IB MYP has arrived at Olson!

Olson is now an official IB World School© !

After three years of studying and training, Olson completed our Authorization Verification visit in November of 2019. This past February we received the official word that our application for authorization was accepted which makes us an official IB World School! We join Anwatin, Anthony, Northeast, and Sanford as MPS IB Middle Years Programmes.

COVID-19 has put some obstacles in the way of celebrating this great achievement, but we promise we will celebrate in style and in person as soon as we are able.

We’ll be rocking IB “Panther Pride” style… The Olson staff will continue to learn about the IB philosophy as a way to deepen our academic rigor. We are also deeply committed to working with students and families to construct a curriculum that honors and values all.  


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’ and their families’ futures.

Mission: The mission of Olson Middle School is to ensure our students discover and maximize their brilliance as scholars and members of our global community, now and in the future.

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 already know they 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 their 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 (Dr. 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 year.

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