I am really excited that the Dobbs Ferry Board of Education decided last week to support the exploration of an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program for our students in Grades 6 through 10. In 1998, Dobbs Ferry High School became the first International Baccalaureate (IB) World School in Westchester County, New York. So extending the IB philosophy back through the grades leading into the 11th and 12th grade Diploma Program makes sense from many perspectives.
The IB Middle Years Program begins to emphasize and incorporate the all-important skills of the IB Learner Profile. The IB Learner Profile essentially identifies the outcomes that we want for ALL of our students. Through the IB focus on international mindedness, global perspectives, multiple languages and collaborative process, we aim to foster learners who strive to be inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective.
Right now - today - we have a chance to make meaningful change in our schools. Perhaps now, more than ever before - we can make this happen. But we have to want it. We have to want our kids to have the education they need in order to become successful learners prepared to change their lives and their world.
We are at an exciting precipice in education with the implementation of the Common Core and the resulting necessary curriculum work that accompanies this intensive change. In Dobbs Ferry we have decided that although the Common Core poses many excellent opportunities for learning experiences that incorporate cross-disciplinary connections, performance-based assessments and clear learning targets; it is also a chance to explore a deeper dive into a much larger pool of ideas about teaching and learning.
The IB Middle Years Program insists upon the thorough study of various disciplines and encourages students to:
- see the interrelatedness of disciplines
- appreciate other cultures, as well as understand one's own history and traditions
- develop admiration for the elegance and richness of human expression
- learn to communicate effectively in one's own language as well as in a second language
- become competent in the use of information technology
- acquire a genuine love of learning and disciplined habits of mind and body that will guide their young adulthood
Seizing opportunities and being willing to be flexible with our thinking and our ideas about the quality of education in our schools - that’s what the Dobbs Ferry Board of Education, our teachers, parents, schools and community are all about.
We are boldly embracing the changes in the education landscape uncovering new horizons ahead. We are committed and determined to give EVERY student the education they need.