FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR PB MIDDLE IB WORLD SCHOOL
What makes PB Middle different? We are one of two clusters offering the prestigious International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Program (MYP) to SDUSD students and families. As an authorized IB World School students can experience all eight MYP courses each year: Arts, English, design, language (English, Mandarin and/or Spanish), math, physical and health education, science. PB Middle is home of the “Exemplary Educator” and “Outstanding Student” of the year for California IB Middle Years Programme (IB MYP) schools for 2015-2016. Our students have the opportunity to learn from international visitors and educators who come to see us in action, and take part in our unique courses and programs. PB Middle is an international education in your own backyard.
What is integrated art and design? Art and social studies are integrated so everyone learns and participates in visual arts curriculum. In the IB science and design course, everyone learns science and the IB design cycle.
What if we want both music and a language? Apply for the optional 7th period which allows you to take both. 7th period enrollment depends on availability and is not guaranteed.
What are the music options? Music, like all IB MYP courses, follows specially designed IB units for both orchestra and band. In addition to performance objectives and Performing Arts Standards for California, PB Middle students must also meet the IB MYP performing arts objectives such as exploring how to read, compose, and play using different notation systems. PB Middle musicians are invited to adjudicated events where they have been awarded “Excellent”, “Superior”, “Silver” and “Gold”.
What are the language options at PB Middle? All students can choose from two languages offered at two levels, every year of the program. For Mandarin, we offer classes for beginners and students who are qualified can enroll in immersion level language, art and social studies. In Spanish there are courses for non-native speakers as well as a class for qualified Spanish speakers. The Mandarin Chinese program comes alive through school-wide cultural events made available through a partnership between SDUSD and SDSU’s Confucius Institute.
What if I qualify for a specialized program or class such as GATE, Seminar, and/or Special Education? We have Seminar, GATE and Special Education options for students who qualify. Our policies are on our webpage under “About Us” > “Policies.” For 6th grade, English and Art/Social Studies are the GATE and Seminar classes. You need to turn-in GATE/Seminar and/or Special Education documents to PB Middle office as soon as possible for scheduling purposes.
If we attend Barnard, CPJMS, PBE, or Sessions, do we need to apply to PB Middle? No. If you are currently enrolled and your information is the same, you will not have to apply to continue on to PB Middle. You do, however, need to turn-in your GATE/Seminar and/or Special Education documents to PB Middle office for scheduling purposes.
What if I am an advanced musician? What are my options for music in 6th grade? In the sixth grade schedule, music class is held during 6th period, so it is a mixed group, including beginners. We are working on finding an option for more advanced students entering 6th grade. We thank you for your patience and for working with us to create a wonderful solution together.
If we attend Barnard, CPJMA, PBE, or Sessions, through CHOICE or VEEP programs, do we need to fill out another application for PB Middle? If you live within the SDUSD boundaries, no, you do not need to fill out another application.
Do PB Middle students wear a certain color and have lockers? Students wear solid navy blue, white, and/or khaki tan. As per district dress-code, students shoes must be closed-toed. You will have a locker for Physical and Health Education (PHE). For PHE you wear blue basketball shorts and a gray t-shirt which can be purchased at PB Middle. If your family needs assistance with either of these you can confidentially speak with someone in our office.
Will I have enough time to get from class to class? I’m worried I’ll be tardy. Yes, students find they have plenty of time to get from class to class and use the restroom between bells. Most classes are located just across the hall from one another so our four minute passing period is plenty of time.
What about lunch? How does lunch work at PB Middle? Do you have a cafeteria? During the first week of school sixth graders get to go to lunch early so they can familiarize themselves with how lunch works. After the first week, everyone goes to lunch together and has 38 minute total to eat, socialize, play, and/or attend a club. Many students bring their lunch. If you want to buy lunch, we have five lunch lines to buy hot lunch entrees, fruit, salad bar, as well as well as a few grab and go carts for snacks, milk, or a la cart items. Your can load money in the system and use PIN number, or you can bring cash. Lunch applications must be completed every year to determine qualification. If your family qualifies, you can get free or reduced price lunch. We do not have a cafeteria building because the students eat in the lunch court, at tables, or out at the field. When finished students can go to the library, or just relax, and catch-up or play with friends. If it rains we open up buildings for students to eat comfortably inside.
