RPS 205 to add International Baccalaureate School to district

Conklin Elementary School will change its curriculum to make it more specialized.
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 10:28 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Rockford Public Schools will welcome a new type of specialized learning to one of their elementary schools next school year that encourages students to be more engaged with their schoolwork.

“To make their learning connected so no longer is it that I have reading and math that are separate but rather I’m focusing on this unit such as share my planet and we’re learning all of our content through that,” said the International Baccalaureate School’s principal Sarah Brenner

It’s an extreme RPS school makeover. Starting this fall, Conklin Elementary School transforms into the International Baccalaureate School. Students there will have a foreign language element on top of core subjects like math and science.

“In all of the classrooms in all grade levels, they learn Spanish as a second language as an elective course of sorts so just like they go to art and music, they would have Spanish one time a week,” Brenner said.

Conklin second grade teacher Katie Barone will continue teaching at the IB School. She says the school is meant to get students more involved in their learning by asking the kids how they want to learn.

“It’s a great way to challenge students around this area. I think a lot of them need that extra challenge and just allow them to think in a new way that they wouldn’t get in a normal school setting,” Barone said.

One Conklin parent Naomi Nakashima says she immediately signed up her kindergartner and third grader for the IB School. Her daughter is looking forward to learning Spanish.

“I’ve always been very big on children-centered education and like kind of exploring their curiosity and the new IB school kind of fit the bill,” Nakashima said.

The IB School is open for anyone currently attending Conklin, McIntosh, Welsh or West View Elementary Schools. RPS hopes to expand the program to other schools in the future.