Hopkins is nearing a decision on whether it will transform its junior highs into International Baccalaureate programs.
The School Board voted in March to initiate candidacy in the IB’s Middle Years Programme. The schools are now in the midst of the 2012-13 candidacy year, during which the junior highs have been:
- Developing curriculum,
- Training staff and
- Exploring whether student and staff schedules mesh with the program.
The School Board will discuss the findings of the past year at its Feb. 21 meeting, said school district spokeswoman Jolene Goldade said. The board will then take a preliminary vote at its March 21 budget meeting on whether to become an IB program—followed by a final vote in May.
Unanimous approval isn’t a given. While the board , directors Wendy Donovan and Irma McIntosh Coleman voted against the proposal because of worries about piling too many changes onto the junior highs at once.
If the board does decide to pursue IB, the district will petition International Baccalaureate for approval. If that happens, the junior highs would become IB schools in the 2014-15 school year.
IB’s Middle Years Programme provides an enhanced curriculum for grades six through 10, although Hopkins would only offer Middle Years at its junior highs. Started in Geneva, Switzerland, the program emphasizes “global mindedness” and a broad curriculum with eight components—including requirements for all students to take arts courses, physical education and a second language.
The Middle Years Programme is separate from—but complementary to—the better-known IB Diploma Programme that prepares high school students for college coursework, potentially earning them college credit.
Unlike high school IB, the Middle Years Programme is for all students, not just those who elect to enroll.
Watch the videos above to learn more about the program.