International Baccalaureate Grades 9-10
The five-year Middle Years Programme, grades 6-10, offers an educational approach that embraces yet transcends traditional school subjects. Students in the MYP study all the major disciplines, including Language and Literature, Individuals and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics, Arts-Visual and Performing, Design and Physical and Health Education. The MYP seeks to help students make connections between disciplines to give them a broader perspective, and encourages them to participate actively in their communities.
The MYP is characterized by:
- Highest educational standards/expectations
- Quality national and international teacher training
- Focus on the whole child
- Holistic view of knowledge
- Communication and study skills development
- Second-language acquisition
- Intercultural awareness and sensitivity
- Community awareness and participation through service
- Reputation and recognition by worldwide school systems and communities
- Personal Project
- Subject Briefs
- Curriculum Elements
- Criterion-Based Grading
- Parent/Guardian Volunteer Opportunities
- Information from IB
- Brochures and Handbooks
- Glossary - MYP
The Personal Project is the culminating activity for the five-year Middle Years Programme. With it, the MYP students demonstrate what they have learned in the programme via a year-long, researched personal project. All students will focus their personal project through one of the six global contacts and Approaches to Learning Skills. Students celebrate the completion of the project at the May Awards Night.
The Personal Project can take many forms: an original work of art, a written piece of work, a piece of literary fiction, an original science experiment, an invention, etc. In addition to the project, the students must also maintain a process journal and write a Report in which the students reflect on the reasons behind their choice of topic, the links to the chosen global context, the process used to attain their goal, obstacles faced, and dreams accomplished.
IB MYP offers a variety of areas of learning, which can be explored through the links below. Please note, these will open as PDFs from the International Baccalaureate website.
With IB MYP, the student is at the center of all learning.
- Key and related concepts allow courses to teach within and across disciplines
- Global contexts provide starting points for inquiry of what it means to be internationally minded.
- Approaches to learning thread through all IB MYP subject groups.
- Action and service, including the personal project, set clear learning outcomes with students participating in local and global activities.
There are sixteen key concepts to ignite the process of inquiry. These universal concepts drive the IB MYP units of study, but they also have relevance within and across all subject areas (transdisciplinary).
The 16 concepts are:
- Global Interactions
- Time, place & space
The IB MYP creates teaching and learning communities and opportunities that help students increase their understanding of language and culture, and become more globally engaged. This relies on the development of learning environments that value the world as the broadest context for learning. Students learn about the world from the curriculum and their interaction with other people via six global contexts:
- Identities and Relationships
- Orientation in Space and Time
- Personal and Cultural Expression
- Scientific and Technical Innovation
- Globalization and Sustainability
- Fairness and Development
Service as Action
Action (learning by doing and experiencing) is a key component in constructivist models of education, including the kind of teaching and learning common to all IB programmes. Service, as a subset of action, has always been a shared value of the IB community. IB learners strive to be caring members of the community who demonstrate a personal commitment to service and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment. IB World Schools value service to others as an important way to engage in principled action across a range of overlapping local and global communities. Through responsible action, tightly connected with sustained inquiry and critical reflection, young people and adults can develop the kinds of attributes described by the learner profile that are essential for success in future academic pursuits and for adult life. We encourage the use of the Managebac system for students to log their service learning experiences.
Related concepts promote depth of learning and add coherence to the understanding of academic subjects and disciplines. Each subject area focuses on different related concepts, as illustrated below.
Language & Literature
Audience Imperatives - Character - Context - Genres - Intertextuality - Point of View - Purpose - Self-expression - Setting - Structure - Style - Theme
Language Acquisition, Phase 1 & 2
Accent - Audience - Context - Conventions - Form - Function - Meaning - Message - Patterns - Purpose - Structure - Word Choice
Language Acquisition, Phase 3 & 4
Audience - Context - Conventions - Empathy - Function - Idiom - Meaning - Message - Point of View - Purpose - Structure - Word Choice
Causality (cause and consequence) - Civilization - Conflict - Cooperation - Culture - Governance - Identity - Ideology - Innovation and revolution - Interdependence - Perspective - Significance
Causality (cause and consequence) - Culture - Disparity and equity - Diversity - Globalization - Mgmt and intervention - Networks - Patterns and trends - Power - Processes - Scale - Sustainability
Integrated Humanities (drawn from economics, geography and history)
Causality (cause and consequence) - Choice - Culture - Equity - Globalization - Identity - Innovation and revolution - Perspective - Power - Processes - Resources - Sustainability
Balance - Consequences - Energy - Environment - Evidence - Form - Function - Interaction - Models - Movement - Patterns - Transformation
Balance - Conditions - Consequences - Energy - Evidence - Form - Function - Interaction - Models - Movement - Patterns - Transformation
Consequences - Development - Energy - Environment - Evidence - Form - Function - Interaction - Models - Movement - Patterns - Transformation
Change - Equivalence - Generalization - Justification - Measurement - Model - Pattern - Quantity - Representation - Simplification - Space - System
Audience - Boundaries - Composition - Expression - Genre - Innovation - Interpretation - Narrative - Presentation - Representation - Style - Visual Culture
Audience - Boundaries - Composition - Expression - Genre - Innovation - Interpretation - Narrative - Play - Presentation - Role - Structure
Physical and Health Education
Adaptation - Balance - Choice - Energy - Environment - Function - Interaction - Movement - Perspectives - Refinement - Space - Systems
Adaptation - Collaboration - Ergonomics - Evaluation - Form - Function - Innovation - Invention - Markets and trends - Perspective - Resources -Sustainability
Under criterion-based grading, teachers assess students against a given set of criteria, which are established by the IB for each of the subject groups - Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Mathematics, Sciences, Individuals and Societies, Design, Physical and Health Education, and the Arts.
