TIBS provides numerous scholarships and innovative teaching/training grants to deserving students and teachers each year. 
TIBS 2019 eNewsletter, Spring Edition
Dear TIBS community,

Welcome to the 2019 Spring eNewsletter. 

The end of the 2018-2019 school year is in sight! We hope you've had a fantastic year and wish you a summer full of relaxation, travel, and/or challenging adventures. We hope to see some of you at our various trainings across Texas in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston during the summer.

This edition brings a wide array of information to your inbox. Thanks to all of you who shared your celebrations and the wonderful examples of action and service going on in your schools. Please let us know what other kinds of items you would like to see in this eNewsletter. 

We are grateful for your continued support and truly appreciate your inspiring community and classroom work. Don't forget to keep us updated with your stories, photos, and videos! We can't wait to see them this fall.
Best regards, 

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

  • Scholarship and Grant Winners
  • What We've Been Up To / What's Coming Up
  • Recently Authorized Schools
  • 2019/2020 Board Members
  • 2019 College Fair Report
  • Action and Service
  • Spotlight on IB World Schools
  • Spotlight on an IB Student
  • Announcements
  • Contact Us
TIBS DP Scholarship Winners

  • Sewar Jennifer Almasalha (Klein Oak High School)
  • Hunena Badat (Eisenhower High School)
  • Brittany Given (Ranchview High School)
  • Erik Gonzalez (Lamar Academy)
  • Karley Singleton (LD Bell High School)
  • Donna Son (Denton High School)

Innovative Grant Winners

  • Technology in the Cultural Arts; Kendall Newman, Ryanne Richardson, Lindsey Inmon, Cristina Lara-Kline (Jose S. Ramirez Elementary—Lubbock)
  • Salsapreneurship: A School-Wide Cross-Curricular Authentic Experience; Tyler Odom (International School of Texas—Austin)
  • Maker Space Upgrade; Chris Fancher (Meridian School—Round Rock)
  • Laboratory Equipment; Erik Larsen (The Westwood School—Dallas)
  • Increasing the Inquiry and Agency with Orff; Michael Sharpe (Spicewood Elementary—Austin)
  • Flexible seating to encourage agency; Nicole LeBlanc, Carmen Hernandez, Sheri Thierry, Jo Jones, Lauren Young, Sade Adesuyi (Imagine International Academy of North Texas—McKinney)
  • Enough to Go A-Round-O; Clarissa Lopez (Meridian School—Round Rock)
  • Digital SLR Cameras; Amanda McInerney (Meridian School—Round Rock)

Roundtable Grant Winners

  • Enhanced PYP—Ashley Swindle, Leah Lieurance, Jessica Vance
  • 11th Annual North Texas IB Teacher’s Roundtable (DP)—Bill Wells & Nancy Shane
  • Uplift Education Diploma Programme Academy (DP)—Sophia Kwong, Rich Harrison, Elizabeth Sutton
  • South Texas International Baccalaureate Collaboration (DP)—Dikla Medina, Amanda Canales

What We’ve Been Up To:

  • TIBS Spring Meeting & Seminar—Houston (February 22 & 23)
  • SXSWedu—Austin (March 4-7)
  • TAGT Leadership Conference—Dallas (April 14-16)
  • TIBS College Fair—Hurst (April 16)

What’s Coming Up:

  • DFW District Workshops—Ranchview High School (June 11-12)
  • IB Global Conference—New Orleans, LA (July 18-21)
  • Austin Workshops—Westwood High School (July 21-24 & 24-27)
  • San Antonio District Workshops—Harris Middle School (July 29 & 30)
  • Houston District Workshops—Cesar Chavez High School (August 1-2)
  • Round Rock Design Cycle Workshops—Round Rock (August 6-7)
  • TIBS Fall Meeting & Seminar—Austin (TBA)

Congratulations to our newly authorized schools in Texas! 
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 .

  • Briscoe Elementary (PYP)—San Antonio

  • Daniella Andrade (MYP)
  • Linda Buie (At Large)
  • Stephanie Childress (DP)
  • Margaret Davis (At Large)
  • Kelly McBride (PYP)
  • Katie Rhymes (MYP)
  • Rebeckah Tisdale (DP)
  • Penny Tschirhart (At Large)
  • Jessica Vance (PYP)

2,000 Students in Attendance!
On April 16th, 2,000 high school students from all across Texas visited with representatives from 91 colleges and universities from Texas, the United States, and the world.
This year's fair was characterized by its superior presentations, and by far more colleges and universities than we have had in the past. We actually had to close registration to the universities about a month prior to the fair, as we were were out of space!

