Four Schools Begin Journey Toward Offering IB Programmes

Smithfield-Selma High students in the IB Diploma Programme Dannys Ayala, Anna Hill, and Catherine Flynn work together on an assignment.

Johnston County Public Schools may soon be able to expand its International Baccalaureate (IB) offerings to students at several schools.

South Smithfield Elementary, Wilson’s Mills Elementary, Smithfield Middle, and Smithfield-Selma High began their journey toward offering their respective IB programmes on March 1.

“We are thrilled at the chance to offer our students this opportunity,” said JCPS Director of Special Programs Kevin Daughtry. “We have high hopes that each of these schools will join Smithfield-Selma High in becoming IB World Schools at the end of their candidacies.”

The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) provides schools with a framework for instruction that includes a world perspective. Its framework and its mission value and develop 10 traits of learners throughout their education and participation in the IB programmes.

South Smithfield Elementary and Wilson’s Mills Elementary are now Candidate Schools for the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP). The PYP prepares students to become active, caring, lifelong learners who demonstrate respect for themselves and others and have the capacity to participate in the world around them.

Smithfield Middle is now a Candidate School for the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP), which is a challenging framework that encourages students to make practical connections between their studies and the real world.

Smithfield-Selma High currently offers an IB Diploma Programme (DP) and is now a Candidate School for both the MYP and the Career-related Programmes (CP). The CP is a framework of international education addressing the need of students engaged in career-related education.

Each of these programmes seek to build the traits of compassion, inquiry, balance, reflection, thinking, principles, communication, open-mindedness, knowledge, and risk-taking in students.

When a school becomes a candidate to offer one of the four IB programs (PYP, MYP, DP, CP), it begins a two-year journey which requires training for staff, sustained reflection on instructional practices, and a shift toward global thinking.

At the end of the first year of candidacy, the school completes an authorization application to begin the final step toward becoming an IB school. During the authorization process, an IBO team visits the school and evaluates the school on its delivery of the program during its two-year candidacy. If successful, the school is authorized to call itself an IB World School and offer one of the four programs.

In 2011, the IBO accepted Smithfield-Selma High School’s candidacy application to offer the Diploma Programme, which aims to develop students who have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge – students who flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically.

In 2013, the school was authorized to begin teaching the DP to its first group of eleventh graders. Those students became the first class of IB Diploma Programme graduates in June 2015.

For more information about the International Baccalaureate Organization and their programmes visit their website.