International Baccalaureate: Preparing K-12 Students for Tomorrow’s Global Society
As parents, we want to raise a well-rounded child who is academically challenged and thinks about issues and problems beyond the community in which he or she lives in order to become members of a global society. At PVSchools, we are helping students on this pathway with the K-12 International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme, which is offered at Quail Run Elementary School, Vista Verde Middle School and North Canyon High School.
IB focuses on each student as a whole person and addresses, not only the cognitive development but social, emotional and physical well-being. “The aim of IB is to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people with adaptable skills to tackle society's complex challenges and who will help make it a better, more peaceful world. IB students develop a sense of the world around them and their responsibility to it,” said Dianna Rubey, Primary Years Programme coordinator at Quail Run Elementary School.
IB World Schools are subject to a strict accreditation process monitored by IB to ensure that schools provide a high quality education for students. The IB teaching methods are researched-based and draw from the best educational practices from around the world. Additionally, IB teachers are required to participate in professional development opportunities to promote awareness of current educational practices and new thinking.
Primary Years Programme (PYP) at Quail Run Elementary School
In 2010, Quail Run Elementary became an authorized IB World School. In the PYP, students learn about and use knowledge, concepts, and skills through a variety of subjects to explore six transdisciplinary themes with students learning across subject areas while investigating big ideas.
The PYP curriculum at Quail Run was created by aligning the state standards for math and language arts with the IB philosophy. “Teachers build social studies and science units using an inquiry based process and incorporates state standards and best teaching practices,” said Mrs. Rubey. The coursework is designed to prepare students for the rigorous program offered in the Middle Years Programme.
Middle Years Programme (MYP) at Vista Verde Middle School
In 2009, Vista Verde Middle began to offer the MYP curriculum to academically motivated 7th and 8th grade students. The MYP is a four year program in PVSchools that begins in 7th grade and continues to 10th grade at North Canyon High School. The curriculum reinforces the MYP philosophies, which is a holistic approach to teaching students. MYP teaches students character, global awareness and the interdependence of the different disciplines of school.
MYP provides students with a rigorous learning environment. “Students should take MYP if they want to be part of a close knit group of students who want to be challenged, creative and exposed to a wider view of of the world. The program also prepares students to be successful in high school, regardless of the programs and goals they have,” said Bart Stewart, MYP coordinator/7th MP Science teacher at Vista Verde Middle. Students at Vista Verde learn character traits of successful adults, an appreciation of global differences, time management, accountability, how subjects relate to one another, as well as the curriculum. The coursework is designed to prepare students for the advanced IB program in high school.
Diploma Programme at North Canyon High School
In 1993, PVSchools implemented the IB Diploma Programme at North Canyon High School. The Learner Profile and Approaches to Learning are emphasized through each phase of the IB program. Students use these in high school to plan and reflect on their service learning in the community and they see how these skills can be applied outside of the classroom.
“While students are learning subject matter through inquiry and concept based lessons, they also focus on the IB Learner Profile and are taught different approaches to learning. Therefore, along with learning challenging subject matter they are simultaneously learning how to be life-long learners and to be critical and creative thinkers,” said Christina Bernardino, IB coordinator.
At North Canyon, the IB Programme goes beyond the classroom. Students are required to take part in service learning activities and extracurricular activities. They also plan projects and conduct research outside of the classroom. If students successfully complete the 11th and 12th grade diploma program, they will earn an IB Diploma, which can open open doors to universities and future career opportunities.
A Snapshot of IB at PVSchools
- Quail Run Elementary has 730 students in PYP
- Vista Verde Middle School has 112 7th and 8th grade students in MYP
- North Canyon has 130 students in the IB Programme
- North Canyon IB Diploma students score on average 1927 on the SAT and 29 on the ACT. These averages are much higher than the national averages of 1526 on the SAT and 21 on the ACT.
- Since 2004, North Canyon has had 61 National Merit Finalists. Of these 61 finalists, 57 have been IB Diploma students.
- North Canyon had 40 students graduate with an IB Diploma for the 2014-15 school year.
- Approximately, 99.9 percent of the North Canyon IB students attend colleges and universities from across the country, including: Cornell University NYU, Dartmouth, Duke, George Washington, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Yale and many more
- The acceptance rate for an IB Diploma student to a university is on average 22 percent higher than for non-IB students.
- Ivy League Universities’ acceptance rates increased between 3 percent and 13 percent for an IB Diploma student.