What if we live outside the SDUSD boundaries and we have an inter-district transfer to attend a 92109 elementary feeder school, how can we get into PB Middle for 6th grade? You will have to apply through the CHOICE application process and get another inter-district transfer. Please remember the Feb. 15 deadline. SDUSD send us names of students that are accepted in April or May, and there is no guarantee that all families will be accepted and offered a seat.
What are the World Language courses offered at PB Middle?
Introduction to Spanish (IB Phase 1 level for beginners)
Spanish 1-2 (IB Phase 1-2 level)
Spanish 3-4 (IB Phase 2-4 level)
Spanish for Spanish Speakers (6th grade) (IB Phase 2-4 level)
Spanish for Spanish Speakers 1-2 (IB Phase 2-4 level)
Spanish for Spanish Speakers 3-4 (IB Phase 4-5)
Introduction to Mandarin Chinese (6th grade) (IB Phase 1 level for beginners)
Mandarin 3-4 (IB Phase 2-4 level)
NEW 2015-2016 Mandarin Language Immersion for qualified 6th grade immersion students:
-1 period of Mandarin Chinese Immersion Language
-1 period IB Individuals and Society with Integrated Arts
NOTE: English is the language of instruction for all content areas except World Language and Mandarin Immersion courses
Academic Language Development and Language Skills Courses are also available to eligible students
What if my child is currently attending PBE, Sessions, CPJMA, or Barnard on an Interdistrict Transfer agreement.
Interdistrict transfer students’ articulation to the next level (elementary to middle, middle to high-school) is not automatic. Parents must fill out a Choice application to attend PB Middle. If accepted, they would also need to submit a new approved interdistrict transfer request from their resident district.
What if I'm moving my family to San Diego but don't yet know where we'll be living?
Go ahead and apply online via Choice to the schools you are interested in, in the event you do not move into the attendance area. You do not have to be residents of San Diego Unified to apply. This year Sessions enrolled 80% of their first choice applicants, and PBE enrolled 97% of first choice, so there is a good chance you will get their choice. Additionally, when a family is new to the district they can also present themselves to the school they are interested in, and if there is space available, they can enroll. That typically occurs in the 2 weeks prior to school starting.
There is sibling priority for Choice for the same school of attendance, but not within the cluster. When this issue has presented itself and there is a hardship issue for the family, if there is space available and no other siblings are ahead on the wait lists, our office tries to accommodate these special requests.
What courses do you offer for GATE and Seminar students? (GATE Policy on "About Us" page "policies")
In 2015-2016 6th grade GATE or Seminar students have approximately 3 hours in GATE or Seminar scheduled classes.
GATE classes are the following for 2015-2016
2 hours of Language and Literature (GATE Cluster: English)
1 hour of Individuals and Society (GATE Cluster: Ancient Civilization) integrated with Visual Arts
GATE Cluster (GATE identified students have priority to fill these classes. Students who may not have been tested (coming from private, charter, out of the city/country) could be considered for the GATE classes using a variety of measures (test scores, teacher recommendations, report card, Principal's discretion).
I heard you have a great athletics program. What is available for my child to get involved in organized sports at PB Middle?
Students can participate in lunch-league Intra-murals. The schedule changes depending on the season. Students can make their own team or join a team. Students follow a game schedule posted outside of the Physical and Health Education building. See Mr. Gildehaus for specific schedules.
Lunch-league normally includes:
After school Athletics are sponsored by the PB Middle Physical and Health Education department and meet on a schedule determined by the sponsoring teachers. Depending on student interest and teacher sponsorship the teams normally include:
Girls and Boys Soccer
What Makes us Different?
