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IB inspectors back Monday to examine city schools

By Bayne Hughes · 340-2432

International Baccalaureate inspectors return to Decatur on Monday for their second Middle Years Program visit this month.

They will visit Decatur High School and Oak Park Middle School for two days to look at how the two are implementing the grades six to 10 academic program. They visited Austin High and Cedar Ridge and Brookhaven middle schools Oct. 4-5.

The Middle Years Program focuses on all students in grades six to 10. It’s designed to teach students how to learn and critically evaluate information through interweaving different subjects.

Students study subjects from each of eight subject groups through : approaches to learning, community and service, humanity’s influence and creativity on the Earth, environment and health, and social education.

Superintendent Sam Houston said the inspectors were complimentary of the teachers and administration during their first visit.

Potentially first in state

If approved, Decatur would become the first school system in Alabama to offer the Middle Years Program. International Baccalaureate says 303 schools worldwide offer the Middle Years Program.

Inspectors will return in November to visit Leon Sheffield and Benjamin Davis magnet elementary schools’ Primary Years Program. If approved as Primary Years schools, Decatur would become one of 102 school systems in the world offering all three IB programs.

The annual fee is $5,220 for each Middle Years and Primary Years program.

Austin and Decatur high schools are in their second year of offering the International Baccalaureate’s Diploma Program, an honors programs for juniors and seniors.

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