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Jackson High School Meets with International Baccalaureate Representatives

One of several phases in the authorization process.

by Sharonda F. Murrell

The students, teachers, support staff, administrative team, parents, community members, business partners, school board representative, and district leadership participated in a two-day International Baccalaureate (IB) World School Authorization Verification Site Visit at Maynard H. Jackson High School on Dec. 10 and 11, 2012.

An IB Verification Team consisting of three members representing the IB Organization visited Jackson High School to determine if the school has completed the following:

  • Making the decision to become an IB World School
  • Understanding the nature and requirements of the IB Diploma Programme
  • Defining their readiness to implement the program
  • Planning to sustain the Programme in the long term

The IB Verification Team reported that they were really impressed with the knowledge, commitment, and support demonstrated by the Pre-IB students, parents, and community members!

The authorization process has a number of phases, each of which has distinctive objectives and related time frames. The implementation of an IB Programme may entail changes in the life of a school. These guidelines are intended to support schools during the process of authorization. The purpose of the visit is to ensure that the educational principles, standards, and practices on which the IB Programme is founded will be maintained and furthered.

Following the visit, the IB Americas Bethesda Maryland Office will produce a report regarding the authorization process.  Maynard Jackson High School has successfully completed all components of the IB World School Authorization Process including the following:

  1. Consideration Phase
  2. Request for Candidacy – Request for Candidacy Application submitted April 1, 2011
  3. Decision on IB Candidacy Approval announced on June 14, 2011
  4. Consultation School Visit held on Nov. 29 – Dec. 1, 2011
  5. Request for IB World School Authorization  – Application for Diploma Programme submitted on April 1, 2012
  6. IB Authorization and Verification School Site Visit held on December 10-11, 2012
  7. School Awaits Decision on Authorization by the IB Director General based on the visit and all documents submitted by the IB Americas Office (The school should be notified by April 2013). Upon authorization, Jackson High School will offer its first IB courses during the 2013-14 school year.

Jackson High School began the IB World School Authorization process in January 2011, upon appointment me as Academy Leader for IB Planning and Implementation.

I led the school and community through the IB World School Authorization Process in a year and a half of a three year minimum requirement.

The IB Diploma Programme is an academically challenging and balanced programme of education with final examinations that prepares students aged 16-19, for success at university and life beyond. It has been designed to address the intellectual, social, emotional, and physical well being of students.  The programme has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities.

The DP prepares students for effective participation in a rapidly evolving and increasingly global society as they:

  • Develop physically, intellectually, emotionally, and ethically
  • Acquire breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding, studying courses from six subject groups
  • Develop skills and a positive attitude towards learning that will prepare them for higher education
  • Study at least two languages and increase understanding of cultures, including their own
  • Make connections across traditional academic disciplines and explore the nature of knowledge through the programme’s unique Theory of Knowledge course
  • Undertake in-depth research into an area of interest through the lens of one or more academic disciplines in the Extended Essay
  • Enhance their personal and interpersonal development through Creativity, Action, and Service

Upon authorization, students will be able to apply for the two-year IB Diploma Programme, which consists of the 11th (Junior) and 12th grade (Senior) years.  Colleges and universities offer course credit for student success and achievement on the IB Examinations administered at the end of students’ senior year of high school.  Depending upon the college and university admission policies, students could earn enough course credit to start college as a sophomore, which will save money towards tuition.

Additionally, the IB Diploma Programme is internationally benchmarked and in alignment to the new Common Core Georgia Peformance Standards. Through, the new College and Career Readiness Performance Index, our school can earn additional points for the number of students that successfully complete one or more IB Diploma Programme courses.

The International Baccalaureate World School Authorization will afford an opportunity for Maynard H. Jackson High School students to graduate high school prepared for colleges and careers and to earn an IB Diploma in addition to a high school diploma.

Students will be prepared to compete globally and provide selfless service to their community and abroad.

Students have an opportunity to apply to the Pre-IB Program for grades 9 and 10. Interested students and parents may contact me at smurrell@atlanta.k12.ga.us or by telephoning me at 404.802.5247.

Maynard H. Jackson High School is undergoing a $40 million school renovation and is temporarily located at 1550 Hosea Williams Drive, SE, Atlanta, GA 30317.

Mrs. Murrell is Academy Leader for IB Planning and Implementation at Jackson High Schoo.

Dana Blankenhorn December 25, 2012 at 09:03 PM
If Jackson can become an IB school, and stick by the requirements, it will be a very big deal. Our son got the IB degree at North Atlanta, and it equipped him to excel in college. It takes more than brains. It takes self-discipline, and it takes study skills that can be learned. We need more people gaining these skills in Atlanta.
Kelly December 29, 2012 at 12:23 AM
AP ten times better and controlled locally versus Swiss law
cary nelson/coach dad December 29, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Wow!!! This is Big-Time!!! This will Really Push M.J. Jackson High School to the Top! This can be........ This Will be,the first Major Step in Jackson High becoming a Top notch "Academic Academy" for the neighborhoods of Grant Park,Kirkwood,Reynoldstown and East Atlanta!!! Fingers Crossed, Ladies & Gents"! I am one Very Excited "Soccer Dad/Coach"! Kudos must be given to Dr.Murrell and all members of the Jackson Team!!!

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