Thanks to those of you who brought your students to the College Fair. Please let us know how we can make our fair better for your students.

The IB community will be gathering in New Orleans, USA, from 18–21 July 2019 for a global conference centered around the theme “Generation IB”.

As you probably know, Texas IB Schools is always a global sponsor of the annual conference, but this year, TIBS is also part of the host committee along with the IB schools in Louisiana. We would love to see our organization represented in New Orleans by you and others from your school, if possible. It is not too late to register for the conference. The registration link is here.

Congratulations to International School of Texas teachers, Anna Bode and Andrea Clark, who have been chosen to present at the IB Global Conference in New Orleans. They will be presenting on fostering agency through goal setting. Also, congratulations to Emilee Hinegardner, MYP coordinator at Hernandez Middle School, and Dana Browning, MYP Coordinator at Grisham Middle School, who are presenting a session entitled How to Engage a Local Nonprofit to Create a Global Impact in 7 Steps . See information about this joint project in Round Rock ISD in the Service and Action section of the eNewsletter. We are so proud of all of you and wish you the best of luck with your presentations. Please let us know if other folks from Texas are presenting.

We look forward to seeing you in New Orleans in July!

Houston Seminar Participants Provide a Leg

Thanks to the generosity of TIBS teachers at the February meetings in Houston, an amputee is walking again! 

Waseem is 15 and lives in a fertile valley in the Ganderbal district of Kashmir, India. It is often called heaven on earth because of its natural beauty. 

While the mountains are beautiful, the roads that wind through them are treacherous. Waseem found this out the hard way while walking to school. A truck swerved to avoid an oncoming car and hit Waseem. His leg was damaged beyond repair, and after he was released from the
hospital, all he could do was sit and watch the world pass him by. 

However, all of that has changed! We Help Two and a partner clinic made it possible for him to walk again by providing a prosthetic leg and training on how to use it. He is excited to return to school and continue to explore the majestic Himalayas he calls hom e.

Thanks, participants, for buying lots of socks!

Water Project in Round Rock ISD Raises $13,372!

Grisham Middle School and Hernandez Middle School have been participating in a joint school-wide IB Community Project during the 2018-2019 school year. Dana Browning and Emilee Hinegardner, both IB MYP Coordinators, set out to bring the schools together with a common goal in mind. They partnered with Austin non-profit Well Aware and had each of their 6 th , 7 th , and 8 th- grade classes participate in inquiry, action, and service throughout the year. 

To kick off World Water Week, 1,500 students “Walked for Water.” This was an experience where they carried water in their Physical & Health Education classes – similar to the countries where access to water is limited. Round Rock Independent School District documented the event with this video .

A couple of weeks ago, students from both schools participated in a “Shower Strike” – Well Aware’s yearly fundraiser. This was designed to bring awareness of the importance of water conservation and an opportunity for students to fundraise to fix a broken well in Mbalawala, Tanzania. Our joint goal was to raise $6,500 ($3,250 each school) for this well rehabilitation.  We met and far surpassed our goal!!! Together, we raised $13,372 ~ more than double our goal!

Due to the generosity of students, parents, and the community, 1,337 people will now have access to CLEAN water. That's worth celebrating - to know that we had a direct effect bettering the lives of so many!!

Here are several Shower Strike TV news stories from last week’s fundraising event:
1.     KVUE
2.     Spectrum News  
3.     KXAN

Submitted by Dana Browing, MYP Coordinator, Grisham Middle School, and Emilee
Heingardner, MYP Coordinator, Hernandez Middle School, Round Rock ISD

Roscoe Williams PreK Uses
Learner Profile to Affirm
Texas Tech Basketball Team

After watching the Texas Tech men’s basketball team lose in the college championship, the students in a PreK class at Roscoe Wilson Elementary in Lubbock were concerned about the sadness of the team. They began their morning meeting the next day after the championship asking their teacher if they could wish the team well.

 As students began to share their well wishes and affirm the team through attributes of the Learner Profile, the teacher began to record. Those recordings came together in a video for the basketball team that spread quickly through the Lubbock community, grabbing the attention of even the local Fox News.

