Roxboro Elementary authorized as International Baccalaureate World School

Roxboro Elementary celebrates its IB World School status. From left: Melissa Garcar, IB program coordinator; Anne Marie Hodges, Roxboro IB Team parent member; Cheryl Stephens, vice mayor of Cleveland Heights; Michael Jenkins, principal of Roxboro Elementary School; Joe Micheller, director of curriculumn and instruction for the district; Jen Holland, PTA co-president; Rosemary Pierce, PTA co-president, Jing Lauengco, Roxboro IB Team parent member.

CH-UH City School District’s Roxboro Elementary School has been named an International Baccalaureate World School by the International Baccalaureate (IB), a nonprofit educational foundation. IB seeks to make the world a better place through education. The foundation offers learning programs around the globe at World Schools.

“Our son is fortunate to engage in a learning environment that stresses inquiry, discovery, and character,” said Anne Marie Hodges, a parent volunteer on Roxboro’s IB Leadership Team. “Liam is reflective and able to express his thinking critically. Our experience with Roxboro Elementary is more than we anticipated. We feel it is very important to support the teachers and emphasize the IB attributes at home.”

“I am immensely proud of what our Roxboro Elementary staff and families have achieved,” said Superintendent Nylajean R. McDaniel. “To carry out the preparation and planning required to become an International Baccalaureate World School, all while engaging and inspiring students, is truly an accomplishment worth celebrating.”

“We are a world-class school,” said Michael Jenkins, Roxboro Elementary principal, “It makes me realize what kind of network we are now in.”

IB World Schools are renowned for an intensive curriculum and skilled staff trained to develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills of students, to enable them to flourish in a global community.

“The Roxboro Elementary staff and students have worked very hard over the last five years to make this happen. All of us appreciate the support we’ve received from our families and central office leadership to help us get here,” said Jenkins.

To become a World School, an institution must have successfully completed a rigorous, internationally consistent application process that enables it to deliver an outstanding IB education.

The application process starts with a year-long submission for candidate status. If approved as a candidate, the school begins a three-year cycle toward authorization. In the final year, an outside team visits the school to verify program quality and make recommendations. The final authorization of Roxboro Elementary validates the hard work the staff has put in for the last three and a half years. 

“We are honored to be part of a school with a teaching team who—with support from the CH-UH administration—took on the role of open-minded risk takers to bring a World School to the Heights, knowing that the curriculum and cultural changes realized at Roxboro Elementary would foster the curiosity and inquiry that creates lifelong learners,” said Jen Holland and Rosemary Rackl Pierce, PTA co-presidents.  

“The verification team was blown away by the community involvement they saw at Roxboro,” said Melissa Garcar, IB coordinator for the district. “The parent and community role is huge,” added Jenkins.

Jenkins said that Roxboro will host an official flag raising once it receives its IB World School flag.

While Roxboro Elementary has just become the CH-UH district’s first IB World School, the district anticipates that several of its schools will achieve this status in the coming years. Noble Elementary and Roxboro Middle schools will be ready to apply for authorization next school year. Oxford, Fairfax, and Canterbury Elementary, and Wiley Middle schools are IB Candidate Schools, which means they have begun the three-year cycle towards authorization. With middle school consolidation underway, Monticello is in the exploratory phase to apply for candidate status in 2014–15.

Boulevard and Gearity Elementary schools are pursuing a different course. They are focusing on the STEM approach, a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines—science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The authorization of Roxboro Elementary and applications of other district schools demonstrate the CH-UH district’s continued drive for self-improvement and excellence in delivery of a world-class education. Roxboro joins select elementary schools in Shaker Heights, Oberlin, Westlake and Stow in achieving IB World School status.

Angee Shaker

Angee Shaker is the director of communications for Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District. Deanna Bremer Fisher and Andrea Turner contributed to this story.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 9:27 AM, 04.22.2014