IB MYP has arrived at Olson!
IB MYP has arrived at Olson!
Olson just completed our first year as a candidate school for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) and is pursuing authorization as an IB World School.  The authorization process varies by school and IB programme, but typically takes between two and three years. We are on track to apply for authorization this spring (May 1, 2018) and then be “verified” at a site visit the following fall. We hope to “graduate” our first group of MYP scholars in 2019.
On August 22 2106, IB MYP consultant Karla Martinez helped Olson launch this journey through an all-staff introductory workshop. Administration, teachers and support staff spent the day learning about the IB MYP program and envisioned the changes to be made as an IB World School.
Throughout the 2016-2017 school year, Olson staff received professional development on integrating IB components with the great things we are already doing to promote an equitable education for all students. This included interacting with the IB Learner Profile and creating curriculum that is rigorous and culturally/linguistically relevant for each and every student.


IB World Schools share a common philosophy - a commitment to improve the teaching and learning of a diverse and inclusive community of students by delivering challenging, high quality programmes of international education that share a powerful vision. Olson recently adopted a mission and vision statement to reflect our commitment to making this philosophy a reality:

Vision: We envision Olson as a model school with transformative power for our students’ futures. We will ensure our students discover and maximize their brilliance as scholars and members of our global community.

Mission: The mission of Olson Middle School is to challenge our students to become:

  • inquiring, lifelong learners with the skills to succeed in our interconnected world
  • engaged citizens who take action in our local, national, and global communities
  • compassionate, respectful, and persevering young people

We strive to achieve this mission through an equitable, rigorous education that supports students' cultural identity, and academic, social, and emotional needs.

What is IB MYP?

Although the IB Middle Years Programme is complex, there are two easy places to start. The MYP curriculum framework comprises eight subject groups, providing a broad and balanced education for early adolescents.  They are: Arts, Individuals and Societies (Social Studies).  Language Acquisition (Spanish), Language and Literature (English Language Arts), Math, Physical and Health Education, and Science. Two other required curriculum components support this curriculum framework but are not stand alone classes: Design and the 8th grade Community Service Project.

Within the IB’s Learner Profile, all IB programmes are committed to developing learners who are:

  • Inquirers
  • Knowledgeable
  • Thinkers
  • Communicators
  • Principled
  • Open-minded
  • Caring
  • Risk-takers
  • Balanced
  • Reflective 

What does this change mean for the OMS community?

For our staff, becoming an IB school means learning the IB philosophy and program requirements. All staff will support the program’s mission and promote specific components of the MYP such as the Learner Profile. Teachers within the eight required IB subject area classes will receive more specific training about other MYP components such as the IB Unit Plan design which integrates conceptual learning (knowledge), approaches to learning (skills), global contexts (relevance), and assessment criteria.

For our students, becoming an IB learner means becoming an (even more) inspired scholar and community member. Students can expect to be supported and encouraged by teachers who respect them and who also challenge them to learn more, question more, and care more about themselves and others. We know we have the most brilliant students in the district and we will continue to develop that brilliance so that our students can transform the world.

For our families, supporting an IB learner means staying engaged with them as they travel on this journey. We encourage families to ask questions about all the new things the students are learning. This will help them make connections and see the importance of their work at school. We also promise to develop stronger partnerships with families. We know that students and families bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our school and that this knowledge serves as the launchpad for all future learning. Therefore, when we all work together, we will create the best middle school in the world!

How do I find more information?

The International Baccalaureate Organization has an extensive website with lots of big picture information about all of the IB programs (PYP, or Primary Years Program; MYP, or Middle Years Program; IBDP or the high school Diploma Program; IBCP, or high school Career-related Program): www.ibo.org.

Olson also has an IB Coordinator, Kate Andrews van Horne (Ms. AvH, for short). Feel free to contact her when you have any questions or concerns about the program at Olson: Kate.Andrews-vanhorne@mpls.k12.mn.us or (612) 668-1640.

In addition, there will be multiple opportunities throughout the year for Olson families to be informed and involved. Watch for details about Family Nights and Student-Led Conferences this fall.

Thank you for your interest in and support of the IB MYP program at Olson Middle School!