The five-year Middle Years Programme, grades 6-10, offers an educational approach that embraces yet transcends traditional school subjects. Students in the MYP study all the major disciplines, including Language and Literature, Individuals and Society, Sciences, Mathematics, Arts-Visual and Performing, Design, Physical and Health Education. The MYP seeks to help students make connections between disciplines to give them a broader perspective, and encourages them to participate actively in their communities. Teachers plan and teach much of their curriculum in an interdisciplinary way so that these connections are evident.
District and state subject area standards are built into the curricula, which is the same used across the school district. MYP supplements and enhances it when necessary so that the rigor and pace are appropriate for students. Assessment is internal, but IBMYP objectives and assessment criteria are used per subject, in addition to the more traditional letter grade.
The MYP assessment criteria across subject groups can be summarized as follows:
|Language and literature||Analyzing||Organizing||Producing text||Using language|
|Language acquisition||Comprehending spoken and visual text||Comprehending written and visual text||Communicating||Using language|
|Individuals and societies||Knowing and understanding||Investigating||Communicating||Thinking critically|
|Sciences||Knowing and understanding||Inquiring and designing||Processing and evaluating||Reflecting on the impacts of science|
|Mathematics||Knowing and understanding||Investigating patterns||Communicating||Applying mathematics in real-world contexts|
|Arts||Knowing and understanding||Developing skills||Thinking creatively||Responding|
|Physical and health education||Knowing and understanding||Planning for performance||Applying and performing||Reflecting and improving performance|
|Design||Inquiring and analyzing||Developing ideas||Creating the solution||Evaluating|
|MYP projects||Investigating||Planning||Taking action||Reflecting|
|Interdisciplinary||Disciplinary grounding||Synthesizing and applying||Communicating||Reflecting|
The MYP, like the other three programs of the International Baccalaureate Organization, is based on the premise that education can foster understanding among young people around the world. Intercultural awareness is central to the program so as to enable future generations to live more peacefully and productively than we do today.
What is Criterion Based Grading (CBG)?
Criterion Based Grading is a rigorous system of measuring student achievement in the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (IB MYP). It measures student achievement based off of IB MYP Criteria and national, state, and local education standards - or in other words, it will measure how well your student understands the material in class. In each unit of study, teachers will identify and communicate the specific goals and objectives based on these standards and criteria as well as what evidence is needed to reach the proficient level or beyond. During the unit, the student is assessed to see if they know the material and to what level through use of a variety of assessments - such as traditional paper and pencil tests, projects, discussions, or reports. The course grade will be based on all of the evidence the teacher collects demonstrating mastery of the set objectives.
Criterion Based Grading uses a rubric scale from 0 - 8 for all assessments (see rubric at the end of this document). It does not separate out tests, homework, class work, etc. All work is used to assess a student’s achievement level on the objectives. The scores are are based off of the IB MYP Criteria using descriptor bands of 1 - 2, 3 - 4, 5 - 6, and 7 - 8 at each grade level in each MYP course, along with the national, state and local standards, which give the student, parent/guardian and teacher a detailed picture of what the student has mastered and achieved. The influence of positive and consistent work habits on student learning is reported separately from academics, using Criterion E.
In CBG the student’s grade more accurately represents the progress towards proficiency of the IB MYP objectives and national, state, or local standards.
What are the advantages of Criterion Based Grading?
Learning outcomes are clearly articulated to the students throughout instruction. Families and students can see which learning outcomes students have mastered and which ones need reteaching or relearning. CBG can change the complexion of at-home conversations between the student and the parent/guardian from, “Why didn’t you finish your work?” “Did you make up that quiz you missed?” and “Have you finished your project?” to “”Tell me your understanding of this standard,” “How does your teacher connect your in-class work to the unit’s objectives?” or “What more do you need to do to achieve this benchmark?” Some students struggle at the beginning of units, fail assessments and give up; with CBG, the door remains open to achieving standards.
What is the difference between a formative and a summative assessment...and why does it matter?
During a unit of study, students may have of a wide range of understanding. Formative assessments are done as students are “forming” their understanding of the concepts and skills being taught. This informs both the student and the teacher regarding the level of understanding and is used to help teachers guide instruction. Formative assessments are not intended to penalize a student’s misunderstanding or hold back a student who may already understand the concepts or skills. Summative assessments are given at the end of the unit of study. This assessment shows what level of achievement a student is at after all material has been taught and learned.
Will students have the opportunities to “redo” an assessment?
Yes. Teachers strongly encourage students to “re do” assessments, especially assessments that are summative in nature. Students may also advocate for themselves (and are encouraged to do so) to retake or redo an assessment whether they scored below or at proficiency.
What will I see in the grade book?
Teachers will record both formative and summative assessments. You will be able to see your student’s in-progress level of achievement during the unit. You will see scores for formative assessments which will show as an in-progress grade. Summative assessments are used to assess the learning that has occurred after the teaching and learning has taken place. At the end of a grading term, teachers will determine a final grade based on the trending level of achievement in summative assessments, (i.e. where the student is at the end rather than the average level of achievement throughout a marking period).