Award-winning International Baccalaureate Programme for ALL students
CA IB Teachers of the Year
CA IB Spotlight School
CA Coach of the Year Award
Runner-up Teacher of the Year for San Diego Unified
Congresswomen Susan Davis - Outstanding Empowering Youth in Service Award
Individuals, pairs, and teams learn through doing with a project-based framework of education balanced with traditional academics
IB Learner Profile
Criteria-based assessment using IB rubrics and a variety of authentic assessments
All students experience a balanced education
All students learn Visual Arts and Design Cycle (pre-engineering) every year of the program
Music includes Band and Orchestra with a focus on teaching music as an additional language
IB required ongoing professional development
All teachers IB trained to Category 1, most trained to Category 3
Ongoing curriculum review to ensure we meet students' interests, profiles and challenge their abilities
Fully-staffed Counseling Department for individual counseling, guidance lessons, small groups for social, academic and military needs
Language options are unparalleled compared to other middle-schools
Award-winning service learning with Service-learning Advisor and IB Coordinator onsite
PTO combined with high-school offering a range of events and opportunities for parents, teachers, and students
Athletics program at lunch and after school - free of charge and paid options
What clubs do you offer?
Note: parent, staff and community sponsorships clubs can change each semester and every year depending on interest and involement.
Model United Nations
Builders Club (Key Club at middle-school level) meet to plan service events
Chess Club (student run)
Lunch Computer Club (student-run)
Garden Club (as needed for garden events and maintenance)
Intra and Inter-mural sports at lunch and afterschool (GPA minimum required)
Sponsored by Parents (not a school-sponsored event)
Robolink Robotics Club
Do you have after school care?
Yes, YMCA Prime Time) runs our free after school care program for students until 6pm. They offer tutoring, clubs, after school sports. Forms are available in the front-office for current enrollment anytime during the year. To check for enrollment opportunities please call their office 619-223-3916 for more information.
What does it mean when someone says a middle school class earns "high-school credit"?
We have three courses here that earn students credit toward their high-school graduation requirements. They are considered a high-school level course and meet A-G and U.C. requirements for graduation for students who earn a passing grade.
Integrated 1 Mathematics
Can an IB student enrolled in IB Diploma Programme courses at the high-school earn college credit?
Yes, many colleges throughout the country and the world have a policy for awarded credit to students who pass challenging IB Diploma courses. You can visit The University of California system now has a policy awarding up to 30 UC credits for the full IB Diploma. While a few students world-wide earn this prestigious internationally-recognized diploma, all students can enroll in one or more IB courses, many considered equivalent to a second year college course, and depending on the course and score, can be eligible college credit. Please contact the Mission Bay High School IB office for specific information or attend a Mission Bay High School or San Diego High School tour to learn more. Mission Bay High School IB Office | Room 185. Mission Bay High School. 2475 Grand Ave | San Diego, CA 92109 Phone: 858.273.1313 x285.
There is a list of universities and other tertiary institutes across the world that recognize the IB and their policies for doing so on the IBO website. There are more than 1,800 universities representing 75 countries currently in this directory, but many other universities also admit IB diploma holders. Each university usually has a contact e-mail of the person responsible for the IB recognition. Additionally, we maintain summary policies of universities in the US, Canada, and Australia. Please always check with the university directly. Full details are available at http://www.ibo.org/recognition/
Do PB Middle students wear uniforms?
Yes, our students wear any combination of white, khaki and navy blue. They also have a uniform they keep in their Physical and Health Education locker for their PHE course. We sell the PHE uniform here. Please call the office for dates and times. Families who qualify, can receive assistance.
How do I enroll?
If you are a resident of 92109 you have priority. If you are not, you must apply before the Feb. 15th deadline to apply to our school for fall. Please call our office for more information or specific questions about your family/child. 858-273-9070 ext 2201.
If my child is currently attending a K-8 school through the CHOICE program how does applying to PB for 6th grade affect their enrollment to their current school if we apply but don't get in?
