We hope your school year is off to a great start! We are writing to communicate about the IB review that is being conducted. As part of the School Board and Superintendent Goals and strategic planning process last year, a goal was established to evaluate the IB programs at Matoska International IB World School, Central Middle School IB World School, and Sunrise Park Middle School IB World School.
Overview of the Evaluation
The purpose of the evaluation is to provide the School Board with information about the three IB schools regarding program implementation, stakeholder perceptions, and preliminary student outcome data. In addition, the School Board is interested in receiving formative feedback that can be used for program improvement. Essentially, the school board wants to know the degree to which these programs are helping us fulfill our district mission.
The IB review is being conducted by the University of Minnesota's Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI). Key questions informing the review this fall include:
To what extent is the program being implemented with fidelity at each IB school?
What are the perceptions of teachers in the IB schools?
What are the perceptions of other stakeholders (e.g., students, families, administrators) about the program?
To what extent have student outcomes changed as a result of implementing PYP and MYP?
The CAREI review is being conducted in two stages. The first stage of their work included a review of professional literature about IB PYP and MYP to address evaluation questions about outcomes of schools that implement IB as well as an analysis of demographic and enrollment data for each of the IB schools. A report was presented to the school board work study on March 27th, 2017. Archives from that meeting are available on the district's website.
Evaluation Fall and Winter Timeline
CAREI is currently conducting stage two of the review, which seeks parent, teacher, and student perspectives about the IB programs at each of the three schools. The following is an updated timeline regarding next steps, although some adjustments may be anticipated:
October: CAREI will administer a survey for all Matoska parents and guardians October 23- November 1. This will be conducted by email but if parents do not have access to email, they should contact the office and we will work with you to get access to the survey. In addition, a teacher survey will be given.
November: CAREI will send an invitation to parents and guardians to participate in a focus group at the end of the month. Of the interested parents/guardians who reply, a random selection of individuals will be invited to attend a focus group. In addition, a student survey will be conducted. Furthermore, CAREI will host a teacher focus group. The principal and IB coordinator will also submit a reflection about the fidelity of implementation, using a similar process to the one required by the IB for their own evaluation.
December - January: CAREI will prepare a report for the school board that summarizes the findings from stage two of the evaluation. This report may be presented at the January or February school board work study. We will update you when the date is finalized.
District Listening Session
After stage one of the evaluation last school year, parents requested an additional opportunity to share their input regarding the IB program. So in addition to the CAREI survey and focus groups, the district is inviting all interested Matoska parents and guardians to attend a district-facilitated listening session on Thursday, September 28 from 6:30-7:30 pm at Matoska International IB World School.
In closing, we will keep the Matoska community informed and let you know how you can participate in survey, sign up for the focus group, and be a part of any other information gathering that will be happening this fall. More information is available on the White Bear Lake Website under the school board minutes, board packets and audio links.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact principal John Leininger or IB coordinator Kirsten McPherson.