Why aren’t grades just averaged?
The purpose of Criterion-based grading is to report what students know and are able to do. Averaging does not represent an accurate picture of where a student is in his/her learning. A student who struggles at the beginning of a grading period and receives poor grades, but who keeps working and by the end of the grading period can clearly demonstrate competence in the material, should receive a grade that reflects that competence.
What about students who want to move beyond the standards?
The IB MYP provides for just that. In the IB MYP, teachers must provide opportunities for students to reach the highest level band descriptor (7-8). This allows the student to strive to move beyond the proficient and consistent level of the objectives and standards to the exceptional and extended level.
Does each assessment explain how the student did or did not meet the standard/criterion being addressed?
Yes. Teachers will provide feedback in a variety of ways: oral, written comments, rubrics, etc. We want to shift from discussing how many points something is worth to how a student can reach the next level of achievement. In addition, students will take the time for academic goal setting in each course at the mid-point and end-point of each academic quarter of school.
How will each teacher determine what is a 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, or 7-8?
Teachers are working together to be as consistent as possible in determining scoring for practice,assignments, and assessments. Common assessments and MYP task specific rubrics are developed when units are planned. Teachers first determine what evidence will demonstrate proficiency of learning for a specific standard or several standards within an MYP subject specific criterion. From there, they determine what evidence is needed to reach or exceed proficiency.
Will students have to be perfect to score in the 7-8 band?
No. Students do not have to be perfect. In order to score in the 7-8 band descriptor, a student has to show learning that goes above and beyond the learning objective at the end of the unit of study as assessed in the summative assessment. It would reflect in-depth understanding of concepts and skills to include higher processing and application skills and analytical thinking.
How will non-academic factors such as effort, attitude, participation, and behavior be communicated and/or assessed?
While these factors have always been and will continue to be an important part of your student’s success, in CBG these factors will be communicated separately from your student’s academic grade, using Criterion E. We believe receiving feedback on these type of behaviors for families and students will be helpful for understanding your student’s full learning experiences and how it can relate to his/her success.
IB MYP Rubrics
What do these scores mean anyway? Where am I trending? (Subject specific rubrics can be found in each course.)
|7-8||Best of the best - you've got this!|
|5-6||You're proficient and doing well.|
|3-4||You're approaching proficiency. Keep it up.|
|1-2||You need to ask for help.|
|0||No work submitted. Did not do what was required.|
What is “Criterion Based Grading”?
It is a way of reporting what students know and how they demonstrate learning of content standards using the IB MYP rubrics. Each class uses rubrics for each of the criteria areas. Every assessment allows students to demonstrate their skills in different areas. A student’s grade is based on all of the evidence demonstrated.
How is it different from traditional grading?
Traditional grading compared each student to other students and often used subjective measures, such as participation and effort to determine a final grade. Criterion-based grading compares each student’s performance to a clearly stated performance standard.
How often am I informed about my student’s progress?
Each quarter, your student receives a “grade in progress”. Parents who are registered with Parent Portal (an online access to student information such as grades, attendance, discipline, etc) do not receive quarterly report cards. Only those parents not registered receive a quarterly report card. In addition, students who are earning a D or an NC in a class receive a printed report in the mail.
How do I register for a Parent Portal account?
Register online at the Technology / Devices / Parent Portals page
Scroll to the bottom of the page and expand the "Register for a Parent Portal Account"
What terminology will be helpful for me when viewing my student’s grades?
- Formatives: a “forming” of the understanding of concepts and skills taught during a unit.
- Summative: a final demonstration of a students’ learning throughout the unit; it’s the “summation” of the learning.
- “I” or Incomplete: not enough summatives were turned in before the deadline to earn a grade for credit. Students may turn in work 7 weeks beyond the end of semester one only. No “I”s given for semester two.
- “0”: the student took the assessment but didn’t earn a high enough score to earn a grade.
- “M” or Missing: work was never turned in.
- “NM”or No mark: There is not yet enough evidence gathered to determine a grade.
What happens if my student receives an NC?
Generally, students need to make up this missing credit in an after school credit recovery program or summer school. The student needs to make an appointment with the grade level counselor to register for either option.
How do I know when to worry and when to be proud?
You can loosely translate assignment scores from 0-8 to the following traditional scale:
7 or 8= A range
6 or 7= B range
4 or 5= C range
2 or 3= student is not demonstrating the skill and is in danger of not passing
0 or 1= student is not demonstrating the skill and is in danger of not passing
If my student is not making adequate progress, what are the steps I should take to make sure he/she will improve?
The first step is to discuss the class with your student. Next, contact the teacher via email or phone. It is each teacher’s goal to respond 24 hours after an initial contact. After that, you may want to contact your student’s Dean or Assistant Principal.
If my student misses an assignment or test because of being absent from school, what should my student do?
Each teacher establishes days of the week and times that students can make up formatives and/or summatives. Students should speak with the teacher in person to arrange for a time that works best for teacher and student.
When does a final grade go on the transcript?
Final grades are established at the end of each semester. Semester one ends in the middle of January and semester two ends at the beginning of June.
There are opportunities for parent/guardian involvement, including assisting with May testing.
