments.

The Jefferson students will have another opportunity to read to the Fenwick Academy students in December followed by ornament decorating.

A week later in December, the high school students will share stories about holiday traditions from around the world with students at Woodlawn Academy. Students will explore traditions such as a Mexican tamalada, the playing of the dreidel during Hanukkah, and the Nguzo Saba of Kwanzaa. 

Both Fenwick and Woodlawn Academies are in the Jefferson High School feeder pattern in SAISD. Students can choose to participate in an IB education from PreK through 12th grade.

Submitted by Penny Tschirhart, Assistant Director, IB Programmes
San Antonio ISD

Successful Planning
in the PYP

Watch Ned E. Williams teachers:

One of the most daunting tasks that each PYP teacher faces is creating their unit planner. Ned E. Williams teachers have some great ideas for starting the process and working to bring the transdisciplinary theme together. As the PYP coordinator, it is a joy to see the dynamics of the teams and individuals bringing different ideas to the table. Here are some processes I have seen successful teachers using at my school.

Know your content:

As a team sits down to plan, each member must know their content. Ultimately, each teacher should study and know their grade level content. Before the teachers even begin planning, they need to know what the desired outcome for the student will be.


A team has to plan together. Each member of the team cannot do separate parts of the plan and bring it to the meeting to give to the other members. Teams must collaborate and make decisions together, even if a single team member has done the initial research and planning for learning activities.

Brainstorming in a safe environment:

Feeling safe to express ideas is probably the most important element to having successful units. Teachers must work as a team and feel safe to brainstorm ideas. Many of the best units begin with brainstorming sessions, and a person should feel comfortable sharing ideas. Ned E. Williams’ first grade teachers recently finished the transdisciplinary theme: How the world works. Their planning began with an apple. Yes, an apple. One of the teachers had read an article about Johnny Appleseed. They began to think of the function (key concept) of a good citizen in the world. Watch the video to see how the apple seed grows into a tree.

Be open-minded to everyone’s ideas:

After brainstorming, oftentimes a team member has an idea that does not seem to work with the theme. Take some time to think about how an “outside the box” proposal could work. Ned E. Williams’ second grade teachers say one of the biggest lessons they have learned is not to eliminate each other's ideas, but to find ways to incorporate them into the overall unit. Watch this video to see the 2nd grade team’s process.


Take all of your ideas and put them into a schedule for the time period of the unit. As the team places the ideas on different weeks and days, the whole unit period will be filled with wonderful learning experiences. 

Submitted by Christina Eagan, PYP Coordinator, Ned E. Williams Magnet STEAM Academy, Longview ISD

  • Spring Coordinator/Administrator meeting will be February 25th, 2022. The meeting will be virtual. More information to follow.

  • Registration for TIBS Austin workshops (Session 1, July 24-27 and Session 2, July 27-30) will open on February 1st on the TIBS website. Sessions will be in person. Remember: the IB organization and Kent State University have partnered to offer graduate credit for PYP, MYP, and DP training. Click here to find out more!

We'd love to hear from you with any questions or concerns.
Karen Phillips, TIBS Executive Director
Courtney Smith, TIBS Associate Executive Director

If you have feedback on the newsletter, please contact Judy Chapman.

To share your schools' stories, accomplishments, and projects, please email us at enewsletter@texasibshools.org
Texas IB Schools (TIBS) | www.texasibschools.org