International Baccalaureate at Eliot-Hine
The purpose of IB Middle Years Programme is to provide a thorough study of the various core disciplines, a holistic view of knowledge, intercultural awareness and communication, and the development of global ethics and values. The aim is to awaken the intelligence of students and teach them to recognize relationships between school subjects and the world outside the school walls by combining knowledge, experience and critical observations. International Baccalaureate schools are known for their rigorous college preparatory program.
In 2010, a conversation began about how to better meet the needs of Eliot-Hine Middle School students in this ever-changing, fast paced 21st century society. We wanted to ensure that our students would be able to compete not just in high school, but also well beyond high school on a global level as lifelong learners. To that end, with the support of the DCPS Central Office and the Capitol Hill community, Eliot-Hine embarked on the journey of becoming a fully authorized International World School.
Beginning in 2011, administration and staff alike worked diligently to implement all aspects of the programme with fidelity. Along with a core curriculum that meets and exceeds district standards, students became involved in community service, foreign language courses, and the visual and performing arts. These exploration-focused courses allowed students to learn by doing. Given an unprecedented amount of freedom, students were expected to live up to expectations, recognizing that they are ultimately responsible for their own education.
Authorization and Growth
In the fall of 2015, the International Baccalaureate Organization authorized Eliot-Hine as an official IB Middle Years Programme. Remaining committed to a vision of educational excellence, Eliot-Hine’s Middle Years Programme offers a curriculum for students in grades six through eight committed to promoting independent learning, critical thinking, and inquisitiveness.
From the IBMYP website: The MYP aims to develop students who are:
Active Learners Internationally-Minded Able to Empathize with Others
Have the intellect and skills to pursue lives of purpose and meaning.
As part of the IB continuum, the MYP is designed to help students develop the characteristics of the IB learner profile. It offers students opportunities to:
Develop Their Potential Explore Their Own Learning Preferences Take Appropriate Risks
Reflect on, and develop, a strong sense of personal identity.
At a time when students are establishing their identity and building their self-esteem, the MYP can motivate students and help them to achieve success in school and in life beyond the classroom.
Watch to see what the IB MYP is all about, and how it connects the student to the world.
8th Grade IB Community Projects
Watch to see how students benefit from the 8th Grade IB Community Project, a graduation requirement for Eliot-Hine students.
As part of the program, 8th grade students must complete a year-long service project, addressing a need that they see in their community, however they define it. Students are required to keep a process journal to reflect the journey through their research.
IB Coordinator Dana Watson says that the projects were personal to the students, and they were passionate about their topics, such as Taja and Elisa’s project on animal abuse and rescue – Elisa adopted her pets from shelters. There were three areas that Watson feels will set students up for success:
- GROWTH. As students do their research and community action, they realize how what they do affects others. Anna and Au’jainae spent six months building trust and affecting change when they tutored Maury students after school. In addition to feeling great about helping others, it helped Anna become more responsible with planning ahead and keeping an organized schedule.
- ENRICHMENT. Realizing that they can make an impact in their community and seeing first-hand that what they do matters, it builds confidence and character, making students want to continue to have an impact.
- LEARNING. One goal of the community project is for students to learnt to be accountable for their own learning. Students stretched their comfort levels and skill sets, learned how to navigate a group dynamic, or how to work effectively with an adviser, how to best use technology in a presentation (e.g. PowerPoint vs. static website), and how to conduct an interview. Iman interviewed by phone a DC police officer about gang violence, and learned that the responses may have been different and more dynamic had they been face-to-face.
The project culminates in a review panel made up of teachers, parents, community members, peers, and in Eliot-Hine’s case, students from Eastern High School’s IB Diploma Programme.
See an example of one student’s project on animal testing, presented via website.