Summit Schools gets IB authorization
SUMMIT COUNTY – The Geneva, Switzerland-based International Baccalaureate Organization has given Summit School District a thumbs up, just in time for Summit Middle School’s roll-out of a full-school International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Program.IB is an inquiry-based, interdisciplinary model of instruction that encourages students to see themselves as part of the global community. The premise of the philosophy is that education should foster understanding, caring and respect among young people around the world.In previous years, Summit Middle School (SMS) and Summit High School have offered IB classes to grades six through 10 as an honors-style program. This year, all SMS students will be instructed in the IB style.A team of reviewers from the IB Organization visited Summit County in March to evaluate the school district’s execution of the program. The organization awarded the district its authorization this summer, certifying that the program met its standards.”It validates that we’re offering a 21st-century education for our kids and preparing them for the future,” said district IB coordinator Nanci Morse. “We’re educating the whole self – not just the academic self – and teaching students to be good people and well-rounded citizens. My favorite thing to say is that we offer world-class skiing and a world-class education.”District staff have traveled throughout the country in recent years to receive training in IB and to observe IB Organization- authorized schools. With the authorization under its belt, Summit schools will soon serve as a model and training ground for other districts, Morse said.Teachers from New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado will venture to Summit County in October for a day-long seminar on IB instruction in the arts.The IB Organization’s look into Summit School District during its winter visit included a comprehensive set of interviews with parents, teachers, administrators and students.”They want to know if the kids really know what the program is all about, or if this is just driven by the adults in the building,” Morse said. “The IB organization was impressed with the support of the school board, teachers and students, both in philosophy and funding. And they saw a lot of good philosophy being practiced in classrooms.”The next step for Morse and other district staff is obtaining authorization for the IB Diploma Program, which the district will offer to 11th and 12th graders a year from now. The organization will visit the district again in December for another round of inspection.Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or at email@example.com.
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