Here is a link to the class video .

Submitted by Amber Faske, PYP Coordinator, Roscoe Williams Elementary School, Lubbock ISD
Service Project in Tanzania

A number students, staff and parents from the International School of Texas recently journeyed to Tanzania for the annual IST international service project trip.

Some highlights of the 9-day visit were taking part in a reforestation service project on the base of Kilimanjaro with the Jane Goodall Institute; visiting and meeting the people of Njoro village, with whom students made pottery and took part in a soccer game; participating in a safari in the Serengeti National Park; and snorkeling in the coral reefs of Zanzibar, as well as visiting a spice farm there.

It truly was the trip of a lifetime, and it allowed students to broaden their global perspective through direct action taking. Here is a link to another article about this trip.

Submitted by Eleanor Mitchell, PYP Coordinator, International School of Texas

MYP Service Learning Project

Ms. Gandara-Valderas, one of Burbank High School's MYP Arts teachers, constructed an MYP drawing unit titled “About to Drop the Hottest Mixtape."

Her statement of inquiry was identities, relationships and roles can be communicated through forms of expression. Their first assignment was to simply draw a picture of either themselves or of a teacher using stencil drawing techniques. Therefore, the students' GRASP called for them to essentially make an "album cover for an up-and-rising star" aka ... either themselves or a teacher on campus.

 As part of the GRASPS, they were to also make "merchandise" for that rising-star artist to sell while they are on tour. The service-learning component, in preparation for Teacher Appreciation Week, was for the students to take the drawing stencil and create an actual t-shirt. 

Our arts teacher allowed students to pass products out to the teachers or display them in the library and around the school. She later provided a staff professional development on how simple it could be to provide a service-learning opportunity for our staff.

Submitted by Jennifer Love, MYP Coordinator, Burbank High School, San Antonio ISD
First Grade Student Takes Action and Shares a Good Health Rule with the School Community

Students in first grade began the school year investigating How We Organize Ourselves, The central idea for the unit was that communities need rules to guide interactions. As students inquired into what this idea meant for them, one student, Maria, thought our school community needed a rule to help guide decisions when students buy lunch each day in the cafeteria. She created a cafeteria rule, made it into a poster, mounted it in the cafeteria, confidently announced her rule on the school TV network, and then clearly spoke to the 5 th- grade students during their lunch time. Maria took a huge risk to share her suggested rule with others. She chose to promote good health, acted in a tangible way, and reflected on those actions. What can we learn from this 6-year-old?  

Technology + Nursing + More Time in Class = Better Health and Education for Students  

Students in the Nurse Exhibition Group are researching how technology is transforming society, the central idea of this year’s Exhibition at R.E. Good Elementary School in CFB ISD. When they interviewed the school nurse, Ms. Tara Koch, they discovered that there was a special machine in the nurse’s office that allows almost instant access to doctors. Doctors can see the students in real time and then diagnose and treat. This teledoc machine was donated to our school by Children’s Health Medical Center. The students found out that through this machine and its specialized cameras, doctors can make a diagnosis and prescribe medication in real time to children so that they can be treated quickly. If a student is treated quickly, then that child gets well and is able to be at school. This way students can have better health and get a good education at the same time! This exhibition group took action by celebrating National Nurses Week on May 6-10 . They told others through social media about this new machine on campus. 

For more great happenings at Good Elementary, please follow the link .

Submitted by Allison Elliott, PYP Coordinator, R. E. Good Elementary, Carrollton-Farmer's Branch ISD.

Mentoring Program at Plano East IB World School

In an effort to combat our attrition in the IB and help our underclassmen feel more comfortable in our school, we have begun a mentoring program in which we partnered our 9 th- grade students with 11 th- grade IB students and our 10 th- grade students with our 12 th- grade students.

We are still early in the process (year 1), but have heard positive feedback from parents and students. The mentor/mentee relationship seems to benefit both parties and creates a need for the juniors and seniors to be reflective and intentional when thinking about the IB and its benefits/challenges. It also creates natural opportunities for CAS. 

Submitted by Karen Stanton, DP Coordinator, Plano East IB World School, Plano ISD
20,000 Meal Bags Packed by the Magellan School

On Saturday, February 9 th , the Magellan International School community got together to support an international hunger relief organization Rise Against Hunger that distributes food and life-changing aid to the world's most vulnerable hoping to end hunger by 2030.

