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For more information see the links and resources below that explain the basics of the PYP Program and how it is being implemented at Sierra Elementary.  If you have more questions please contact our PYP Coordinator.


Sierra’s IB/PYP Coordinator: Lisa Johnson


International Baccalaureate

International Baccalaureate Mission Statement

The International Baccalaureate® aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right. 
Primary Years Programme

Primary Years Programme

The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) develops young students as caring, active participants in a lifelong journey of learning.  Through its inquiry-led, transdisciplinary framework, the PYP challenges students to think for themselves and take responsibility for their learning as they explore local and global issues and opportunities in real-life contexts.


Sierra Elementary School was the first authorized IB World School public elementary school offering the Primary Years Programme (PYP) in the greater Sacramento region.

IB PYP Program Logo
Helpful Resources

Helpful Resources

What is the IB Program?

The IB continuum of international education for 3 to 19 year olds is unique because of its academic and personal rigour. We challenge students to excel in their studies and in their personal growth. We aim to inspire a quest for learning throughout life that is marked by enthusiasm and empathy.
The IB aspires to help schools develop well-rounded students with character who respond to challenges with optimism and an open mind, are confident in their own identities, make ethical decisions, join with others in celebrating our common humanity and are prepared to apply what they learn in real-world, complex and unpredictable situations.
IB learners strive to become inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced, and reflective. These attributes represent a broad range of human capacities and responsibilities that go beyond intellectual development and academic success.

The Five Elements of the PYP

  1. Knowledge - Significant, relevant content that we wish the students to explore and know about, taking into consideration their prior experience and understanding.
  2. Concepts - Powerful ideas that have relevance within the subject areas but also transcend them and that students must explore and re-explore in order to develop a coherent, in-depth understanding.
  3. Skills - Those capabilities that the students need to demonstrate to succeed in a changing, challenging world, which may be disciplinary or transdisciplinary in nature.
  4. Attitudes - Dispositions that are expressions of fundamental values, beliefs and feelings about learning, the environment and people.
  5. Action - Demonstrations of deeper learning and responsible behavior through responsible action; a manifestation in practice of the other essential elements.

More Information

IB at Sierra Elementary

Program of Inquiry

The PYP programme of inquiry is defined by the six transdisciplinary themes that are considered worthy of inquiry. These are: Who we are, Where we are in place and time, How we express ourselves, How the world works, How we organize ourselves, and Sharing the planet. Each theme is explored in a unit of inquiry for each grade level.
Click on the link below to see our Sierra Elementary Program of Inquiry for grades K - 6.

Sierra Elementary IB Parent Handbook

We at Sierra know that parents are a child’s first and most important teacher so we are hopeful that the information in this handbook will help you to support your child’s IB education at home.  Click on the link below to learn more about our program.

PYP in a Glance

The PYP focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside. It is a framework guided by six transdisciplinary themes of global significance, explored using knowledge and skills derived from six subjects areas, as well as transdisplinary skills, with a powerful emphasis on inquiry. 
There are many pieces to our IB program.  To see a general overview of all the elements click the link below.

Sierra IB Policies


The teaching and learning of language at Sierra Elementary stems from the belief that language is fundamental to lifelong learning. Language is the key connecting all aspects of learning. All teachers at Sierra are language teachers and are responsible for language instruction. Every Sierra student is a language learner. We believe that our students will become effective communicators through the exploration of a rich language program and environment.  Click on the link below to learn more.


The purpose of assessment at Sierra Elementary is to gather student performance information for teachers to effectively guide and improve student learning. Areas of academic strength and needed growth are communicated to students and parents through various types of authentic assessments. Frequent, regular, and continuous assessment is integral to all teaching and learning. The types of assessment listed in this policy are used regularly in the classroom to guide instruction.  Click on the link below to learn more.

Special Education Needs

We believe that all of our students are on a life-long learning journey. At Sierra Elementary we are laying the foundation for our students to develop the skills and desire necessary to learn and reach their potential with built-in individual supports, including: affirming identity and building self-esteem, differentiating, and extending learning. To provide access to the IB Primary Years Program at Sierra, we apply approaches and support systems that address the individual needs and diverse learning styles of all students.  Click on the link below to learn more.

IB and the Common Core

The IB and the CCSS share many goals, the foremost of which is their mutual emphasis on career and college readiness. An IB education not only holds students to the highest academic standards but also incorporates an understanding and appreciation of other cultures and points of view, and world language competency—precisely the soft skills in demand by the global economy. IB students demonstrate a strong competency in the context of global readiness and are, not surprisingly, sought after by colleges and universities for their soft skills as well as their hard-earned academic achievements.
Check out the links below to learn how the Common Core Standards are incorporated into our IB Program.
Connecting IB to the Core - English Language Arts Standards
Connecting IB to the Core - Mathematics Standards