V. Heath Sparrow
Master in Educational Leadership and Master in Interdisciplinary Studies in Education
Since the day of my arrival in June of 2012, the School Board and I have diligently strived to lead and support Colegio El Camino in becoming the first and only IB World School in BCS, as well as the only accredited school in the USA through Cognia.
I wholeheartedly believe that Mexico is a perfect culture for the IB approach to education. Our nationals and expats live harmoniously in a country that still requires opportunity and equity for everyone as well as preparing our students for an ever-changing globalized world. A nation is only as strong as its weakest member and education is power, the power that can exterminate ignorance, poverty, intolerance and corruption thus raising the standard of living for all Mexicans and internationals living in this beautiful country.
Traditional programs of education focus on comprehension and understanding through memorization. Although these aspects are still involved in learning they no longer can stand alone in an ever changing world. In response to the demands and environment young people face, Colegio El Camino adheres to a skills based program with a focus on developing the attributes found in the IB learner profile. http://www.ibo.org/programmes/profile/
Our philosophy is to provide students a learning environment that is transdisciplinary in nature (making connections across subject areas and in their daily lives) This curriculum model is student centered and inquiry based thus promoting curiosity and discovery through individual student responsibility for his/her learning. This requires teachers to prepare learning opportunities where they no longer are the center and primary source of information and the students as passive receptors of that information. We train teachers through the IB approaches to learning and teaching that have resulted in the creation of programs that facilitate students learning through inquiry, identifying different perspectives, reflecting upon their findings and developing points of view based on evidence gathered by them. Students are given opportunities to develop the skills of analysis, synthesis, comparing and contrasting, evaluation and creation. This model allows students to encounter new information and experiences without fear of failure and develop into lifelong learners. This has been synthesized and summarized in our mission statement:
“Working together to develop independent, curious, and caring global citizens through a rigorous academic programme.”
As reflected in the IB model, parents are one of the 3 primary stakeholders of our community and share in our challenges and success. We encourage parents to be involved in their children´s education, and promote as well as reflect the values of honesty, responsibility, tolerance and respect for everyone and everything in our school community. Our parents participate in a supportive partnership with the school to promote student learning and assist the school in providing the best educational opportunities for their children. Parents are also involved in our school improvement program that is a continuous cyclical process of evaluation, planning, implementation and reflection. Opportunities for parent involvement abound such as committee work, volunteering in the Parent Society, through our family learning program, attending informational meetings on results as well as consulting their children’s progress digitally and in face to face conferences.
Our teaching staff of nationals and internationals are lifelong learners, open to new ideas and reflect the same IB learner profile that we inculcate in our students. They are constantly supported and motivated to seek out learning opportunities and apply them in approaches to learning and teaching.
Our current strategic plan includes the implementation of the International Baccalaureate Program at all levels becoming only one (1) of twenty (20) IB continuum schools in Mexico. We are already fully certified in the IB Diploma Program (11th and 12th grades) and the IB Primary Years Program (Kinder 1 to 6th grade) and are in the process of candidacy for the IB Middle Years Program (7th to 10th grades). After our highly successful accreditation with SACS Advanced in June of 2014 and re-accreditation with Cognia in April of 2019 we have fulfilled the final requirement for application with ASOMEX, the prestigious and renowned Association of American Schools of Mexico.
This journey is ongoing and we are fully committed to continue to position ourselves as the first truly international school in BCS and maintain our status as the vanguard educational program in our state since the school´s inception in 1983.