Fridley Preschool, an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, celebrated the ‘graduation’ of 117 4-year-old students from its program on June 8. The day of ceremonies marked each student’s preparedness to enter kindergarten in the fall. The future Class of 2035 beamed with pride as they received their diplomas, sported graduation caps, and presented a song and dance.
Fridley Preschool is one of the only programs in the state of Minnesota to offer the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) to its students. Through IB PYP’s inquiry-based and play-based curriculum, children develop a foundation and love for learning in their starting point of their educational journeys.
Kelly McConville, Principal of Alternative Services, spoke of the impact the preschool program has made in the lives of future kindergarteners.
“The graduation ceremony is a great way to recognize the amazing work our youngest scholars have done through the year and how much they’ve grown social-emotionally and within their education,” McConville said. “We want every scholar to leave Fridley Preschool with a love for learning. Many of our students say that they cannot wait until kindergarten, which is a great accomplishment."
Karin Beckstrand, IB PYP Coordinator, said she is always overwhelmed with the joy the students and their families have on the momentous occasion.
“Parents are so appreciative of how much growth their kids have made, and that really means the world to me and the teachers,” Beckstrand said. “The number of hugs and ‘thank you's’ was wonderful!”
“Friendship and social skills were the big focus for us this year,” Beckstrand added. “The kids made great friendships and connections with each other, their teachers and all our classroom assistants. It was a successful outcome, considering these students have spent half their lives in a pandemic.”
The unique and innovative IB approach provides a rigorous curriculum framework that encourages students to think critically, to consider both local and global contexts, and develop a second language. Fridley Public Schools is the first and only school district in Minnesota to offer the full IB Continuum from prekindergarten to grade 12. Click here to learn more about the IB Continuum at Fridley Public Schools.