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International Baccalaureate

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is an educational organization dedicated to making the world better through education.  They offer four programs of study for students ages 3-19, each focused on rigor, interdisciplinary study, and global awareness.

  • The IB Primary Years Programme, for students aged 3 to 12, focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside.
  • The IB Middle Years Programme, for students aged 11 to 16, provides a framework of academic challenge that encourages students to embrace and understand the connections between traditional subjects and the real world, and become critical and reflective thinkers.
  • The IB Diploma Programme, for students aged 16 to 19, is an academically challenging and balanced program of education with final examinations that prepare students for success at the college level and beyond.
  • The IB Career-related Certificate, for students aged 16 to 19, is the newest offering from the IB.  The IBCC incorporates the vision and educational principles of the IB Programmes into a unique offering specifically designed for students who wish to engage in career-related learning.

Both South Meadows Middle School and Hillsboro High School offer the IB Middle Years Programme, and Hilhi also offers the IB Diploma Programme.  For more information, please contact the schools directly:

  • South Meadows Middle School.  Principal: Becky Smith.  Address: 4690 SE Davis Road, Hillsboro, OR 97123.  Phone: 503-844-1220.
  • Hillsboro High School.  Principal: Arturo Lomeli.  Address: 3285 SE Rood Bridge Road, Hillsboro, OR 97123.  Phone: 503-844-1980.

For more information, please read the article below, which ran in the District's May 2012 newsletter:

Hilhi and South Meadows are Official IB MYP Schools

Congratulations are in order for Hillsboro High School and South Meadows Middle School—both were recently certified to offer the prestigious International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP).

The IB MYP is a rigorous system of curriculum and assessment for students aged 11 to 16 that emphasizes thematic, interdisciplinary study and pushes students to make larger, global connections in their learning.

The process began five years ago (the first two years were at J.B. Thomas, then moved to South Meadows when the school was opened in fall 2009) as an expansion of Hilhi’s existing IB Diploma Programme (for students in grades 11 and 12) and was approached as a partnership between the two schools.

“We wanted students to experience the IB learning style all the way through their secondary education,” notes South Meadows principal Arturo Lomeli, “so it made sense for our school and Hilhi to go through the process together.”

An interesting difference between MYP and the Diploma Programme is that every student participates in MYP.  It is a framework that is embedded in instruction, whereas in the Diploma Programme, students must select specific IB courses (similar to Advanced Placement or AP courses).

In both programs, however, the focus is on connections and creating global citizens who are well-prepared for college and career.

The process for certification is lengthy because implementing and sustaining the program with the fidelity and quality required takes a great deal of focus and commitment.  During the first stage of the process, the schools applied to become MYP certified.  Next, staff attended trainings (at least one teacher in each department needs to be fully trained and that person must undergo continual training so they can support their colleagues—both schools have more than the minimum number of staff fully trained in MYP) and began implementing the curriculum and assessments with pilot groups of students.  Over successive years, more students were included until finally all were and are participating. 

The second stage of the process came in the fall of 2010 when a team from the IB organization did an authorization visit, during which they interviewed all stakeholders—staff, students, and parents.  The team generated a list of items that were subsequently addressed by both schools.

The third stage was the approval, which came just before Spring Break.  Now, Hilhi and South Meadows join an elite list of schools officially offering the program.  In Oregon, there are 31 schools offering one or more of the IB Programmes (Primary Years, Middle Years, and Diploma).  Nineteen of those offer the Diploma Programme, and just 8 offer the Middle Years Programme.

Hilhi’s MYP Coordinator Joe Painter explains that at the high school, they have employed a “teaming” approach, similar to that used in middle schools, to provide support for students as they adjust to the more challenging expectations of MYP.

“We are very excited about the opportunities MYP provides to students,” says Joe.  “There are very few schools across the country offering this program that have a feeder connection between the middle and high school.  Our students are being well prepared for future success.”

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