In only three hours, students, parents, teachers and staff members came together to lend a hand packing more than 20,000 meal bags. This is the third consecutive year that Magellan has supported this organization.

“Hunger doesn’t have to exist-let’s end it together.”

Submitted by Julieta Carrillo, Head of Preschool and PYP Coordinator, Magellan International School

Shoe Collection at Meridian World School

Within their Who We Are unit, the 2nd- grade students at Meridian explored the line of inquiry “ways global knowledge develops empathy.” In their exploration, they learned about the founder of Tom’s Shoes who donates a pair of shoes to someone in need for every pair purchased. One student decided to take action in relation to this and started a shoe drive to collect shoes to send to an organization called Soles 4 Souls which donates the shoes to people in need around the world. With the help of students and teachers, she collected 335 pairs of shoes!

Submitted by Leah Lieurance , PYP Coordinator, Meridian World School, Round Rock

Alcuin Upper School Provides Meals at a Homeless Shelter

Lead by the Student Council Community Service Coordinator, the entire Alcuin Upper School cooked and served two complete three-course meals for the residents of the Family Gateway homeless shelter. 

In addition to the meals, the students served the meals at the center. This project is in addition to the regularly-scheduled tutorials conducted by the students on campus and at two local elementary schools. 

Community service links the Upper School to the greater IB community.

Submitted by Margaret Davis, Head of Upper School, Alcuin School, Dallas
Exhibition Group at Las Colinas Elementary Takes Significant Action to Help Rohingya Refugees 

Students at Las Colinas Elementary are investigating the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. One exhibition group is researching peace and justice throughout the globe. Students spoke with Mr. Dorosch, who works with the Research Institute in Washington DC, over Skype who shared about his work abroad, especially in Myanmar and Bangladesh with the Rohingya refugees. Mr. Dorosch has worked for World Bank and US AID abroad. He is an expert in the areas of peace and justice. For an action, students wrote a letter stating their opinions about how these refugees are being mistreated in Bangladesh and Myanmar. These letters were submitted to the online English newspapers in both countries. These students hope their letters will make a small difference in the lives of the Rohingya refugees. 

Exhibition Group Skypes with former Habitat for Humanity Country Director about Poverty

Exhibition students investigating poverty and hunger locally and globally continue to find out more information as they research these topics. In addition to books and the internet, students were able to interview someone who is living and working abroad in a developing country. Mr. Roger Bodary, former Habitat for Humanity Country Director in Bangladesh, spoke with Las Colinas Elementary students over Skype. He is currently a teacher at the American School in Chennai, India. Mr. Bodary has much real-life experience assisting people who live in poverty and experience hunger. Students listened to every word Mr. Bodary said about poverty and hunger and the effects on people. To take action, these students decided to run a canned food drive at school and created birthday boxes for a local food pantry.

To read about more great activities taking place at Las Colinas Elementary, follow the link:

Submitted by Allison Elliott, PYP Coordinator, Las Colinas Elementary, Carrollton-Farmer's Branch ISD

Korean Teachers visit Calhoun Middle School

Students and staff at Calhoun had the privilege of learning Korean culture first hand. Calhoun participated in the Fulbright American Studies Program for Korean English Teachers and hosted 4 teachers from Korea for two weeks. This was especially exciting for one of our Korean students who enjoyed getting to speak her mother tongue with the visiting teachers.

Calhoun staff and students shared American culture with the visiting Korean teachers, and they shared Korean culture with us. Our 6 th- grade students studying folk tales in their language and literature classes were excited to have Korean teachers share Korean folk tales. The 6 th grade individuals and societies classes and 8 th- grade exploring languages classes enjoyed hearing about Korean culture and learning to write their names in Korean, greet each other in Korean, play Korean games, eat Korean food, and much more

Submitted by Chris Slocum, MYP Coordinator, Calhoun Middle School,
Denton ISD.
Jefferson High School Students Attend World Affairs Council Luncheon

Jefferson High School's International Baccalaureate students attended the World Affairs Global Luncheon hosted by the World Affairs Council of San Antonio. They heard former NATO Ambassador and Governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson, speak on the importance of multilateralism and the United States’ relationship with North Korea.

Submitted by David Garcia, DP Coordinator, Jefferson High School, San Antonio ISD.

