Monday, May 27th, Kokomo-Center School officials received official notification from the International Baccalaureate (IB) Organization that the International Schools at Central Middle School and Kokomo High School have been officially authorized as IB World Schools.
“Congratulations on having become an IB World School offering the Middle Years Programme,” read the official International Baccalaureate email sent to Kokomo-Center’s MYP coordinator Lori Magnuson.
“The authorization process of becoming an IB World School has been challenging, but rewarding,” Central International School Principal Mike Sargent explained. “The collaboration amongst IB teachers within each school, as well as between the CMS and the KHS teachers, has positively impacted student learning.”
International Baccalaureate Organization officials noted that only 3 other schools in the State of Indiana are authorized to offer the MYP, and all 3 are located in the Indianapolis area.
“To be the first school system in the region to be able to be an IB school is quite an honor,” Superintendent Dr. Jeff Hauswald said. “I am proud of the staff and students who have worked so hard to earn this authorization.”
Dr. Hauswald added that an official IB authorization for the MYP program fits nicely with the many international opportunities already in place at Kokomo Schools, including student exchanges with partner schools in England, Chile, and Costa Rica, as well as international residence halls for male and female international students from around the world attending Kokomo High School.
“We believe this is one more example of how Kokomo-Center Schools is continuing to work hard to improve and to expand the quality options for our students and the community,” Dr. Hauswald added. “IB is a proven program that immerses students in an engaging, project-based curriculum that embraces international-mindedness and global perspectives.”
IB Organization officials noted that they believe to achieve international-mindedness, students must first develop an understanding of their own cultural and national identity. Another factor, which makes the IB program unique, is creating a positive attitude to learning by encouraging students to ask challenging questions, to critically reflect, to develop research skills, to learn how to learn, and to participate in community service.
Kokomo High School Principal Rick Hagenow applauded the teachers at both schools for their hard work and long hours, while citing Mike Sargent, Sean Swan, Lori Magnuson, and Lisa Salazar for their leadership during the implementation and authorization process of the Middle Years Program.
“Dr. Hauswald and our School Board also deserve credit for providing the leadership and support necessary for making the MYP authorization possible,” Mr. Hagenow said. “The IB program offers endless possibilities for the many KHS students who are willing to step up and accept the challenge offered by this internationally recognized program.”
Mr. Sargent explained that during the past two years, the IB teachers have spent 90 hours in professional development to create the Middle Years Program.
“The authorization process included rewriting the entire curriculum to meet the MYP standards of IB,” Mr. Sargent explained. “This process included scaffolding the curriculum in each content area, developing interdisciplinary units, changing assessment practices to include project based learning, and imbedding the cultural elements of IB through the Learner Profile, International Mindedness, and the Mission Statement.”
As its mission, the International Baccalaureate (IB) aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
Mr. Sargent noted that the enrollment in the MYP at the International School at Central Middle School and Kokomo High School grew by 100 students this school year, and is projected to grow by nearly 200 students this coming school year as the program continues into 10th grade at KHS.
“Most importantly, the purposes of MYP are the positive impact on student learning, preparing students for a changing world, enhancing student opportunities, and creating new learning experiences in the schools and around the world through our study abroad experiences,” Mr. Sargent explained. “We are proud to be World School because IB requires this evaluation and authorization process to ensure the integrity of the program.”
International School MYP Coordinator Lori Magnuson believes this authorization is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of the IB staff, IB students, and IB parents.
“This is a wonderful accomplishment for Central and KHS to be IB World Schools,” Ms. Magnuson said. “The IB program is a rigorous curriculum that greatly enhances college readiness. The benefits of IB will be with our students throughout their lives.”