What is a sample 6th grade schedule? It’s all about BALANCE
7:25-9:29 – Language and Literature (English)
Courses: General Education, GATE Cluster OR Seminar (GATE/Seminar identified)
9:33-10:33 – Mathematics
Courses: Common Core 6th grade math; Accelerated Common Core 6th grade math (all of 6th grade content and 1/2 of 7th grade content)
Students are placed based on Math Placement test administered in 5th grade or upon enrollment if coming from outside the district)
10:37-11:37 – Individuals and Society (Society Studies – Ancient Civilization) & Visual Arts
General education, GATE Cluster or Seminar (GATE Seminar identified)
11:41-12:11 - LUNCH (clubs, intra-mural athletics, library, tutoring)
12:15-1:15 – IB Science and Design (pre-engineering)
1:19-2:19 – Language Acquisition (World Language)
Introduction to Mandarin; Introduction to Spanish OR Spanish for Spanish Speakers (placement test: ability level)
Music: Band OR Orchestra
1:19-2:19 – Physical and Health Education
Optional 7th Period (M, T, Th, F)
2:23-3:23 - Physical and Health Education (allowing student to take both Music and World Language during sixth period above)
* Mandarin Immersion students must enroll in SEA optional 7th period and will have one hour of Mandarin Language Acquisition as well as Individuals and Society/Art taught in Mandarin Chinese.
What electives are available to students?
As a requirement of International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme, all students have both Visual Arts and Design (pre-engineering) built into their schedules every year of the program. We do not offer a separate "Technology" course like other middle-schools because we satisfy the the same requirements in a specially design course called IB Science and Design. A passing grade in this course in 7th grade automatically satisfies the middle-school technology curriculum and earns the student their high-school technology course requirement. Technology is also integrated across the curriculum in all course including Physical and Health Education courses.
In other middle-schools, students compete to get in the above courses and the time is typically divided with the electives, science and social studies courses. At Pacific Beach we integrate the above courses ensuring meaningful connections enhance the Individuals and Society and Visual Arts course, and IB Science and Design help students to apply their scientific learning in meaningful and relevant ways as they apply their skills by designing products and solutions in the same class. Since all students are guaranteed a full-year course in IB Science and Design as well as Individuals and Society (social studies, geography, history, civics) and Visual Arts, not just a six week course, often offered at other middle-schools, this allows them to choose at least 1 additional class every year of the program. If they opt to take the extra 7th period, they can take an additional course.
Students can choose from the following electives:
6th Grade Electives
Introduction to Spanish (IB Phase 1 level)
Spanish for Spanish Speakers (6th grade) (IB Phase 2-4 level) (placement test required)
Introduction to Mandarin Chinese (IB Phase 1 level)
Performing Arts: Music - Band
Performing Arts: Music - Orchestra
NOTE: Mandarin Chinese Immersion has special requirements and need to be consulted on an individual basis to schedule electives
7th Grade Electives
*Spanish 1-2 (IB Phase 1-2 level)
Do Wednesday, Thursday and Fridays have a different class schedule?
Wednesdays are minimum days so classes meet for a shorter period - 43 min. with 30 min. nutrition break in the middle of the morning.
Thursday and Fridays are block days that allow for longer projects and labs. Thursday students go to periods 1, 3, 5 and Friday periods 2, 4, 6. The periods are 117 minutes each. Thursday and Friday has a 20 min. book break after lunch. On Friday, 6th graders do see both of their 6th period classes. Friday period 6, A day course meets for 55 min. then switches to their period 6 B day course for the last 55 min.
Do you have a minimum day?
Yes, Wednesday is a minimum day to allow for ongoing professional development and align with our Mission Bay Cluster elementary schools. On minimum days students have a nutrition and lunch-time activities break from 10:40-11:10 and are dismissed at 12:44.
Does Spanish “count” in 6th grade?
6th grade language courses are a beginning exploration into the language and the culture and do not earn students "high-school credit". The Language 1-2 courses taught in 7th grade and the Language 3-4 courses taught in 8th grade meet every day and earn students high-school credits for a passing grade.
How do children choose an instrument? Self-select or w/ help from teacher
The children enrolled in 6th grade orchestra or band work with the teacher to decide on their instrument. Students can bring their own, rent from a local business or ask the teacher for help to find a free or low-priced option. If they already play an instrument, in 6th grade we often challenge them to learn a new instrument, then in 7th and 8th they have more instrumental options for the intermediate and advanced band or orchestra.
Is there a math placement test? YES
Students currently in SDUSD 5th grade classrooms will take a math placement test. The scores will be used to place students into the correct Common Core Mathematics class in the fall.
Students NOT currently in SDUSD may need to take a math placement test at PB Middle.
How does a student enroll in GATE or Seminar classes?
For students already in SDUSD, they took a test in 2nd and 5th grades to determine if they qualify for the Gifted and Talented or Seminar (99.9 on Raven test) classes.