IB Summer Camp at Harry Stone Montessori IB World School

We soften the transition from elementary to middle school with a week-long summer camp. Students new to our MYP 1-3 program are introduced to the approaches to learning and the learner profile traits through collaborative activities that require risk taking and self-management. 

TIBS presenters Bill Shell and Carolyn De provide two days of activities that promote collaborative problem solving. An engaging activity is opening the “escape lockbox” using the myriad of clues and false leads that are provided. 

Student reflections tell us that friendships are formed in camp, and their trepidations about the first day are gone!

Submitted by Megan Capshaw, MYP Coordinator, Harry Stone Montessori School, Dallas ISD.

Reflection on 2018-2019 at
Francisca Alvarez Elementary

As we wrap up another amazing year at Francisca Alvarez Elementary, we want to reflect on all the hard work from our teachers, staff, and students. This year has been filled with excitement as we completed our PYP evaluation. A tremendous amount of admiration and pride filled our scholarly halls when our Head of School and PYP Coordinator shared feedback from our successful evaluation visit. 

Students have taken action and held various leadership roles around our campus and community. Our IB scholars have enhanced their skills through powerful projects such as our living wax museum hosted by 2 nd- grade students. These students transformed themselves into their historical figure of choice to inform others of their contributions to society; third grade expressed their creativity by painting on canvases for a Mother’s Day gift, and one of our PYP exhibition groups researched the political issues pertaining to the Mexican border. 

Students created care packages for local federal workers affected by the government shut down. We look forward to continued success on our campus!

Submitted by Elizabeth Hernandez, Student Inquiry Lead Teacher, Francisca Alvarez Elementary School, McAllen ISD
V irtual Reality Expeditions at Westlake Academy

This semester, our students have been exploring a wide variety of experiences through Virtual Reality guided expeditions using VR Google Expeditions.

G1 explored habitats and adaptations. A s a summative to their Sharing the Planet unit, G1 students created dioramas with #lostpieces and wrote a story about it. They recorded their story using SeeSaw. Their stories can be accessed and heard by scanning the QR codes on the dioramas.

G2 visited a chocolate factory as part of their Unit of Inquiry that explores the process and systems required to take a raw, natural resource and create a product. 

G3 explored how geography influences development.

G4 explored the solar system for their How the World Works looking into how Earth's position in the solar system impacts life on Earth. 

G5 explored different components and interdependency of ecosystems.

G6 learned about the periodic table in science as well as visited the different religions' holy sites in humanities.

G7 explored body systems by being ‘raspberries’ in the virtual reality journey inside the body’s digestive system!

G8 Space museum used virtual reality expeditions to explain to younger students about the life of stars, exploring Mars, and viewing inside the International Space Station.

PYP Spanish: Robots & QR Codes

PYP Spanish class: G3 students designed and built robots from recyclable materials. They wrote descriptions and recorded themselves using SeeSaw.

Submitted by Maru Busico-Flight, Technology and CAS Coordinator, Westlake Academy

Student Goes from Harvard Elementary School to Harvard University

Bridgett Ramirez was born and raised in Houston, the oldest of three children. She began her formal education in the PYP at Harvard Elementary School and is now attending Harvard University in Boston. She is the first in her family to go to college after graduating from Lanier Middle School and Heights High School, where she earned an IB diploma. She is pictured with Kevin Beringer, who was principal of Harvard Elementary School when she was a student there.

She is studying Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology and plans to go to medical school.

Ramirez said that her parents were always supportive. Her mother would tell her, “This is not a trial run; do your best in everything.”

Ramirez was in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program in elementary, middle, and high school. “Our classes at Harvard Elementary were inquiry-based, and we were always working collaboratively. I remember working on projects of our own choosing in middle school, where we were encouraged to think outside the box. My IB background is also helping me in college, as we are expected to participate in class discussions and complete extended projects. The IB program gave me a global perspective that has been helpful in the real world.” She is grateful to Wendy Hampton, principal at Heights High School, as well as Cristina Bagos, DP coordinator .

Submitted by Penny Tschirhart, Manager, IB Programmes, Houston ISD


  • Registration for the TIBS Austin workshops (Session 1 and 2) is here. 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!
  • Notes from the Coordinator Meetings in Houston in February are on the website.

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

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

We have changed our "Member Schools" page on the website to include all the authorized IB schools in Texas. We have added a new column to indicate membership in TIBS. Please take a moment to look at the new page and notify Judy if something is incorrect.

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