RICE -- The end of the school year has been an adjustment for teachers and students, especially for Rice Elementary.

This was the inaugural year for the school's International Baccalaureate accreditation. An IB program is mostly inquiry based as students learn by asking questions, think and figure things out through research.

Nancy Davis is the IB Coordinator for Rice Elementary. She says a positive to distance learning has been giving parents an inside perspective as to what the IB curriculum looks like.

An IB school is not all about worksheets and teacher led. It's about kids taking an idea and running with it. I've gotten a lot of feedback from parents who are in awe of how their kids are learning and being resourceful in trying to figure things out.

Davis says the biggest adjustment they had to make was the students group exhibition research project, which shifted to more individual projects with distance learning.

Kelsey Bean is a 5th Grade Teacher at Rice Elementary. She says her students have really embraced the IB style of learning, which has allowed them to be more independent learners.

Some of my kids will naturally lean more on me as that teacher role when we are together in the classroom, but that's not happening with distance learning. They are having to step up to the plate and own their work, which they have done in an amazing way. It's been fun to watch.

Bean says the faculty has really stepped up this year and they are excited for what next year brings.

Rice Elementary is the first International Baccalaureate school outside of the Twin Cities and one of only 24 other school in the state have earned IB authorization.

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