November 9, 2012 at 18:09

MSD Editor

Q. Washington Township is already a high-performing district. Why implement IB?
A. Today’s children are growing up in a very different world from the one their parents were educated to navigate. Students who graduate from North Central need skills that go far beyond basic literacy, the ability to solve mathematical and scientific problems, and technological know-how.
Students will need to understand cultures and politics other than their own. Further, fluency in another language is essential in today’s world. Students must have a sense of the world that cannot be gleaned from a book or a computer screen. Inquiry-based instruction teaches subject-specific content and critical-thinking and problem solving skills while promoting the transfer of concepts to other content areas. This method of
instruction has been proven to motivate and engage all types of learners and therefore prepare every child for success. Washington Township has always been a high-performing district because of the cutting-edge education provided to all students. IB will help Washington Township maintain its history of excellence and keep its students competitive in the 21st century.

Q. Will IB distract students from learning the basics?
A. In order for students to be the kind of learners that IB strives to develop – critical-thinkers, problem-solvers, and inquirers – they must have basic literacy and math skills. Washington Township elementary schools have a 90-minute daily literacy block and a 60-minute daily math block in which the fundamentals of literacy and math are taught to every student. The IB curricular framework builds upon those basic skills to develop learners who are able to acquire in-depth knowledge and develop deep understanding across a broad range of disciplines.

Q. Will IB help close the achievement gap?
A. IB is designed to increase achievement for all students. While it is anticipated that IB will help lessen the achievement gap, it is too early in the implementation process to isolate IB as the cause to any change in student achievement data.

Q. What does IB authorization mean and when will Washington Township Schools be authorized?
A. IB authorization means that the school has fulfilled the minimum requirements for program implementation including curriculum and policy development. An external site team from IB will visit each school, observe classrooms, and talk with administrators, teachers, parents, and students to determine whether or not a school has fully embraced the IB philosophies and has developed a long-term vision to build and sustain the program. Currently, all eleven Washington Township schools are IB Candidate Schools which means they have successfully completed the first stage of the authorization process. Elementary schools anticipate PYP authorization to occur in the spring of 2012 and the middle schools and high school anticipate MYP authorization in the spring of 2013. North Central High School is already an authorized IB World School for the Diploma Program. They were authorized in 1988 as the first Diploma Program in the state of Indiana.

Q. What does IB mean for me as a parent?
A. As a parent, you will notice that your child is asking more questions and inquiring about the world around them. Foster this curiosity by asking questions of your own or talking about the process you would follow to seek answers to those questions. Instead of asking, “What did you do today in school?” try asking, “What did you inquire about today?” Students should also start to become more aware of their surroundings and the affect they can have on their local and global community. Encourage your child to apply their learnings to real-life situations and discuss with them how they can take action in the community whether that be in the home, at the park, or in the larger community.

IB FAQ for Families