IB Mission Statement

The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate, and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

Please click here to watch a video of how we foster the development of the Agassiz Mission Statement to our students.

Continuum of learning in the IB

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a framework for teaching that encourages students to become reflective, critical, and creative individuals. Students will experience a broad and balanced curriculum that is rigorous and uses inquiry as a vehicle for learning. IB is a continuum of learning, offering 4 programmes: Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP), Diploma Programme (DP) and Career-related Programme (CP).

4 programmes.jpg

Agassiz is applying for authorization in the Middle Years Programme, which is offered to students who are aged 11 through 16 (grades 6 through 10). Three critical components of the MYP are: it is holistic, develops international mindedness, and teaches students to communicate one's thoughts and feelings while respecting the opinions of others. Skills that are essential for the 21st Century, such as working with others in a group, and taking responsibility for their own learning, are also essential aspects of the programme.

Click here for the IB publication, "A Guide to Parents."

What are the benefits of IB to students?

  • Students are exposed to a broad and balanced curriculum
  • Students participate in a program that is recognized and taught around the world
  • Students develop skills to become life-long learners
  • Students partake in service and action, and in doing so, realize that it takes just one person to make a change
  • Students explore other culture's perspectives; similarities and differences
  • Students learn through the inquiry approach
  • Students heads, hearts, and hands are taught through the use of the IB Learner Profiles

As a candidate school, what will the students at Agassiz experience this year?

IB is a journey! It will take several years to fully implement the IB-MYP. It takes time to learn the IB mission, philosophy and components, and make them so they are meaningful to the school. This year, each MYP teacher will create and implement one IB-MYP unit a quarter. Therefore, each quarter, students will experience at least one IB-MYP unit in one of the eight subject areas they are taught. Classroom teachers should post the unit planner and notify students that the unit is an IB MYP unit. After a few years, the IB components and philosophy should be interwoven and form the basis for all teaching and learning. Students will also experience different assessments using IB rubrics using predetermined criteria based on the objectives within each subject.

In all subjects, teachers will integrate the learner profiles into their curriculum. As a school, we will continue to recognize and celebrate the Student of the Month based on a specific Learner Profile.

To learn more about our implementation year, please view the power point below:

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is inquiry-based learning? Isn’t all learning inquiry based?

Not all learning is inquiry-based. Stephanie Harvey and Harvey Daniels explain the difference of two different types of teaching: inquiry approach versus coverage approach.

Inquiry Approach
Coverage Approach
Student voice and choice
Teacher selection and direction
Questions and concepts
Assigned topics and isolated facts
Collaborative work
Solitary work
Strategic thinking
Authentic investigations
As if/surrogate learning
Student responsibility
Student compliance
Student as knowledge creator
Student as information receiver
Interaction and talk
Quiet and listening
Teacher as model and coach
Teacher as expert and presenter
Cross-disciplinary studies
One subject at a time
Multiple resources
Reliance on a textbook
Multimodal learning
Verbal sources only
Engaging in a discipline
Hearing about a discipline
Real purpose and audience
Extrinsic motivators
Caring and taking action
Forgetting and moving to next unit
Performance and self-assessments
Filling in bubbles and blanks

Another way to think of skill based and Inquiry base teaching is to consider knowledge using Webb’s Depth of Knowledge (DOK) model. Webb frames knowledge into 4 levels:

1. Recall
2. Skills/Concepts
3. Strategic Thinking
4. Extended Reasoning

Please use link below to view a graphic representation of DOK:

Levels one and two are primarily skill based knowledge using rote memory and skills in isolation. Levels three and four apply those skills by using them to answer initial and sustaining questions requiring conceptual and critical thinking.

2. Is it compatible with the current curriculum mandates?

Yes! MYP is a flexible curriculum framework adaptable to the requirements of different districts.

3. Will teachers need to adjust their grading rubrics in any way to accommodate IB? i.e. projects and discussion worth more than tests or quizzes?

No. They do not need to adjust their grading policy.

Please enjoy the slideshow of the incredible work the teachers and students did in order to prepare for our 2015-2016 implementation year!

Agassiz Elementary School is a candidate school* for the Middle Years Programme. This school is pursuing authorization as an IB World School. These are schools that share a common philosophy—a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that Agassiz Elementary School believes is important for our students.

The IB MYP is an internationally recognized educational programme which places the student in the center of its model. The IB model believes in educating the whole person, and is designed to guide students in their search for a sense of place in a global context.

*Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its four academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Programme, and the IB Career-related Programme. Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted.