by Alisha Janes
Denver’s Bradley International School is a neighborhood elementary school that ranked 86 out of 1009 elementary schools on Colorado School Grades this year. I had the opportunity to join a tour for prospective parents at Bradley International School on December 19th. The tour was guided by Melissa Capozza, the school’s International Baccalaureate Coordinator, with Eric Demaria, a parent of two students at the school.
Bradley participates in the Primary Years Programme of the International Baccalaureate program (IB). It frames all the learning activities of the school community, encouraging international-mindedness and real-life learning with in-depth inquiries that go beyond traditional subject areas. Whereas the high school level of the International Baccalaureate Organization, the Diploma Program, provides a challenging curriculum and qualification that is recognized by leading universities around the world, Bradley incorporates the IB framework throughout its curriculum and school activities and frequently references the IB learner profile and mission statement.
The students’ memorable projects and their inquiry-based learning are striking parts of the IB program. For example, the third grade classes made green-screen videos with skylines from world cities, and a fourth grade class was putting a character from a book they had recently finished on trial, complete with a judge and a jury. Demaria, the parent assisting with the tour, mentioned that his two kids had been doing similarly creative research projects since kindergarten.
Another stand out characteristic of Bradley is a high level of parent involvement. Demaria described many ways that Bradley parents support the community including assisting the school with playground monitoring, helping out in the community garden, running after-school programs, and volunteering in classrooms.
From Young Authors to Garden Club and parent-led programs like Girls On the Run, it is clear that students at Bradley also keep busy with enrichment activities. There are few offerings that you will find at other area elementary schools that Bradley is lacking.
After visiting Bradley, it is easy to see how the school achieves such high student outcomes. The International Baccalaureate programs helps Bradley students push the limits of student achievement. This high standard along with the support of the Bradley community helps make Bradley International School another one of the great schools you can find on Colorado School Grades.
Alisha Janes is a fellow at Colorado Succeeds and is currently pursuing a Masters of Public Administration at the University of Colorado at Denver. Alisha’s previous experience include: coaching new teachers, teaching intervention lessons, and three years of teaching a Bilingual 5th grade class in Houston, TX.