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New support services for schools go to trial

Design managers discussing IB School Enhancement Services that
will be trialed and made available to schools in 2015.

By Andy Atkinson

IB World Schools responded eagerly to an invitation from the IB to participate in four pilots of its new School Enhancement Services.  Of the hundreds of schools that indicated their interest in participating, it was our task to select 100 schools and school groups for trials that fit a number of criteria, such as schools offering a specific programme, being in a certain phase of their IB World School journey, and geographic location. We are excited to have our first cohort of schools in place now! 

Here is what is going to trial:

Building Quality Curriculum ─ IB-trained advisors will review and provide feedback on MYP and/or PYP planners or PYP programme of inquiry documents. Feedback will occur within four weeks. (In 2016, this service will become mandatory for MYP schools not offering eAssessment, undergoing evaluation.) The trial starts in November and continues through January 2015.

Curriculum Connections ─ IB-trained consultants assist schools in aligning their curriculum with local, state and national requirements by creating documents and videos for discussion throughout a series of virtual meetings. In some cases, school visits will further augment the planning and implementation process. This trial launches in selected countries in December 2014 and continues for 12 months.

Optimizing Assessment Analysis (DP) ─ IB-trained consultants will assist DP leaders in using a customized analysis tool to increase their proficiency in using assessment data to improve student outcomes. This trial includes a cohort of schools in the Northern hemisphere and another in the Southern hemisphere. The trials will run from November 2014 to February 2015.

Strengthening Leadership of Groups of Schools─ This service, for leaders of groups of schools, includes two webinars and four core modules plus two additional optional modules and 90 days of coaching. The trial runs from January-June 2015.

By trialling these new services for schools, we aim to finely tune each service so that when we roll them out to schools in 2015, we can assure schools that taking advantage of them will enhance their school’s IB programme implementation. Each service has several levels of help available, from self-guided help online to customized and consultative help. For Curriculum Connections, for instance, 35 service tiers of varying intensity will be tried among the 21 schools participating in the trial.

In coming blog posts, we’ll introduce you to the IB educators who made each of the services a reality, starting from the concepts, then building teams and brainstorming together to develop  new services to support IB World Schools as they reach various milestones on the journey to providing education for a better world. The design managers’ insights into IB programme implementation have been instrumental in our being able to deliver these trials to the first cohort of schools.

Andy Atkinson served as director of the IB Global School Services department from 2012-14. Following his departure from the IB organization at the end of 2014, Andy will join a pair of IB schools in the UK in a leadership role in April 2015.