RICE -- Rice Elementary is moving closer to achieving a status only 4,000 schools worldwide have.

The school is hoping to be authorized as an International Baccalaureate school by October. Principal Sue Paasch says the process began about two years ago and staff have really embraced the idea.

"We have re-looked at all of our standards, curriculum, and have worked to consolidate them in more of a trans-disciplinary approach where everything is intertwined instead of separate classes."

Paasch says the curriculum around the IB approach is to allow students to think more critical as opposed to listen, repeat and memorize.

"They are driving their own learning. Teachers give them an idea and students get to pose their own questions and do some research and take action from what they learn."

Paasch says they had a consultant from the IB program oversee their lesson and provide feedback. She says their next step is to fill out an application to become authorized as an IB school.

The school hopes to be fully authorized by October. If authorized Rice would be the first elementary school to be called an IB school outside of the Twin Cities.

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