Starting in 6th grade, our curriculum and methodology will change from primarily knowledge-based to more inquiry-based in nature. In each course students will be evaluated on their performance in four areas: overall work quality, conceptual understanding, thinking skills, and transfer of learning. Student’s performances on these criteria are evaluated throughout the year and reported based on a seven-point scale at the completion of the course (see IB MYP). The West Virginia Academy Ambassadors program will also change providing opportunities and learning experiences to progress from a foundation of local and national principles to developing global awareness.
International Baccalaureate (IB)
West Virginia Academy will be the first to implement the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) in the state of West Virginia. According to the West Virginia Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, West Virginia is experiencing more harassment and violence against minority students by their peers. In addition, educators’ low expectations of, or lack of support for, minority students. In light of these troubling findings, we feel a global approach to education is essential in the ongoing effort toward equal rights and respect for all.
The MYP program will begin in our 6th grade class and culminate with a personal project and assessment in the 10th grade year. In the MYP program, teachers and students learn through inquiry-based curriculum. They are presented with many perspectives on key concepts, themes, and issues, and they are taught to find ways to articulate these values and beliefs and connect them to their own family and cultural background. Overall, this program gives students an opportunity to learn about other points of view in order to help develop their own core beliefs and values.
Importantly, the MYP is a whole school approach, where teachers work together planning units and assigning similar projects, while also allowing for individual differentiation. The MYP program emphasizes 8 subject areas. These include: Language A, Humanities, Technology, Mathematics, Arts, Sciences, Physical Education, and Language B. Classes are offered in each subject area for students to satisfy the requirement for completion of the program.
Core Knowledge (CK)
West Virginia Academy will continue to use the Core Knowledge Curriculum for grades 6th through 8th. The Core Knowledge curriculum is designed to dive deeper into core content, building upon the knowledge they have gained from previous years of learning.
Adolescents tend to move away from the concrete way of thinking to a more abstract thinking. Students are expressing independence in their thoughts and ideas, the “why” and “how” are more important than just the “what” for these students. Metacognition is also a factor, where students can self reflect and think about their own thinking. For this reason, we are moving from a knowledge-based curriculum to an inquiry-based curriculum.