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VIDEO: Decision on Hopkins Junior High IB Program Coming Soon

Next week, the School Board will discuss what the district has learned while investigating IB over the past year.

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.

Kathryn Hernke February 15, 2013 at 06:04 PM
Thanks for this Hopkins IB summary on The Patch! I'm particularly impressed with the presentation on rigor and how that relates to the IB program. If IB is approved, our 6th grader will end up with much of her r jr. high experience in transition from current programming to IB. What will the transition process look like? I think the informational sessions provided for the parents and having this information publicly posted has been great....will continued information and opportunities for feedback during the potential transition be available?
James Warden February 15, 2013 at 06:58 PM
In addition to the continuing communication with parents, I expect there will be more information available at the Feb. 21 meeting. I'll be there and will certainly share whatever I hear with the community.
Oldsterone March 09, 2013 at 03:36 PM
We need to get out of the UN. More importantly, we need the UN out of the United States. One of the many ways we can shove back is to stop funding the International Baccalaureate Program. Across America, even Catholic schools are adopting this curriculum out of Geneva Switzerland. What could be more insidious? They infiltrate our schools with a "global" curriculum that subverts our values and beliefs, replacing them with the nightmarish secular agenda of the UN and the EU. Worse, our tax dollars fund this. Tiny children to high schoolers are taught the values of the earth charter, agenda 21...life is not celebrated, but instead the goal is abortion, birth control, population control. I call on Michelle Bachman and other like-minded representatives to put an abrupt stop to tax funds for the IB program.

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