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Grades 1 through 5

Head of Lower School:  Trudi C. Buscemi 
Assistant Head of Lower School - Elementary: Stacey Hendershot
PYP Coordinator: Lisa Vicencio

School Day: 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Graphic illustration of the curriculum and key elements of the PYP

The Primary Years Programme at Carrollwood Day School focuses on the idea that students’ learning is based on experiences and prior knowledge.  Therefore, structured inquiry is the most common method used in the classroom.  Teachers structure learning experiences that ignite curiosity and have students search for knowledge and understandings. Students learn from local, national, and international examples and resources.

Carrollwood Day School is proud to have been the first school on the west coast of Florida to offer the PYP experience to our preschool and elementary students. We invite you to take a couple of minutes to see first hand how the programme sets up life-long learning for the youngest members of our community.

School Day

8:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Teachers team together at each grade level with our PYP Coordinator to develop units of inquiry that provide significant, relevant and challenging learning experiences across the daily core academic subjects. Classroom teachers also collaborate with specialists in the arts, technology, physical education and library to enrich these experiences. Students are encouraged to reflect, to make informed choices and to take action that will help their peers, school, and the wider community.

Daily core academic subjects:

  • Language Arts- Making Meaning, Being a Reader, Being a Writer, Reading Wonders, Handwriting Without Tears
  • Mathematics-Everyday Math
  • Social Studies- IB Units of inquiry
  • Science-IB Units of Inquiry, FOSS

Additional programs and enrichment – taught by specialized teachers:

  • Art - once a week for 1 hour
  • Computer – once a week 1 hour
  • Music - 60 minutes a week
  • Library - check out times
  • Physical Education - three times a week
  • Spanish - 90 - 120 minutes a week
  • Maker Lab/Science Lab - one hour a week 
  • DREAM Lab- open scheduling 

PYP Exhibition

PYP Exhibition

The PYP Exhibition is a culminating event that students at all PYP schools in the world participate in during their final year in the Primary Years Programme. This comprehensive inquiry project is a great foundation for our 5th grade students as they advance to the IB Middle Years Programme in middle school next year.

The Exhibition is an opportunity for students, during their last year in elementary school, to apply their learning from the elementary years and to reflect on their journey through the Primary Years Programme. It is a long-term, student-driven inquiry project that engages learners in "identifying, investigating and offering solutions to real life issues or problems." Students have to apply research, organizational and higher-level thinking skills as they locate and analyze information and data to help them answer their "lines of inquiry." It is also important for the students to identify a form of positive action they can take as a result of the knowledge they have gained during the Exhibition process. Finally, students share what they have learned with our school community.

PYP Policies

PYP Assessment Policy

PYP Assessment Policy

Purpose for assessment:

  • Assessment supports and encourages effective teaching and learning.
  • Assessment reflects intercultural dimensions of the programmes.
  • Assessment determines the learners’ levels of understanding, using both formative and summative assessment.
  • Assessment must meet the needs  of students at particular ages and stages of development.

Principles of assessment:

  • Assessment is key to planning, teaching, and learning.
  • Assessment practices are clear to all members of the community [teachers, parents, and students].
  • There is a balance between formative and summative assessment.
  • There are opportunities for both peer and self-assessment.
  • There are opportunities for students to reflect on their own learning.
  • Before starting new learning, teachers assess students’ current knowledge and experience.
  • Teachers provide students with feedback for future learning. 
  • Reporting to parents is meaningful.

Assessment practices:

  • Teachers will use a variety of assessment strategies and tools to provide feedback on the learning process.
  • Teachers will report assessment with report cards, parent-teacher conferences, student –led conferences, and anecdotal records.

In the PYP:

  • Authentic assessment will be used in conjunction with other forms of assessment such as standardized tests in order to assess the essential elements of the PYP (Knowledge, Concepts, Skills, Attitudes, and Action).
  • Teachers will assess the many ways students make use of their experiences.
  • Rubrics, exemplars, anecdotal records, checklists, continuums, and portfolios will be used to record students’ responses and performances as a means of authentic assessment.
    • Portfolio requirements: Our school philosophy is constructed around the understanding that the portfolios are utilized to show growth over time for students, teachers, and parents. We do believe that the main stakeholders are our students. Therefore, the portfolio is comprised mostly of student choices with reflections. The following is required to be placed in the portfolio: one piece of work from each unit of inquiry at the discretion of the student along with reflections about the choice, one writing and one math sample at the discretion of the teacher with reflection along with one sample from Spanish, art and physical education. At the nursery and pre-kindergarten level a beginning of the year and end of the year sample will be provided.
  • Summative assessments will assess the conceptual understandings within central ideas.
  • The IB learner profile will be reported in two ways.   
    • First, at conferences (both parent/teacher and student led), students, teachers and parents will assess the growth in the profile. 
    • Second, report cards will include an anecdotal recording in a drop in sheet.

CDS Language Policy Continuum

As language is the key to all learning, all teachers at CDS are language teachers.

Language learning at CDS refers not only to the learning of a specific language, but it includes any and all activities which bring about learning. Through language, our students acquire the ability to think and to learn, to develop social skills and values, and to acquire knowledge.

  • Language skills are the key to inquiry.
  • Developing language means using a variety of sources, comprehending the material read, and making conclusions based on discoveries.  
  • Students must develop strong written and oral communication skills. 
  • Our primary language of instruction is English.

Click here to download the CDS Language Policy Continuum.

PYP Publications

PYP Publications

The International Baccalaureate programmes aim to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who are motivated to succeed. These publications introduce parents to the Primary Years Programme and how it provides the foundation for students to reach their full potential.

Clubs & Activities


These clubs are offered to the elementary students at no charge.

  • Chorus

  • Diversity Club

  • Girls in Action

  • Girls Take Charge

  • Homework Help

  • Homework Lab

  • Orff

  • Royal Ambassadors (RA's)

  • Safety Patrol

  • STEM


  • Art Club

  • Canvas Painting Club

  • CDS KidFit

  • Chess Club

  • Cricut Club

  • Equestrian Club

  • Filmmakers Workshop

  • Intramural Sports

  • Karate

  • Lego STEM Club

  • Minecraft

  • My Lil Yogi Club

  • Music and More

  • Nature Watch

  • Nexplore Makers Club

  • NiHao Chinese Club

  • Piano & Voice Club

  • Roblox Club

  • Virtual Reality Oculus Rift

  • Zumba®Kids


  • Girls Flag Football

  • Golf Squad

  • Track and Field


  • Student Council