Brody Middle School Becomes International Baccalaureate Candidate School

As the first school district in Iowa to provide students access to the highly-regarded International Baccalaureate (IB) program, Des Moines Public Schools is continuing to expand its IB offerings as another middle school becomes an official candidate for the program.

Brody Middle School has been notified by the International Baccalaureate Organization that their application to become a candidate school for the Middle Years program (MYP) has been approved. The MYP is the IB program and curriculum for students in grades 6 –10.

Brody joins nine other Des Moines public schools which are either authorized or candidate IB schools. Brody is located at 2501 Park Avenue and educates approximately 700 students.

“The IB program benefits all students, and is designed to be inclusive of all learners,” said Thomas Hoffman, principal of Brody Middle School. “No matter what a student plans to do in high school and beyond, the IB program supports the district’s expectation that students have the knowledge, skills and abilities to succeed at their next stage in life. I am excited that Brody will be able to offer this world-class program to the students of our community.”

“Becoming an IB candidate school is a major step for the staff, students and families in the Brody Middle School community,” said Dr. Simone Alekno, International Baccalaureate coordinator for Des Moines Public Schools. “And this is a big step for Des Moines Public Schools, too, as our district makes more IB schools available to more students throughout the city.”

The IB Middle Years program provides an 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 five areas of interaction 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 offer the IB curriculum, implement their plan to be successful, and provide documentation of their progress. The process typically takes 12-18 months to complete.

Seven schools in Des Moines are currently authorized to offer one of three different International Baccalaureate programs. Those schools are: Central Academy, Goodrell Middle School, Merrill Middle School, Hubbell Elementary School, Park Avenue Elementary School, Stowe Elementary School, and Walnut Street Elementary School. In addition, Hoover High School and Meredith Middle School are both IB candidate schools to jointly offer the MYP program to students. More than 5,000 students are enrolled at these schools.