Gwendolyn Brooks and Percy Julian middle schools have been designated as International Baccalaureate (IB) World Schools, Oak Park District 97 officials announced in a statement on July 30.

As IB World Schools, Brooks and Julian will be responsible for implementing the Middle Years Programme (MYP), a four-year educational model for students ages 11 to 16 years old.

According to a summary of the IB MYP on the district’s website, the program “will not replace the existing curriculum at Brooks and Julian, but rather enhance it and help foster greater creativity for both students and teachers.” 

The MYP model constitutes a “challenging framework that encourages students to make practical connections between their studies and the real world, the MYP is inclusive by design; students of all interests and academic abilities can benefit from their participation,” according to a description of the Middle Years Programme (MYP) on the International Baccalaureate Organization’s (IBO’s) website. 

The MYP feeds into the IB Diploma Programme, which is offered to students ages 16 to 19 years old. 

The district applied for IB World candidacy in 2012. Teachers were required to undergo several years of professional development and schools were visited by IB officials before Brooks and Julian acquired full authorization. As part of the designation, an IB consultant will visit the schools every five years. 

Julian and Brooks are two of 62 authorized IB World schools in Illinois, according to the results from a searchable database on the IBO website. 

District officials said more information about the IB World designations will be provided closer to the start of the 2015-16 school year.


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