Parent-Teacher Conference week was a busy one for Red Oaks Middle School. In addition to getting ready to meet with students and their families, the faculty and staff hosted what's known as their official IB Verification Visit. The Verification Team was comprised of three experienced IB educators from across the country: Kurt Carlson from Minnesota, Holly Boyd from South Carolina, and Sharon Muench from Colorado.
Middle School Director Nely Miguel reports that "They met with all our teachers, with our students, with members of the board of trustees, with school administrators, and with parents. They visited every classroom to observe lessons and classroom practices. The team had previously examined extensive documentation: policies, curriculum, assessments, reporting, scheduling, collaboration, school culture, physical and emotional safety, professional development, etc. The authorization process, which began in October, is now complete."
The team will now report back to International Baccalaureate Organization HQ in Geneva, Switzerland, with their assessment of our school's implementation of IB curricula vis-à-vis required standards and practices – about 50 in all. It will be several months before we hear back from the IB organization, but the team did share informal feedback in the form of an exit report.
Here are some highlights:
- The team said: "Your teachers are phenomenal. Open minded, want to be better, ask for input, and fantastic in every way you would want teachers to be fantastic."
- Students said that teachers "ask them for input and how we as a school can do things better."
- The team talked about the high rigor of academics, and the variety of teaching/learning practices
- They experienced, and commented on the depth of our students' critical thinking, and the kids' comfort with public speaking.
- They told us that our students talked about feeling lucky to have this education.
- The team said that our school is "a magical place," and remarked, "We are really impressed with your school."