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Broadening Access to I.B.

Just as I.B. focuses on students’ growth over time, the organization refers to the implementation of an I.B. program as a “journey.” I.B. World Schools strive to uphold and implement the principles in a quest for continued growth and improvement. The I.B. Organization evaluates its member schools every five to seven years to ensure that the standards and practices of the programs are being maintained. An I.B. evaluation involves a comprehensive 12- to 18-month self-study process at the school level involving teachers, administrators, central staff, school board members and students in reflection and documentation of their development. This is followed by a multiday visit from certified members of the I.B. Educators’ Network, who conduct stakeholders interviews, review the school’s documentation and observe classes. The process culminates with a detailed assessment of the school’s development of the program and formal feedback on their findings.

Commendations

Powerful Learning Experiences

HCPS’ I.B. programs received praise in multiple facets of the learning experiences we provide, including broadening access to the I.B. curriculum at Henrico High School in preparation for the Career-related Program. HCPS also received numerous accolades for our faculty, who are dedicated to tailoring learning experiences to students needs and interests to ensure they are authentic, student-owned, student-led, project-based and community-oriented.

Beyond the Classroom

The I.B. evaluation team noted the commitment and involvement of HCPS’ I.B. coordinators, school counselors, librarians and coordinators of assessment and remediation, to grow students’ success through an attentive and comprehensive support network.

Strong Communications and Community Connections

Community is at the heart of the I.B. programs in Henrico County, and stakeholder interviews painted a clear picture of the strong communication between the I.B. coordinators, teachers, students, and parents, as well as the relationships HCPS has with its community.

Governance and Leadership

Systems are in place to keep the governing body informed about the development of I.B. School Board members, Central Office staff as and each school’s leadership are committed to I.B. programs. Additionally, the program structure supports all aspects of the implementation of the program, including access to information on global issues and diverse perspectives.

Recommendations

IB students working on project

Continued Professional Development and Collaborative Planning

In the area of ongoing professional development and collaboration, the evaluation team noted room for growth in teachers’ understanding of how to use the I.B. global contexts, objectives, and assessment criteria in units of inquiry. To empower teachers through a shared understanding of the Middle Years Program philosophy, I.B. recommends continued professional development to further develop the core elements of I.B. in their units of inquiry, including assessment design, as well as in their standardization of assessment expectations.

Curriculum Development

The evaluation team recommended teachers establish a consistent understanding of core elements and expectations then translate their professional learning into their design of the written, taught, and assessed curriculum through the inquiry-based I.B. unit planner. Teaching teams will also collaborate to develop and implement at least one interdisciplinary unit per year.

Broadening Access

The evaluation team noted that the Middle Years Program is currently offered in a cohort to only a portion of the school community. The team highly recommended investigating opportunities to include the broadest possible range of students in the Middle Years Program. As authorized I.B. World Schools, HCPS already has the advantage of providing I.B. experiences to all of the students in the division’s I.B. programs. Expanding access also includes furthering our communication with stakeholders to include additional I.B.-focused topics.

growing the hcps ib and gifted pie
Girl reading book

In an effort to provide transparency in HCPS’ International Baccalaureate programs, School Board presentation topics provided on this site are intended to inform the community about how Henrico County Public Schools will address excellence gaps and demographic disproportionality in our school division.

Destination 2025: The Plan for HCPS

Objective: Students will have opportunities to engage in rigorous learning experiences.

Implementation Driver: Develop and implement a comprehensive plan to increase the enrollment of historically marginalized students in gifted, advanced courses and academically oriented enrichment programing, and provide the necessary support for them to succeed.

Target Completion Year: 2022

Objective: Students will have LifeReady experiences during their educational careers that lead to college or career readiness.

Implementation Driver: Transform the curriculum for pre-K through grade 12 to ensure alignment to the Henrico Learner Profile and Deeper Learning model using the lens of the Culturally Responsive Education model.

Target Completion Year: 2021