Two New IB World Schools: Hoover and Meredith
As the first school district in Iowa to offer students the highly regarded International Baccalaureate (IB) 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 as two more schools – Hoover High School and Meredith Middle School – are authorized as IB World Schools. They will join seven other Des Moines schools currently offering IB programs.
Hoover High School and Meredith Middle School were notified by the International Baccalaureate Organization that they have been authorized as IB World Schools to offer the Middle Years Program (MYP). 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 Doug Wheeler, Hoover’s current principal who next year will become the Superintendent of the Saydel school district. “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 Hoover and Meredith to become IB World Schools is a huge, positive step in supporting the educational needs of every student in our community,” added Cindy Flesch, currently principal of Meredith and, starting next year, principal of Hoover. “For our students, this is going to prepare them to succeed in middle school, high school and beyond.”
“Becoming an IB World School is a major milestone in the development of the Hoover/Meredith community,” said David Johns, school improvement leader at Meredith who will become the school’s principal next year. “This is a significant step in offering more and more students access to a great educational opportunity.”
Hoover High School and Meredith Middle School – which are physically connected at their location in northwest Des Moines – have worked together for more than two years to offer the IB program to their students. As the International Baccalaureate Organization noted when the schools’ application was approved: “These are schools that share a common philosophy: a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that Hoover High School and Meredith Middle School believes is important for our students.”
Hoover and Meredith join a total of 516 schools throughout the nation that offer the IB MYP program. In Iowa, the MYP program is only available at Des Moines Public Schools. The partnership between Hoover and Meredith is also the only one of its kind in Iowa, providing the IB MYP program through the 10th grade.
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, such as Hoover and Meredith, 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.
Today’s announcement comes on the heels of last week’s news that Hoover was a top-ranked school on the Iowa AP Index for their gains in offering students access to Advanced Placement courses. Hoover was ranked 12th on the 2014 Iowa AP Index, after being ranked 26th in 2013 and 49th in 2012.
Hoover and Meredith join seven schools in Des Moines that 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. Brody Middle School is currently completing the process to become an IB World School. More than 5,300 students at Des Moines Public Schools attend an IB school.