IB mission statement
The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable andcaring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment. These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.
MYP Philosophy & Framework
Working together, these four characteristics define an IB education.*
*Adapted from "What is an IB Education" published by IBO 2012
Their programme model is meant to produced balanced students who are enriched by studying eight subjects. In addition to the usual six subjects taken by students at other middle schools MYP students take a second langauge, called Language B, Art and a Technology class each year of the programme. We believe this fosters holistic learning, inter-cultural awareness and communication, which are the three fundamental concepts of the International Baccalaureate Programme.
What does this look like in the classroom?
Unit Question and Area of Interaction Connections:
Each of the units a student learns in his/her subject is driven by a Unit Question. The question is broad, and is meant to invite the student to inquire more deeply about the content s/he is learning, in a relevant context, or Area of Interaction (explained briefly below). The culminating activity or summative assessment of each unit is usually performance-based, rigorous, can be open-ended, and are centered in a real-world context.
Inquiring into Global Contexts:
One of the wonderful things about the MYP is that it invites students to inquire about the power and beauty of the discipline s/he is studying, and examining the content in a real-world context. Units are concept-based, and although we still need to comply with state and local requirements, the MYP provides a rich, engaging experience with content that other schools do not have the opportunity to offer.
Rigorous Assessments that are relevant
Students investigate problems of complexity and grapple with real world issues: When is it worth it to buy a hybrid car? Why? Should the City Council ban Happy Meals? What is my role on an archaeological dig?
IB assessment is rigorous and can be open-ended. The types of summative (end of unit tasks) vary from subject to subject, but include: persuasive, narrative, and analyitical essays, original forms of artwork/performance pieces and accompanying developmental workbooks, analyzing historical documents from different points of view and presenting them effectively, investigating the relevance of mathematics in real-life decisions, investigating patterns and "disovering" rules and formulae, creating original forms of poetry, designing scientific investigations, carrying them out and analyzing the resulting data to draw conclusions, creating fitness plans, speaking spontaneously in a second language as well as reading and writing in it (French or Spanish), creating films using the design cycle and documenting the process including reflection, producing school-wide rallies and activities, desgining a yearbook by using photoshop and other technologies.
Connection to Common Core
The MYP is in high alignment with the Common Core State Standards than our current state standards which will go into effect in 2014. So, students attending JGMS will be able to think critically, examine alternative solutions, and justify with evidence through speaking and writing. In fact, communication (writing and speaking) is assessed in the MYP in each of the eight subjects. This component of the MYP alone is a benefit to our students.
Community Service Expectation
Students at JGMS are expected to serve at least 10 hours of community service at each and every year of their attendance. it is in this way that students engage with the community, begin to become aware of their role in the community, and can see what an impact they, as one individual, can make positively towards changing our world.