Academics

  • Academics:  The curriculum is tailored to student abilities and includes 6th, 7th and 8th grade math, science, social studies,  ELA and physical education.  Honor’s classes in 8th grade include Carnegie unit courses such as Algebra I, English I.  Other courses offered include a wide range of visual and performing arts.


    Frequently asked Questions About the IB Middle Years Program

    What is the Middle Years Program?

    The Middle Years Program (MYP) at Riverdale Middle School is a curriculum framework designed for learners aged 11 – 14 by the International Baccalaureate (IB). The MYP at Riverdale Middle is a three-year program.

    In an MYP classroom, you’ll notice that the students are at the center of learning.  They are drawing connections between all subject areas, learning is explicitly linked to the world around them, participation in a foreign language is required, and a variety of formal and informal assessments are used to inform teaching and learning.  MYP learning experiences infuse global points of view wherever possible in order to promote understanding of other cultures, an awareness of the human condition and an understanding that there is a commonality of human experience.

    The MYP curriculum framework comprises eight subject groups, providing a broad and balanced education for early adolescents.  Students take the core courses of language and literature, individuals and societies, mathematics, sciences, physical and health education, language acquisition, arts and technology.  A unique feature of the program is that it extends the traditional curriculum to include immersion in four themes – approaches to teaching, approaches to learning, global contexts and concepts.  Students also complete a community and service project, which is an independent study and implementation to address a need within the community.

    What are the advantages of an IB education?

    • IB World Schools (the only schools authorized to offer IB programs) are subject to a strict accreditation process monitored by the IB, ensuring that schools provide a high-quality education.
    • IB teaching methods and curriculums are research-based and draw from the best educational practices from systems around the world.
    • IB teacher are required to participate in many professional development opportunities to continually promote their awareness of current educational practices and new thinking.
    • IB programs are recognized internationally and ease the educational transition of mobile students so that their education is not adversely affected if their families relocate.

    Do IB teachers receive special training?

    All MYP teachers receive professional development in the IB’s approaches to teaching and approaches to learning from certified IB workshop leaders.  This is a requirement for IB World Schools implementing the MYP.

    Are IB programs considered “gifted” programs?

    In most cases, the MYP requires school wide implementation and therefore encompasses all students.  All teachers who teach in MYP classrooms are required to participate in collaborative planning and reflection to make their teaching practices consistent and to foster a holistic approach to education.  A growing body of evidence suggests a positive relationship between teacher collaboration and student achievement.

    Students who complete the MYP are well-prepared to undertake the IB Diploma Program or Career-related Program.

    Does implementing an IB program mean my child’s school will not teach local or national standards such as the Common Core?

    The IB is committed to making sure that students in IB programs meet and exceed local or national standards.  With the implementation of any IB program, schools are required to examine their curriculum carefully to ensure that there is alignment with local, state, or national standards.  More information on the IB and the Common Core is available at www.ibo.org.

    Have studies been done on the impact of the MYP?

    The IB places great value on external validation of its programs, curriculums and professional development.  A recent study found that Middle Years Program students in a US public school district were more likely to achieve a proficient or advanced performance level on state mathematics and science assessments that their counterparts in five comparison schools.  Additional studies on program impact, quality assurance, program development and assessment research ar available at www.ibo.org/research.

    How can I learn more about the IB and MYP?

    • Visit the IB website at www.ibo.org
    • Attend school meetings and events
    • Speak with our school MYP coordinator
    • Speak with your child’s MYP classroom teacher

    Please review and become familiar with the school’s IB aligned Academic Honesty Policy. All students will be held responsible for turning in authentic work.

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