Birney Mission Statement “Think globally, learn locally”

Our goal at Alice Birney Elementary, an International Studies Magnet, is to guide students to demonstrate an age-appropriate depth of understanding of the world around them, politically, socially and culturally. Our students will develop the desire to use their knowledge to promote peace, tolerance and understanding of others in their daily actions. Our aim is to nurture inquisitiveness, independence and caring in our young people so that they will act to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. By fifth grade, our students will be well on their way to becoming active, compassionate and peaceful citizens of the world community. 

Birney’s IB Learner Profile Traits

We are learning to be inquiring, balanced, reflective, principled, openminded, caring, courageous and knowledgeable communicators and, most of all, thinkers. 

Dear Families:

I thank you for choosing Birney IB World School as the best place to educate your child(ren). I know there are many choices out there, and I am proud that our school’s many great features helped you to select us! Birney has been an authorized International Baccalaureate Primary Year’s Program (IB PYP) World School since 2009.

Our IB journey began in 2006 when we committed to pursue the IBO’s authorization. We received a federal Magnet Schools Assistance Program grant during our candidate phase from 2007-2010; this enabled us to train our staff and prepare our initial Program of Inquiry (POI), along with enhancing our campus with technology, materials and our beautiful IB Learner Tree mosaic in the front of the school.

We are recognized as a SDUSD Quality Neighborhood School for Improving the Achievement Gap, a California Distinguished School, a California STEAM School by the Business Round Table and an Honors School by Business Wire. Our school community worked hard to earn these recognitions, and this hard work continues as we strive to be the best elementary school in the universe.

At Birney, classroom teachers benefit from over two hours of weekly collaborative reflection time to plan and analyze students’ progress while their students participate in enriched curriculum called ‘Specials’. In addition, each teacher has 60 minutes of contract-mandated preparation time. Our teachers take IB training regularly, as well as on-site or district-based professional development; our parent organization often contributes to this endeavor as well. Nevertheless, we find that the most effective staff learning occurs during the reflective collaborative meetings when teachers are analyzing student work, determining the next steps for instruction and planning for the IB curriculum.

There is a real village contributing to Alice Birney Elementary, made up of individuals and groups who consider our success vitally important to the community. Please feel welcome, as you become part of our community; our school is a dynamic, busy place. We value your feedback, especially if it comes with a solution or suggestion, and we continuously strive to improve our school. We hope that this is evident in the progress made by every child. Each year we measure our success in many ways, using ‘hard data’ such as the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) test data we receive every fall, as well as ‘soft data’, such as your child’s report cards, teacher and parent comments and feedback or our students’ reflections as they move through the grades

A lot has changed since I began as principal here at Birney in 2002, all for the better. We continue to rise to the challenge of meeting the needs of our diverse student population, and we aim to continue this success for every single student at Birney. 

-Ms. Amanda

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