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Teacher Feature: International Baccalaureate Program Coming to Westlake in 2014

Westlake City School administrators and educators will work through the summer and into 2012 to prepare the district's application for candidacy.

By 2014, the curricula taught in Westlake’s elementary schools will undergo quite a transformation as administrators and teachers are in the process of planning and developing an International Baccalaureate (IB) program that will be aligned with the district’s continuous improvement plan. 

Bassett principal Ben Hodge, curriculum director Pam Griebel, and IB coordinators Deb Wadden and Colleen Steidel will be helping to position – along with , and Schools – to take on this scholastic feat. 

Why 2014? Good question. It’s because IB isn’t any ordinary program. 

Administrators and teachers have to develop new lesson plans that abide by IB’s strict educational guidelines that require each student to take language, social studies, mathematics, science and technology, arts, and personal, social and physical education classes. 

Moreover, the curricula and courses will be specifically designed to communicate the importance of and teach metacognition (thinking about thinking), global awareness and 21st century skills. 

21st century skills are particularly important as IB will start to prepare students to be technologically proficient in order for them to compete and learn in a global environment that’s become increasingly electronic. 

Griebel and her peers have done the front end work – informing staff, hiring Steidel and Wadden, attending seminars – and she plans to submit their applications for candidacy to the IB offices in Maryland by next April. 

Until then, Griebel will be working with several elementary school principals and teachers in the district in order to train them and have them weigh in on how the IB program can be best aligned with the continuous improvement plan. 

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