Dear Dobbs Ferry Community Member:
Last spring, the Dobbs Ferry School District began to look in earnest at the possibility of an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (MYP) for students in grades 6-10. The impetus for this exploration is the District’s continued commitment to providing learning experiences for all students that prepare them for success in the 21st Century world.
Since that time, District administrators have visited other schools in the New York area with existing MYP programs, spoken with staff at comparable IB schools and attended an IB World Conference in New Orleans in July. In addition, our Director of Special Education has been to two IB/MYP training sessions in an effort to understand the way that the IB Diploma Program and the MYP support students with IEPs and 504 Plan accommodations.
Near the end of the school year, the District learned that the International Baccalaureate Organization was planning to implement changes to the current Middle Years Program. We had hoped to get further information over the summer about the specifics of these changes in order to help the District weigh all options.
While attending the World Conference in July, we discovered that the majority of the new changes and the necessary curriculum and training for MYP would not be available until summer 2014. This is disappointing because the Board of Education had hoped to have all of the necessary information for making a decision regarding MYP by December. Given the circumstances, this decision will now need to be delayed for up to one year depending on the timelines and release of information and materials by the IB organization.
In the meantime, we continue to do important work with teachers at all three schools in our District to align the curriculum to the Common Core and develop new curriculum maps across the grades and the disciplines. This work is resulting in the kind of curriculum alignment that would be required for IB/MYP accreditation were we to proceed down that road next year.
The new exploratory timeline will also allow us to continue to investigate the Middle Years Programs in other schools, observe how they are embracing the changes and seek programs that are aligned with our Strategic Plan goals and our philosophy in Dobbs Ferry. For more information on potential options for MYP in Dobbs Ferry, you can access the presentation shared with the Board of Education on our school website under the District Information tab and the “drop down” menu for Exploration of the Middle Years Program
We remain excited about the learning opportunities that an IB/MYP program could offer to our students. Recognizing that Dobbs Ferry High School is proud to be an IB World School, the Middle Years Program has the potential to provide students with an important academic link to all coursework in the High School. It is therefore worthy of serious consideration. We will continue on our current path of exploration, research and consideration of MYP as a potential avenue for our District.
We will be sure to keep you updated and informed along the way.
Lisa Brady Ed.D