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46 ShAKerONLINE.COM | FALL 2015 WhAt dOeS It meAn tO be An Ib dIStrIct? Shaker now joins the ranks of seven other school districts in the U.S. to offer IB district-wide: Hilton Central School District in New York, McAllen Schools in Texas, Oberlin City Schools in Ohio, Oxford Community Schools in Michigan, South Saint Paul Schools in Minnesota, Summit County Schools in Colorado, and Washington Township Schools in Indiana. The districts are geographically disparate, and vary widely in the populations they serve. Some are urban, some not. The Hilton schools are of a similar size to Shaker, with 4,500 students. The McAllen, Texas schools, on the other hand, serve 30,000 students in 30 schools. The number of students eligible for free or reduced lunch also runs the gamut, from less than a quarter to nearly two-thirds of the student body. So what is the common thread? What does it mean to be an IB district, and what are the advantages? Barbara Surash, assistant superintendent of the Hilton Central Schools, believes that becoming an IB district has raised the bar on achievement across the board. “IB is a great framework that allows all of our students to meet high standards,” she says. “It gives stakeholders a common vocabulary and a common purpose.” “the Ib inquiry methodology works for all students because it taps into their natural curiosity,” says Onaway principal Amy davis. (Photo by Kevin G. Reeves)


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