After an extensive, two-year strategic planning process, St. Andrew’s School has succeeded in becoming a candidate school for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Program and Diploma Program and is pursuing authorization as an IB World School. IB is a renowned, research-based curriculum framework offered at more than 5,000 schools in 150 countries.
“The IB program aligns perfectly with St. Andrew’s commitment to offer an educational experience that emphasizes both academic mastery and personal growth — asking students to think critically about why they learn, what they learn, and how they learn,” said Head of School David Tinagero. “With its intentionally inclusive approach to learning, IB supports the potential of students who thrive on intellectual challenge, as well as those who need more academic support.”
St. Andrew’s aims to become a fully authorized IB World School by September 2021, becoming one of only two schools in Rhode Island to offer the IB Diploma Program — and the only independent school in the state to offer the IB program in the middle school grades.
IB World Schools share a common philosophy — a commitment to improve the teaching and learning of a diverse and inclusive community of students by delivering challenging, high quality programs of international education.
Why IB at St. Andrew's?
By joining an international network of schools and educators, St. Andrew’s will gain access to innovative tools and resources, as well as a professional learning network of teachers around the world, that will support and amplify the highly personalized teaching already happening at St. Andrew’s, said Alexandra McMullen, the head of St. Andrew’s Middle School who also coordinates professional development for faculty schoolwide.
“As an IB World School, we will gain access to a program of learning that shares our values and mission while offering a common language around teaching and learning for our faculty, as well as new pathways to success for our students,” she said.
Serving students in grades six through ten, the IB Middle Years Program encourages students to make practical connections between their studies and the real world. Through interdisciplinary teaching and learning, the program addresses the developmental needs of students in this age group and prepares them for further academic study and life in an increasingly interconnected world. The program culminates in a long-term independent project that offers students the opportunity to individually demonstrate their skills in self-management, research, communication, critical and creative thinking, and collaboration.
The IB Diploma Program is an academically challenging and balanced course of study for students in grades eleven and twelve, preparing them for success at university and life beyond. Over two years, students develop both a breadth and depth of knowledge, taking courses from six subject groups: sciences, mathematics, language and literature, individuals and societies, the arts, and world languages. The program draws on content from educational cultures around the world and includes study in both individual subjects and interdisciplinary areas. There is particular emphasis on learning languages and developing the skills of learning.
Students who opt to pursue an IB Diploma, in addition to the St. Andrew's diploma that all graduates receive, will sit for assessments that are externally marked by the IB. Similar to Advanced Placement courses, success in the IB assessments often results in advanced standing, course credit, scholarships, and other admissions related benefits at many universities.
“We are incredibly excited at the prospect of offering an IB education to St. Andrew’s students,” said Tinagero. “This is a new direction for us that offers an extraordinary opportunity for our entire school community while reaffirming our 125-year-old tradition of educating and empowering students one remarkable mind at a time.”Timeline of IB Implementation at St. Andrew's
Over the next two years, St. Andrew’s faculty will undergo IB training while collaboratively developing courses for the new IB programs. St. Andrew’s will then finalize its IB course offerings and submit its final authorization application. Finally, a verification team from the International Baccalaureate Organization will visit the school in person for a final review.More information on International Baccalaureate at St. Andrew's