Head of School Blog

Becoming an IB School: How long will it take?

Jill Singleton | Volume: 7 Issue: 8 | Feb. 14, 2018
More than 30 parents gathered this week for a discussion about our school’s application to become an IB Middle Years Programme School, the first in a series of Coffee Chats we will be hosting over the course of the year. Two of the most burning questions were 1) How long will the process take, and 2) What will change for my child?

How long will the process take?
The short answer is – it depends. At this point, the school is applying to become a candidate school. Candidacy is granted if IB feels that a school has the foundation and capacity to fully implement all aspects of the program. If candidacy is granted, which we hope will happen before school starts in September, we are assigned an IB consultant who will work with us as we begin implementing the IB Programme on a trial basis. Our hope is that we will begin our trial implementation in the fall of 2018  and begin teacher  training immediately thereafter. The next stage in the process is called authorization, which typically happens  between 1-4 years after candidacy is achieved.  It is important to note, however, that although we are targeting 2020 as our year to be fully authorized, much depends on how many other applications are in play. IB has a fixed set of evaluators, and if our application is among an especially large number of other schools seeking authorization, the process could take longer. You can view a helpful graphic of the authorization process here.

What will change for my child?
The answer we have received from IB is, again, it depends. There are a variety of approaches for rolling out the IB Middle Years Programme. For example, a school might choose to begin with Grade 6, the first year in the program, and then add a grade each year. Or, a school may choose to begin to roll out various aspects of the program for Grade 6-8, with a plan for ensuring required components are in place for authorization. Once our IB consultant is assigned, we will work out a plan that makes the most sense for our school. Whichever route we take, some things students will certainly experience prior to authorization include: a process for embracing the Learner Profile traits, the addition of a course in design, an increased emphasis on world language, the implementation of a Community Project in Grade 8, some changes in assessment protocols, and slight adjustments to our schedule. (More on these topics in future blogs.) As faculty members become trained in IB approaches to teaching, students may experience some changes in their practices as well.

Be on the lookout for an extensive FAQ about these and other topics – coming soon!

All parents are encouraged to attend our next IB Coffee Chat on Wednesday, March 14, 7:45am in the church. Antrina Leeth, an IB Outreach and Development Manager, will be presenting an overview of the IB Middle Years Programme.

Questions? Comments?  Ideas?  I’d love to hear them! Email me: jsingleton@allsaintsdayschool.org.