In 2024, testing runs from May 1 - May 17, Monday through Friday, with at least 20 different testing sessions. Parents of test-takers are notified of this opportunity via email in late March, but if you are interested in more information, you may contact Jodie Meyer at 763-504-8684 or Jodie_Meyer@rdale.org.
Academic Honesty Policy
Academic honesty is highly valued in Robbinsdale Area Schools (RAS), and is the foundation of all aspects of teaching, learning and assessment. Academic honesty is expected of all students. Teachers promote personal integrity by clearly stating expectations for and examples of academic honesty and by serving as role models. The IB learner profile attributes support academic honesty by encouraging students to be:
- Inquirers. Conducting research that leads to independent learning.
- Knowledgeable. Acquiring knowledge and understanding of ideas and issues that have local and global significance.
- Thinkers. Applying critical thinking skills to problems in order to make ethical decisions.
- Communicators. Expressing ideas confidently and working collaboratively with others, while honoring multiple perspectives.
- Principled. Acting with honesty and integrity while taking responsibility for one’s own actions.
Academic honesty is a set of values and skills that promotes personal integrity and good practice in teaching, learning and assessment.
Authentic work is based on a student’s individual and original ideas with the ideas and work of others fully knowledged.
Collaboration is defined as working together on a common aim with shared information, in an open and cooperative environment that does not result in collusion.
Collusion is defined as supporting malpractice by another student including allowing one’s work to be copied or submitted by another.
Duplication of work is defined as the presentation of the same work for different assignments, projects, or assessments.
Intellectual property includes property rights such as patents, registered designs and trademarks, moral rights and copyrights, music and video downloads, photos and images and file sharing.
Malpractice is behavior that results in a student gaining an unfair advantage over others. Malpractice includes plagiarism, collusion, duplication of work, fabrication of data, accessing unauthorized material during examinations or tests, or any other behavior that results in an unfair academic advantage.
Plagiarism is the representation of the ideas or work of another person as the student’s own, including copying text or works of art without proper acknowledgement.
Roles and Responsibilities
Robbinsdale Area Schools
It is the responsibility of the school district, school administration and IB coordinators to ensure that students understand the academic honesty policy and the consequences of malpractice. It is the responsibility of the school district to support the IB programmes fully in the prevention, detection, investigation and reporting of malpractice.
It is the responsibility of teachers to offer guidance in the prevention of malpractice and provide conventions for acknowledging the work and ideas of others. It is the responsibility of teachers to confirm the authenticity of student work and report possible malpractice to the appropriate IB programme coordinator and/or head of school. Specific examples of guidance include:
- classroom lessons on plagiarism
- demonstrations of how to use Easybib and NoodleTools
- consistent expectations for citing sources
- continual conversations about academic honesty and authentic writing
- support from Media Center staff
- It is the responsibility of students to ensure the authenticity of their work and to correctly acknowledge the ideas and intellectual property of others.
- It is the responsibility of students to say “no” to other students who ask to copy their work.
- It is the responsibility of the students to know and understand teacher expectations regarding individual and group work.
- It is the responsibility of students to use technology and media resources appropriately.
- It is the responsibility of students to be honest in presenting their ideas by using language that reflects their own voice.
- It is the responsibility of students to understand what constitutes academic malpractice and to follow the rules of academic honesty at all times.
- It is the responsibility of students to seek guidance from teachers and staff when they are unsure.
Conventions for Citations
Teachers will instruct students in conventions for proper citation. In most cases, students will follow the Modern Language Association (MLA) style guidelines. Cooper High School (CHS) and Robbinsdale Middle School (RMS) are phasing out the use of EasyBib for creating bibliographies and moving to NoodleTools, both accessible for students via our school websites.
Consequences for Academic Dishonesty
Both schools promote a positive school culture through building-wide behavior expectations. At RMS, the C.A.R.E (Courteous & Respectful, Accepting, Responsible, and Excited for learning) expectations and at CHS the HAWK (Honesty, Accountability, Work Ethic and Kindness) expectations support academic honesty and the development of the learner profile attributes.
Expectations for academic honesty, definitions of dishonesty, and consequences for plagiarism, cheating and collusion are clearly communicated in the Student Behavior Handbook: Rights and Responsibilities, sent to students and families each fall and presented to all students in advisory lessons.
Academic dishonesty is classified as a Level 2 infraction and consequences may include:
- Parent/guardian notification
- Conference with the student
- Conference with the parent/guardian
- Academic alternatives
- Other, as approved by school administration
A severe occurrence or repeated instance of any violation may be treated as a violation at a higher level. Academic dishonesty by students enrolled in IB Diploma-level courses shall be reported to and investigated by the International Baccalaureate with cooperation from the head of school, the IB coordinator, the teacher(s) and the student(s) involved.
Policy Review Process
This policy is a living document. It has been created using IB support materials, RAS district data and input from stakeholders in the IB learning community. It is an ongoing process that will be systematically reviewed, evaluated and modified as needed by the IB faculty, coordinators and administration.
In the Robbinsdale Area Schools (RAS) International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IB MYP), we strongly believe that learners are inquisitive and proactive, and as such, they seek new knowledge and apply it to both familiar and unfamiliar situations. Teachers create meaningful learning experiences and assessment tasks, both formative and summative, that support this belief.
While planning units of study, teachers consider the following four questions:
- What do we want our students to learn?
- How will they learn best?
- How will we know that they have learned?
- How will we respond when they have or have not learned?
All staff at Robbinsdale Middle School (RMS) and Cooper High School (CHS) expect students to be accountable for their learning. Engaged learners are considerate of others, willing to challenge themselves, and advocate for their well-being. Students are encouraged to engage in their learning by being on time, using time efficiently, being active listeners and participants, asking questions, and always trying their best.
Ongoing assessment is integral to guiding students through the learning process. We believe that assessment should inform instruction. Information about student progress and understanding is gathered from formative and summative assessment tasks.The results identify what students know, understand, and can do at different stages in the learning process. All stakeholders, including teachers, students, and parents/guardians, are responsible for having a clear understanding of the reasons for assessment, what is being assessed and how, and the criteria for success.
The purpose of assessments is to:
- Provide clear expectations using the prescribed MYP objectives and criteria.
- Provide opportunities for students to apply their understanding of the state standards and MYP criteria in familiar and unfamiliar situations.
- Provide timely feedback for students and teachers.
- Develop global thinkers via assessments set in a variety of cultural and linguistic contexts.
- Encourage students to reflect on their learning.
- Determine the level of understanding using both formative and summative assessment tools.
- Evaluate learners’ ability to construct knowledge and demonstrate skills in authentic, real-world tasks.
Students are responsible for:
- Striving to be critical and creative thinkers.
- Assessing and reflecting on their progress on both formative and summative assessment tasks.
- Seeking help when they need to better understand a concept or skill.
- Being organized with materials and assignments for class.
- Using an organizational tool such as an assignment calendar or planner.
- Submitting work on time according to course deadlines.
- Demonstrating a positive attitude, focusing and staying on task in class.
- Endeavoring to put forth their best effort.
- Continuing to grow in the IB learner profile attributes.
Parent(s)/Guardian(s) are responsible for:
- Working as partners with students, teachers and support staff to communicate learning successes and concerns.
- Recognizing their student’s learning strengths and areas for growth.
- Regularly monitoring their student’s academic growth and progress in Schoology and Infinite Campus.
- Participating in the learning process by providing an appropriate learning environment and support at home.
- Modeling the IB learner profile attributes.
Teachers are responsible for:
- Knowing and understanding the learning outcomes, including both the MYP objectives and criteria descriptors and Minnesota State Standards.
- Ensuring that each assessment criteria in the subject is assessed at least twice a year.
- Providing clear expectations through the use of the MYP rubrics.
- Providing opportunities for students to self-assess and reflect on their learning.
- Using formative assessment data to modify teaching and summative assessments to evaluate individual student progress.
- Maintaining open lines of communication with students and parents/guardians.
- Analyzing assessment data to identify patterns of individual student performance and needs.
- Working in collaborative teams to design and evaluate common assessments.
- Comparing common assessment data to evaluate where student learning has been strong and where it needs improvement.
- Recognizing diverse learning styles by using a variety of teaching and assessment strategies.
- Providing timely feedback on student performance.
- Communicating with case managers of students with Individualized Education Plans to ensure appropriate modifications and/or accommodations occur.
- Keeping samples of student work.
- Modeling the IB learner profile attributes.
Suitable and appropriate assessment tasks are specific to the MYP units of work and are used to evaluate student learning. Performance-based assessment tasks best allow students to reach the highest achievement level on the MYP rubrics. Possible examples of MYP assessment strategies and tasks include:
- Research papers
- Oral assessments
- Performance assessments
- Student portfolios
- Written assessments
- Design folders
- Literary analyses
- Arts process journals
- Personal Project: In the final year of the MYP (grade 10), students have the opportunity to complete a personal project, a significant piece of work that is the product of the their own initiative and involves planning, research and a high degree of planning. Personal projects are internally standardized and moderated each year.
IB MYP Assessment Criteria
The following practices are used across the programme:
- Students are assessed, both formatively and summatively, using the MYP assessment criteria for their grade level or phases (in the language acquisition courses).
- Criteria from all eight subject groups are assessed multiple times throughout the year.
- Student achievement is measured against the four criteria identified in each subject group. The four criteria are of equal importance in determining student achievement. An achievement of 0 - 8 is awarded for each of the criteria in all subject groups. Student grades are determined based on the most recent and consistent performance in each of the criteria.
- The prescribed MYP rubrics are made task-specific. Students are given the appropriate rubric at the beginning of the unit so that they know and understand where they are going in the learning process. When the assessment is returned to the students, they receive feedback from the teacher regarding their progress against the criteria.
Recording Student Progress
To determining the final grade at the end of each marking period, the achievement levels of each criterion are added together and aligned with the final IB grade boundaries.The score of a 1-7 is assigned a letter grade.
|IB Grading Scale & Grade Letter Equivalent||Grade Boundary||Descriptor|
|1 = N/C||1-5||Produces work of very limited quality. Conveys many significant misunderstandings or lacks understanding of most concepts and contexts. Very rarely demonstrates critical or creative thinking. Very inflexible, rarely using knowledge or skills.|
|2 = N/C||6-9||Produces work of limited quality. Expresses misunderstandings or significant gaps in understanding for many concepts and contexts. Infrequently demonstrates critical or creative thinking. Generally inflexible in the use of knowledge and skills, infrequently applying knowledge and skills.|
|3 = D||10-14||Produces work of an acceptable quality. Communicates basic understanding of many concepts and contexts, with occasionally significant misunderstandings or gaps. Begins to demonstrate some basic critical and creative thinking. Is often inflexible in the use of knowledge and skills, requiring support even in familiar classroom situations.|
|4 = C||15-18||Produces good-quality work. Communicates basic understanding of most concepts and contexts with few misunderstandings and minor gaps. Often demonstrates basic critical and creative thinking. Uses knowledge and skills with some flexibility in familiar classroom situations, but requires support in unfamiliar situations.|
|5 = B||19-23||Produces generally high-quality work. Communicates secure understanding of concepts and contexts. Demonstrates critical and creative thinking, sometimes with sophistication. Uses knowledge and skills in familiar classroom and real-world situations and, with support, some unfamiliar real-world situations.|
|6 = A||24-27||Produces high-quality, occasionally innovative work. Communicates extensive understanding of concepts and contexts. Demonstrates critical and creative thinking, frequently with sophistication. Uses knowledge and skills in familiar and unfamiliar classroom and real-world situations, often with independence.|
|7 = A||28-32||Produces high-quality, frequently innovative work. Communicates comprehensive, nuanced understanding of concepts and contexts. Consistently demonstrates sophisticated critical and creative thinking. Frequently transfers knowledge and skills with independence and expertise in a variety of complex classroom and real-world situations.|
Reporting Student Progress
Teachers record formative and summative assessments scores, using the 1 - 8 rubrics, in the Schoology gradebook. Using the grade conversion chart, teachers record letter grades in Infinite Campus at the end of the marking periods. Conferences are held regularly throughout the school year to give parents/guardians opportunities to discuss their student’s progress in the MYP.
When teachers teach the same course, they meet regularly as a Professional Learning Community to standardize MYP scores on summative assessments. The process of standardization is ongoing in the programme.
Policy Review Process
This policy is a living document. It has been created using IB documents and support materials, as well as RAS district data and input from stakeholders in the IB learning community. It is an ongoing process that will be systematically reviewed, evaluated and modified as needed by the IB faculty, coordinators and administrators.
In Robbinsdale Area Schools (RAS), we recognize and appreciate that no two students are the same. Each student is an individual with unique personal and educational needs. In addition, we acknowledge that some students are incapable of fully participating in the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IB MYP). Though the curriculum might be too rigorous for those students, they will still be aware of the IB philosophy and principles and encouraged to embody the IB learner profile in every way possible at their particular learner level. All classrooms are implementing learner profile attributes throughout the curriculum and school culture.
The inclusion policy of RAS:
- Offers free and appropriate education to all students in our school system.
- Provides all children access to curriculum through creative and differentiated teaching methods, accommodations and modifications.
- Fosters compassion and caring in staff and students to create a safe learning environment.
- Develops stronger partnerships between general education and special education teachers to increase the success of students in all subject areas.
- Supports our students as risk-takers by knowing their unique needs and scaffolding their learning experiences.
- Guides all students to reach their unique intellectual, emotional and social capacities.
- Encourages all students to be internationally minded.
- Strengthens lines of communication with Individualized Education Programming (IEP) team members about student progress, growth, and changing needs.
- Actively plans for and supports the transition goals of students to be successful contributing citizens in a global society.
Minnesota Department of Education has 12 categorical disabilities applicable to middle years students:
- Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD)
- Emotional and Behavioral Disorders (EBD)
- Speech Language Impairment (SLI)
- Physically Impaired (PI)
- Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHH)
- Visually Impaired (VI)
- Deaf/Blind (DB)
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Severely Multiply Impaired (SMI)
- Other Health Disabilities (OHD)
- Developmental Cognitive Disability (DCD)
- Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
Identifying and assessing students with special education needs
RAS engages in the Child Find process. Students can be referred to the Multi-Tiered Support Services Team (MTSS) for interventions and monitoring. RAS engages in Response to Intervention (RTI) and Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) through the Multi-Tiered Support Services process. If students do not respond to interventions, they are referred to the Child Study team for special education evaluation. Special education due process is followed at this point in accordance with federal and state rules and regulations.
Services students with special education needs
Depending on the student’s determined degree of need, there are a variety of services that RAS can offer:
- Supported Instruction: Education Assistant support within the general education classroom.
- Direct Instruction: Co-taught classes; Resource classes; Center-based classes; Pull-Out (related services); Consultation.
Modification - Accommodation - Differentiation
Each student is assigned a special education case manager. The role of the case manager is to oversee the implementation of services, modifications and accommodations as listed in the IEP and due process. Case managers facilitate communication between all team members and advocate for the best interest of the student. They partner with general education staff to implement accommodations and modifications of the curriculum. Modifications adjust the level and/or make the state standards more accessible for students with special needs. Accommodations do not change the rigor of the general education standards. Differentiated instruction is part of the IB MYP unit planning process. It is not, however, an accommodation or modification. Differentiated teaching uses a variety of instructional strategies to meet the diverse needs of all students.
Support services available
Every MYP student meets at least once a year with his or her counselor to discuss progress and future planning related to needs. If special needs are identified, the counselor will make referrals and connections to resources to address the needs. The counseling team works closely with other support staff to best serve our students with special needs. They may bring needs to the MTSS team.
