Wednesday, March 19, 2014

International Baccalaureate (IB) Proposal - Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education Meeting

International Baccalaureate (IB) Proposal
Ann Arbor Public Schools


On Wednesday, March 19, 2014, Superintendent Swift will recommend for consideration by the Board of Education the implementation of International Baccalaureate, K – 12th grade in Ann Arbor Public Schools. This initiative will be considered during regular Board of Education meetings on March 19th and 26th.

The Superintendent’s recommendation will be to implement the International Baccalaureate Primary Years (grades K-5), Middle Years (grades 6-10), and Diploma Years (grades 11-12) into Mitchell Elementary School, Scarlett Middle School and Huron High School.

The implementation of this rich, global learning experience will enhance the quality for which Ann Arbor Public Schools is already known, and will:
§  Meet the specific demand of Ann Arbor parents for IB education by infusing this program into an area where there exists open building capacity available to accommodate growth,
§  Directly align to more fully meet Strategic Plan, Strategy #1, “We will create a complete educational program . . . that meets international standards,”
§  Create an unparalleled educational opportunity that features a diverse student population, competent IB-trained staff, curriculum that aligns to global standards and the world-class arts, athletics, and extracurricular opportunities for which AAPS is well-known, and
§  Establish the Mitchell, Scarlett, Huron vertical continuum of schools as a destination location for top-quality international schooling within the Ann Arbor Public Schools.
International Baccalaureate (IB) currently offers high-quality international education programming to more than one million students in 146 countries.
The mission of IB aligns with the AAPS Mission and Strategic Plan, and states:
§  The IB aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
§  To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessment.
§  These programs encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right. (


The process for initial IB implementation is projected to span three years, 2014- 2017.

Year 1 - Consideration Year – 2014-2015: a planning year with anticipated submission of application for candidacy by April 1, 2015.

Mitchell will implement Spanish language, K-5, taught by a fully certificated Spanish teacher, beginning in the 2014-15 school year.

Year 2 - Candidacy Year – 2015-2016:  School teams will continue to plan and begin the process of fulfilling IB requirements.

Year 3 - Authorization Year – 2016-17:  School teams expected to fulfill IB requirements and receive IB authorization.

IB Enrollment Priority

Enrollment in the IB at Mitchell, Scarlett, and Huron will be offered to students in this priority:
1)     Students who reside in the Mitchell, Scarlett, and Huron attendance areas will receive top-priority for enrollment.
2)     Students who reside in Ann Arbor Public Schools attendance area will receive priority for the Space Available In-District Transfer process.
3)     Students who reside outside Ann Arbor Public Schools attendance area will participate in the Schools of Choice process to enroll.
4)     Wait lists will be created for students who express interest in IB beyond the current school capacity.  Any open positions in the school will be filled through a randomly selected lottery of wait-listed students.

Budget Implications

  • Currently, the district pays the Washtenaw Intermediate School District to offer the IB program for AAPS students. If the program is approved for offering within AAPS, then the significant amount expended for IB programming will be leveraged within AAPS to offer global education. Offering IB within AAPS at Mitchell, Scarlett, and Huron will benefit more students within AAPS.
  • Title II funds (professional development) will also be leveraged to support some of the requisite staff development.
  • Additional enrollment generated by IB programming will further support and sustain the IB initiative.

Next Steps

  • The Board will consider and render a decision on offering IB programming in the Ann Arbor Public Schools.
  • AAPS staff should explore the possibilities connected to the potential IB implementation, generating questions for consideration should the proposal move forward.
  • To clarify, this IB programming will not replace other work in progress at the schools such as the Mitchell Scarlett Teaching & Learning Collaborative, AP class offerings, Project Lead the Way, Responsive Classroom, Developmental Designs, El Sistema, and others. IB will serve as a ‘value-add’ to the important partnerships with the University of Michigan and other partnerships and programs already in place at these three schools.
  • If implemented, IB will provide a significant pathway to enhance the excellence for which AAPS is already well known.

Superintendent quote, “With the recommendation to implement International Baccalaureate programming into Mitchell Elementary, Scarlett Middle, and Huron High Schools, Ann Arbor Public Schools takes a significant step to extend and enhance the quality for which our district is already known.

By joining exemplary, internationally recognized programming with committed, expert teachers within a vertically-aligned feeder pattern, we bring together the very best of the Ann Arbor Public Schools to make our district – and our city – an even better place for the children of Ann Arbor.  It is truly a great day in Ann Arbor Public Schools as we mark this milestone and dedicate ourselves to becoming the first large district in Michigan to offer a full K-12 International Baccalaureate Program.