DES MOINES, Iowa — As the first school district in Iowa to offer students the highly regarded International Baccalaureate program, and the state’s only district to offer the IB curriculum at all grade levels, Des Moines Public Schools is continuing to expand its IB offerings with the addition of Brody Middle School as an authorized IB World School. Brody joins nine other Des Moines schools currently offering IB programs.
The International Baccalaureate Organization notified Brody of its authorization to offer the Middle Years Program. MYP is the IB program and curriculum for students in grades 6 – 10.
“One of the strengths of the IB MYP program is that it benefits all students, and is designed to be inclusive of all learners,” said Thomas Hoffman, principal at Brody. “No matter what a student plans to do after graduating high school, the IB program supports our district-wide expectation that students have the knowledge, skills and abilities to succeed at their next stage in life. For our students, this is going to prepare them to succeed in middle school, high school and beyond.”
As the International Baccalaureate Organization noted when the school’s application was approved: “We commend your school’s educators, administrators, students and families for their active roles in choosing to offer the MYP. The positive results of this choice will become evident in your community as classes of MYP students graduate and undertake activities that enhance social, cultural and economic environments locally, national and, perhaps, even internationally.”
Brody joins a total of 563 schools throughout the nation that offer the IB MYP program. In Iowa, the MYP program is only available at Des Moines Public Schools.
The IB Middle Years program provides a framework of academic challenge that encourages students to embrace and understand the connections between traditional subjects and the real world, and become critical and reflective thinkers. Some key elements include:
- The program consists of eight subject groups integrated through six global contexts that provide a framework for learning within and across the subjects. Students are required to study their own language, a second language, humanities, sciences, mathematics, arts, physical education and technology. In the final year students also engage in a personal project, which allows them to demonstrate the understandings and skills they have developed.
- Assessment is criterion-related, so students around the world are measured against pre-specified criteria for each subject group. Teachers set assessment tasks that are assessed internally in the school. External checks are carried out on this internal assessment to ensure worldwide consistency of standards.
- Any school wishing to offer the Middle Years program and attain IB World School status must first go through the authorization process. During this candidate phase, schools must demonstrate that they meet requirements to provide the IB curriculum framework, implement their plan to be successful, and provide documentation of their progress.
Brody joins the following schools in Des Moines that are currently authorized to offer one of three different International Baccalaureate programs: Central Academy, Hoover High School, Goodrell Middle School, Meredith Middle School, Merrill Middle School, Hubbell Elementary School, Park Avenue Elementary School, Stowe Elementary School, and Walnut Street Elementary School. More than 5,300 students at Des Moines Public Schools attend an IB school.