Our School

A little bit about Our School

Mission Statement

SIS aims to develop knowledgeable, inquisitive, and compassionate young people  through a collaboration of students, teachers, and parents.

SIS is dedicated to providing a challenging and exceptional academic  environment, while helping each child reach his/her full potential.

SIS fosters curiosity and empowers students, creating passionate, lifelong  learners.

SIS is a multicultural environment that cultivates caring, respectful students  who actively contribute to the well-being of themselves, their classmates, their community, and the environment.

Our Name

The name reflects the aviation theme of the  site through honoring a couple of space pioneers, one who happened to be a Denver Public Schools graduate. was an astronaut during the Apollo missions that flew to the moon. Jack Swigert was on Apollo 13, which was the mission to  return to the moon, that encountered a malfunction. In the movie Apollo 13, Jack Swigert, who was Jack Swigert played by Kevin Bacon, immortalized the line, “Houston, we have a problem.” That team overcame extraordinary obstacles and demonstrated failure was not an option. Jack later came back to earth, and then Denver to be elected as a congressman in the newly created Denver district.

Another pioneer was Christa McAulliffe. She competed with thousands of teachers to become the 1st teacher in space. Twenty-five years ago the Challenger space shuttle lifted off to later explode while millions of school children watched. Both the elementary and middle school are named after these two legends: Swigert and McAuliffe.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

IB is a non-profit educational foundation. Founded in 1968, the IB program is now in over 3,000 schools in 139 countries. The program aims to help students develop the intellectual, personal, emotional, and social skills to live, learn, and work in a rapidly globalizing world. The Primary Years IB Program, or PYP, focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer.

The IB mission statement:

“The International Baccalaureate Organization aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through Intercultural understanding and respect. To this end, the IBO works with schools, governments, and International organizations to develop challenging programs of International education and rigorous assessment. These programs encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences,
can also be right.”

How does  IB program play out at Swigert?

  • IB is not a  curriculum, so schools that offer IB still use their district curriculum (for DPS, this includes Readers and Writers workshop, EveryDay Math, etc.)
    But the IB Primary Years Program (PYP) will deepen the scope of the DPS curriculum.
  • The IB PYP:
    • Focuses on content made relevant to students
    • Builds on student interest around universal big ideas
    • Is conceptually  based
    • Emphasizes  learning through inquiry
    • Helps students construct knowledge
    • Addresses the whole child
    • Involves students in planning for and assessing their own learning
    • Is globally relevant
  • IB is an  approach to the existing curriculum that is inquiry based and student-centric.
    This allows lessons to be devised around a child’s curiosities. Children learn how to ask questions and answer them well, and take ownership over their own learning.
  • The IB PYP   believes that the most effective way for students to learn content specific knowledge is by making connections to big ideas and concepts that are relevant throughout the disciplines. This is called conceptually based, trans-disciplinary learning.
  • The IB PYP takes a thematic approach to learning, integrating multiple subjects. Units are framed around one of the six themes: Who we are, How we express ourselves,
    Where we are in place and time, How the world works, Sharing the planet, and How we organize ourselves.
  • The IB PYP incorporates a learner profile–ten traits that define the IB learner. Students are encouraged to embrace these characteristics and will periodically evaluate themselves on their learner profile.
  • inquirers
  • knowledgeable
  • thinkers
  • communicators
  • reflective
  • principled
  • open-minded
  • caring
  • academic risk-takers
  • balanced
  • Swigert has IB facilitator on staff that helps organize the lessons in accordance with the IB philosophy and themes,  ensures the program is being implemented properly, and ensures cohesiveness and consistency across classes and grades.
  • Swigert offers Spanish to its students, starting  in Kindergarten.

Where can I get more information?

IB Primary Years Program