Congratulations on becoming a candidate IB MYP school! You’re now ready to start working towards implementing the IB Middle Years Programme at your school and make your way to authorization!
Your candidacy journey – which usually takes around a year or so – is a meticulous, but rewarding process of showcasing how your school is adopting the IB Programme Standards and Practices. And here’s the exciting part – your school is probably already ticking some of the boxes when it comes to these standards and practices! Your application for candidacy will highlight some of the things that your school is already doing well, but there are bound to be other areas where the school can shine. So, get ready to show off all the great things happening in your school! Here’s a tip to get you started:
- Have members of the school community skim through the Programme Standards and Practices to start identifying practices that are already in place or in progress. This does two things: it helps everyone become familiar with what it means to be an IB school and establish a foundation from which to build the new feature of the programme. If the whole set of IB Programme Standards is too daunting, try getting started with this Visual Guide to the MYP for an overview.
Once you have gathered the evidence that already exists, you can create an action plan for developing the programme standards and practices in your school and generating the rest of the evidence that you need. The process of inquiry, action, and reflection that is required to generate the evidence you will need for authorization is an essential part of embedding the IB philosophy into the day-to-day life of your school.
The authorization process
In general, there are four stages in a school’s journey to becoming an authorised IB School:
- Consultation is the longest stage. It extends for at least one year but may take several years. The goal at this stage is to make the changes necessary to meet the criteria for authorization. Early on, schools should develop an action plan to determine what changes need to be made and estimate how long they will take. As schools progress through their action plan, they can seek advice and guidance from their consultant, an experienced IB educator assigned by the IB. Most of that consultation happens remotely; however, they will also visit the school to observe the progress that the school has made and provide some feedback about what further progress is recommended before preparing the Application for authorization.
- When schools have met the criteria for authorization, they can prepare and submit the application for authorization. This is prepared online and supported with important documents like sample unit plans, school policies, and the budget for operating the programme.
- During the verification visit, experienced IB educators, appointed by IB, will visit the school to review key documents; meet with teachers, school leaders, students, and families; and observe classes in order to verify that the criteria for authorization have been met. The visit is planned in advance and the agenda is developed by the MYP coordinator and the leader of the visiting team. They report their findings to the IB.
- The IB makes a decision based on the Application for authorization, the supporting documents, and the report from the verification visit. If all the criteria are met, the school will become an Authorised IB school. If any criteria have not been met, they will be reported to the school as Matters to be addressed with the actions required to address them. Once those matters have been addressed, the school will be authorized.
Candidacy checklist for MYP coordinators
As a school coordinator or leader, you’ll need to have everything in order. There are some items you’ll need to get organised as an individual, some with your school community and a handful of others with the wider community. When you’re ready to submit your application for authorization, make sure you have all of these necessary documents in hand! Our handy Candidacy Checklist for MYP Coordinators can be downloaded with a click so you can keep these lists, and all necessary details, in one place!
Important documents for MYP coordinators
As a school coordinator or leader, you’ll need to have everything in order. These are some things you can do as an individual to make sure your school reaches authorization. So, when you’re ready to submit your Application for authorization, make sure you have all of these necessary documents in hand!
- Legal entity documentation
- Licensure or accreditation documentation
- Head of School and Coordinator job descriptions
- Organisation chartProof of workshop completion or registration
- Statement of financial commitment
- MYP structure chart
Documents to develop with teaching teams
If you’re looking to adopt the MYP approach to planning, delivering, and assessing the curriculum, you’ll need to submit some documentation during the authorization process. Don’t worry though, this is an important part of the process and will help you get the most out of your MYP journey!
Developing these documents can take some time and energy, but it’s all worth it in the end. Think of it as an investment in your education and the education of your students. Listed below, we’ve added links to support you in the crafting of these important requirements for authorization. Don’t forget to download the Candidacy Checklist for MYP Coordinators so you have everything you need for the authorization process.
- Curriculum documents such as unit plans, subject group overviews, an ATL planning document, interdisciplinary units
- Samples of assessed student work
Documents to develop with the wider school community
You’ll also need to work with stakeholders in your community on a handful of documents, including families and school leadership. It’s a great opportunity to get everyone involved and excited about your school’s future!
Think of it like a team project but with a bigger goal in mind. By working together, you can create a stronger, more unified application that reflects your school’s values and mission. So, grab some coffee and start collaborating with your community! And remember, these items need to be submitted in your application for authorization.
Here’s a short list of these items, but make sure to download the Candidacy Checklist for MYP Coordinators to have all of the details in one place and stay on top of your progress!
- Sample school-based report
- Sample schedules for each grade level
- Description of teachers’ collaborative planning meeting(s)
- Personal and/or community project description
This blog is part of a series designed especially for candidate MYP schools. Click here to check it out!
Other resources you might like to explore: