RICE -- Rice Elementary school has achieved a status only 24 other school in the state have earned.

The school has been authorized as an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme School. Staff and administration have been working for the past three years to earn the honor.

Principal Sue Paasch says the program is designed for students ages 3-12 and focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and the outside world.

What it means is we have gone through all of our standards and teaching strategies and look at it more from a global point of view and how things are tied together. So really it dictates how we teach all year long.

Paasch says her staff has worked very hard to get this honor, and there is more work to be done moving forward.

Everyone has to have the initial IB training, so even when we hire staff there is a course they have to take. Then every five years everyone has to go through a Tier 2 training, so there is training involved all along the way.

Rice Elementary is now the first International Baccalaureate school outside of the Twin Cities.

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