These students are automatically enrolled in the GATE Cluster courses which are:
1) Language and Literature (English)
2) Individuals and Society (humanities/social studies) and Visual Arts
Many students come to PB Middle from private schools, charter schools and from outside of the country. A child who has not been “identified” as GATE or Seminar in their elementary setting, may be eligible for GATE Cluster or Seminar class placement based on a variety of measures. Please consult the GATE Policy found in the "About Us" section under "Policies" to learn more.
How does lunch work?
30 min w/ 4 min passing periods on either end = 38 min total
Students can bring or buy their lunch. Parents can load money into a child’s PayPam account and the children can use their PIN number to buy items from the salad bar, hot lunch offerings, or windows near the school office. Children can also buy items from the “Grab and Go” cart with cash. Cart items can include burritos, milk, fruit, jerky, etc. All students have lunch at the same time so they can meet up with friends and eat, place sports, volunteer in the library, participate in clubs such as the student-led chess club, or meet with teachers who have volunteered their lunchtime to meet (normally when special projects have been assigned). The lunch time is supervised.
Does PB Middle have lockers?
Yes, but only in physical and health education...
It was a decision made by parents and school that students are asked to wear clothes that are khaki, navy blue, and/or white. This helps to unify our school and create a team atmosphere. It also eases the burden on families to get their tween or teen dressed and ready for our early start time. We have free dress days as special events such as Halloween, picture day, team and college spirit days, etc.
What online tools are used at the school?
o Parent Portal: for child’s grades
Forms are sent home for parents to sign-up at the beginning of the year
o Teacher webpages: EdModo, Google for Teachers, Class Dojo, etc.
o PB Middle IB Library databases: students have access to high-quality online databases FREE of charge. Passwords are available at the Library.
§ World Book Encyclopedia & Enciclopedia Estudiantil
§ Brainpop (English and Spanish, and English Language Learner)
§ Teen Health and Wellness Resource Center
o Online textbooks: Students are also directed to use course specific links to their online textbooks. Teachers also utilize a number of links that can be found on their webpages.
o My.sandi.net - Students can save their work on the district server so they can access and continue working on assignments and assessments using their log-in.
o Teachers give students related links and passwords at the beginning of the year
o In class?
§ Urge child to talk to the teacher. If the child is not comfortable talking to the teacher during the busy school day and the matter can wait until the next school day, he/she or the parent, can contact the teacher via email. If it is an urgent matter, the child or parent should talk to the teacher as soon as possible or go to speak with their counselor or administrator before school, during passing period, or after school. If it is an emergency, the child or parent should communicate with the front office 858-273-9070 as soon as possible.
o Outside of class?
§ If it is a discipline matter such as ongoing issue, physical or cyber-bullying, either in person or online it should be addressed immediately!
§ Contact our vice principal or principal as soon as possible.
o You can always contact your child’s counselor via phone 858-273-9070 ext 2215 (for student with last name: A-L email@example.com) or 858-273-9070 ext. 2214 (for students with last name: M-Z firstname.lastname@example.org). Our trained Counselors can help brainstorm pro-active solutions or help mediate or find resources for any social, academic or physical concerns that a child might have.
o There is also anonymous bully reporting tool on the front page of our website, where students or parents can report any incidents or suspected incidents of bullying. Remember: if the incident needs immediate attention the child must report the problems to the counselors or the vice principal as soon as possible. Students may be asked to fill-out a witness statement that will prompt an investigation into the matter.
o We cannot help with a problem if it is not brought to our attention by either a student or a parent. Please keep us informed and remember that we are here to help whether the problem may be large or small. 858-273-9070.
Do students have to shower in physical and health education? No
No. There are showers in the locker rooms but students change into their uniforms in the locker room and after their class, most use wet-wipes before changing back into their school clothes. 6th graders have their class at the end of the day so students go home right after their physical and health education class.
Where’s the best place to drop-off students? Felspar St. parking lot - Designated Drop-Off area
Off of Felspar, there is a parking lot for our school. Parents are directed to pull into the parking lot and turn-into the student drop-off area. Parents can also utilize the 3 minute school zone on Ingraham.