Just as IB focuses on students’ growth over time, the organization refers to the implementation of an IB program as a “journey.” IB World Schools strive to uphold and implement the principles in a quest for continued growth and improvement. The IB Organization evaluates its member schools every five to seven years to ensure that the standards and practices of the programs are being maintained. An IB 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 multi-day visit from certified members of the IB 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.
Powerful Learning Experiences
Our Henrico IB Programs received praise in multiple facets of the learning experiences we provide, including widening access to the IB curriculum at Henrico High in preparation for the Career-related Program. We 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 IB evaluation team noted the commitment and involvement of our IB 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 IB programs in Henrico County, and stakeholder interviews painted a clear picture of the strong communication between the IB coordinators, teachers, students, and parents, as well as the relationships we have with our community.
Governance and Leadership
Systems are in place to keep the governing body informed about the development of IB. The various School Board members and Central staff as well as the schools’ leadership’s commitment to IB through a structure that supports ‘all aspects of the implementation of the program,’ such as access to information on global issues and diverse perspectives, is commendable.
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 IB global contexts, objectives, and assessment criteria in units of inquiry. To empower teachers through a shared understanding of the MYP philosophy, IB recommends continued professional development to further develop the core elements of IB in their units of inquiry, including assessment design, as well as in their standardization of assessment expectations.
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 IB unit planner. Teaching teams will also collaborate to develop and implement at least one interdisciplinary unit per year.
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 IB World Schools, we are already at an advantage to provide IB experiences to all of the students in our IB programs. Expanding access also includes furthering our communication with stakeholders to include additional IB-focused topics.