The MTSS team includes the following staff:
- school social worker
- school psychologist
- special education staff
- academic deans
- AVID trained staff
- English learner (EL) staff
- school nurse
- co-located therapists
- regular education teaching staff
If the team determines a student qualifies for a 504 plan, counselors will develop and assist with implementation. A 504 plan outlines the modifications and accommodations necessary to provide the student with the same level of access to the curriculum as his/her peers.
When emotional or traumatic experiences occur during the school year, students can access the support of social workers, counselors, therapists, and school psychologists. Support staff welcomes walk-in students with issues that demand immediate attention. In addition, support staff generates a weekly list of at-risk students. They meet with these students to discuss what might be hindering their academic success and devise plans to overcome these obstacles.
The IB MYP is intended to be an inclusive program for all students. The approaches to learning (AtL) skills help teachers and students respond in a flexible way to varied learning needs, including special educational needs. The MYP approach to assessment recognizes the importance of assessing the processes of learning as well as the product of learning. When designing MYP units, teachers employ techniques for assessing student work that take into account the diverse ways students demonstrate what they know, understand and can do. Without compromising state standards, assessment tasks should accommodate students with special needs and those who are learning in a language other than their mother tongue.
Inclusion policy review process
This policy is a living document. It has been created using IB support materials, as well as RAS district data and input from stakeholders in the IB learning community. It is an ongoing process that will be systematically reviewed, evaluated and modified as needed by the IB faculty, coordinators and administrators.
Robbinsdale Area Schools (RAS) believes that language is fundamental to learning, thinking and communicating, and that we as a staff are responsible for ensuring that all students reach their full potential. Students bring a rich diversity of background knowledge and experience to the classroom. Individual linguistic and cultural backgrounds not only support students’ learning in their new environment, but also become a cultural asset in the classroom and school community. RAS believes that language is a tool for both inquiry and communication, and further, that all teachers are language instructors and all students are language learners. Accordingly, stakeholders in RAS:
- Support the development of student language learning.
- Facilitate proficiency in English and the pursuit of competency in languages other than the mother tongue.
- Create a community that respects all cultures, races, genders, sexual orientations and religions in regard to the power of words and texts.
- Acknowledge that language learning should be developed through reading, writing, speaking and listening.
- Commit to developing academic language in subject-specific areas.
- Hold students responsible for the awareness of various registers and their appropriate uses.
The school profiles of Robbinsdale Middle School (RMS) and Cooper High School (CHS) show similarities in language usage and densities. Between the two schools, there are almost 40 home languages documented. English, Spanish, Hmong and Creolized English are the largest language groups at both schools. Vietnamese, Somali and Swahili are also represented at both schools.
Mother tongue support
Spanish for Native Speakers courses are taught at both RMS and CHS (Spanish for Heritage Speakers at RMS; Spanish for Native Speakers and Spanish Immersion at CHS). These courses provide:
- A focus on reading and writing in Spanish.
- Rather than focusing on pronunciation and listening skills (which native speakers already have), students refine their Spanish reading and writing skills. Research shows that literacy skills will transfer. Students who develop literacy skills in Spanish enhance their English literacy development, thus helping with academic achievement in English and other disciplines.
- Expansion of vocabulary in Spanish and in English beyond the words in the textbook.
- Students learn all the words in the regular Spanish class curriculum, but since many of those words are already familiar to them, they learn additional vocabulary that is not present in the regular curriculum. Some additional vocabulary is taken from other core class curricula (i.e. important words that students use throughout the school day in other disciplines).
- Better communication at home about what is occurring in school.
- If students speak only Spanish at home, but in school learn new and possibly unusual (subject-specific) English words, they may be unable to communicate to their families what they are learning in school. In this class, students will learn the Spanish vocabulary needed to share topics, concepts and vocabulary they are learning in their other classes. This will help them review, remember and learn the information from all of their classes.
English learners (EL)
All parents who enroll students in RAS are required to complete a Home Language Survey. It is designed to determine if the child’s primary language is one other than English and if the dominant language in the child’s home is one other than English. If either response is affirmative, the EL (English Learner) teachers test that new student with a WiDA assessment known as W-APT Screener (see www.wida.us). This brief screener provides an idea of the student’s English language abilities in four categories: reading, writing, speaking and listening. Based on these scores, the student’s previous education, and staff and parent recommendations, the EL staff determines if the student should receive EL support services.
Students who are identified as Limited English Proficiency, or LEP-Yes, are further identified throughout the year as either Direct Serve or Transitional. Students who receive direct service from the EL Program have access to an EL teacher during one or more of their classes. Transitional students no longer receive EL classes, but are monitored by EL teachers and educational assistants (EA), have access to these staff members and are required to take the state EL ACCESS test in the spring of each year.
The EL Department at CHS has five levels, from recent arrivals to our country (Newcomers) to advanced students transitioning into mainstream classes. There are also sheltered classes where students are taught grade level content by content teachers with a specific focus on language. These courses are often supported by the EL EA. The Sheltered Social Studies, Math, and Science classes are made up of only EL students. Additionally, students can take a class that is co-taught by an EL teacher and a content teacher. These classes are comprised of both EL and mainstream students and assist students in transitioning to mainstream classes.
The number of EL classes on a student’s schedule is dependent on his/her English language proficiency level and mastery of academic content. Our schools have created graduation pathways for students who arrive in the United States at an older age or have academic/literacy/content gaps (due to limited/interrupted schooling) and may need more time to learn English and become academically proficient. Cooper’s EL model is predominantly based on a model of co-teaching. EL teachers co-teach with content area teachers in Language and Literature, Individuals and Societies and Mathematics. That same model is used at RMS for Language and Literature and Individuals and Societies.
EL teachers enlist multiple techniques to encourage students to practice the four modalities of language learning: reading, writing, speaking and listening. Academic language and content have equal weight and focus. Teachers differentiate instruction to ensure students achieve mastery. They meet monthly as a team to discuss techniques for supporting the unique needs and experiences of their students. Teachers use the English Language Development standards in conjunction with content standards to support language acquisition.
The State of Minnesota requires that all LEP-Yes students take the WiDA ACCESS for ELLs test in the spring to test their English proficiency. In addition, the Direct Serve students are assessed in reading with the Scholastic Phonics Inventory, Scholastic Reading Inventory and Measures of Academic Progress. They are also assessed with writing rubrics based on the 9th Grade Writing Assessment, the IB MYP writing rubric and other tools developed by their teachers. These measures, as well as a student’s individual grades, teacher recommendations and family concerns, are taken into account for student placement.
Language and literature
The primary language of instruction in RAS is English. The district scope and sequence aligns and supports the Minnesota State Standards and the IB MYP Language and Literature aims and objectives.
- Language and Literature Teachers are responsible for:
- Using a variety of instructional and assessment strategies. Teachers in all subjects provide numerous opportunities for students to develop skills and knowledge in reading, writing, speaking and listening.
- Providing specific feedback students need in order to further develop and refine their language proficiency.
- Assigning tasks that promote the development of higher-order thinking skills to enable students to become thoughtful and effective communicators.
- Presenting opportunities for students to interact with multiple perspectives through analysis of a variety of texts.
- Fostering the development of students’ language skills in order to prepare them to be competent, lifelong learners and informed global citizens.
The study of another language provides the student a means to gain understanding of other cultures and show respect for the culture(s) of the language. Language acquisition is a priority of our prograrmme. Incorporating content from various disciplines is a key component of instruction. RAS requires that students elect French or Spanish in grades 6-10. Our programme promotes the development of language acquisition via the six phases, with each phase offering an increasing level of language proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and listening.
Our language acquisition courses seek to:
- Develop the skills to understand and communicate effectively in an additional language, within a variety of situations and through the modalities of reading, writing, speaking and listening.
- Encourage the appreciation of other cultures through both academic and extracurricular experiences to help students develop multiple perspectives and the traits of the IB learner profile.
- Promote language acquisition development outside the classroom through participation in language clubs, national language honor societies and other international groups or organizations, international travel or service-learning, and community arts and cultural experiences.
Strategies to support all teachers and their students
RAS provides additional reading support for those students whose standardized test scores show they are not reading at or above grade level. At RMS, all students have a year-long reading class all three years. At CHS, students may be placed in a reading prep class, based on test scores and academic needs. The curriculum is a composite of novels, Newsela, AVID weekly and Reading Plus. Additionally, at CHS and RMS most classroom teachers have been trained in the AVID Critical Reading (and writing) strategies and regularly use Cornell Notes with their subject content.
Language policy review process
This policy is a living document. It has been created using IB support materials, as well as RAS district data and input from stakeholders in the IB learning community. It is an ongoing process that will be systematically reviewed, evaluated and modified as needed by the IB faculty, coordinators and administration.
Criterion Based Grading - Under criterion-based grading, teachers assess students against a given set of criteria, which are established by the International Baccalaureate for each of the subject groups - Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Mathematics, Sciences, Individuals and Societies, Design, Physical and Health Education, and the Arts.
Curriculum – All aspects of the teaching and learning process for students in an IB programme, namely its design, implementation, assessment and review.
Descriptors – Course-specific expectations for performance evaluation by the teacher. An example in Science: 1) transformed, manipulated and presented data to provide effective communication; 2) carried out a range of techniques proficiently with due attention to safety; 3) defined problems, formulated hypothesis, selected any relevant variables.
IB learner profile – A set of ideals intended to inspire, motivate and focus the work of schools and teachers, uniting them in a common purpose, and providing a set of learning outcomes for each IB student.
IB philosophy – The IB’s set of beliefs and values that guides the development and delivery of its educational programmes. It is reflected in the IB mission statement, the IB learner profile, What is an IB education? and the programme-specific documents that describe and explain each individual programme, all available in the resource and document library.
IB Programme – A worldwide program for K-12 students, divided into four sub-programmes -- Primary Years (PYP) for K-5; Middle Years (MYP) for 6-10; Diploma Programme (DP) for grades 11-12; and the Career-Related Programme (CP) for grades 11-12.
IB World School – A school that is authorized to offer one or more IB programmes.
MYP – The Middle Years Programme (MYP) is offered at Robbinsdale Middle School in grades 6-8 and is continued at Robbinsdale Cooper in grades 9 and 10. It culminates in a Personal Project and an MYP Certificate. Service work is required annually. MYP emphasizes thematic learning throughout eight curricular areas. MYP at Cooper is whole-school, with open access to honors and Advanced Placement courses.
You do not have to know all this when you start the programme. We will guide students and parents through the process, giving you the information as you go.