Milo a candidate school for IB program

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Milo School has been approved as an International Baccalaureate (IB) candidate school, the next stop in a journey parents initiated about 18 months ago, with a goal of offering an IB Primary Years Programme.

Jason Neville, who is in his first year as principal, attended a professional development opportunity last summer on IB programming. He and his teaching staff visited a Primary Years IB school in Millarville, a rural community southwest of Calgary, where he was immediately impressed by the level of engagement students demonstrated and their leadership and character.

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Primary Years Programme was introduced in 1997. There are 11 IB primary school programs in Alberta, which emphasize critical and independent thinking and global understanding while encouraging student choice in an inquiry-based learning environment. Students in Milo would continue to learn the Alberta curriculum but through different lenses including understanding how the world works, who we are, how we express ourselves and how we share the planet.

Neville said the program is assessment focused and emphasizes character education and global citizenship, aligning well with Palliser’s existing priorities, including literacy.

With approval to proceed, the school’s next steps will include a visit from an IB Primary Years consultant who will help facilitate the ongoing alignment of the school with IB standards. It’s likely a two-year process to meet all necessary conditions.

In addition to providing students rich learning opportunities, there are benefits for teachers as well.

“Our teachers will be able to collaborate with other IB teachers in Alberta and across the globe,” Neville said. “This is an excellent opportunity for our teachers in Milo.”

The process is both time-consuming and expensive, but it has been supported by parents, the community and school council, Neville said. The long-term benefit for students of an IB program is highly engaged students exposed to a unique academically rigorous program.

If successful, Milo would become the first IB program in Palliser Regional Schools.