Skip To Content

IB Times Three: Alameda International Jr./Sr.’s IB Programmes Set Students on a Path for Success

IB Times Three: Alameda International Jr./Sr.’s IB Programmes Set Students on a Path for Success
Posted on 12/12/2018
Students in a bilingual medical terminology class carry out mock patient interviews as part of Alameda International Jr./Sr. High School’s IB Career Programme.Alameda International Jr./Sr. High School is proud of its membership in a worldwide club that represents education that challenges. The International Baccalaureate education model dates back to 1968. At Alameda, the Pirates have embraced not one, but three IB options for students. It starts with the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) for seventh-graders and up.

“It is a conceptual-based learning program focusing on the whole student. We have things such as the learner profile that builds character development and not developing only on the classroom student but also the student as a person,” explained MYP Coordinator Erin Murphy. “We are preparing them in a variety of ways for the other IB pathways that are available later.”

“A lot of things we do in MYP are to provide students choice within an assignment or framework, so that show their knowledge in a way that resonates with them and gives them an opportunity to shine in their way,” added CeXochitl DeLaTorre, an MYP teacher. “The program ends in 10th grade with a big personal project, much like a senior thesis in college.”

Some of these projects yield some surprising results, like an electric violin. This is no off-the-shelf model violin; Steven Mendoza used a 3D printer to make one.

“I chose 3D printing because it is a new topic without a lot of familiarity,” he said. “I created a fully functional electric 3D print violin. It is tuned, but it could use a little more design.”

Students say getting creative with their projects is just one benefit of the IB Programmes. Being self-directed and taking personal responsibility are others, both of which are central to the Jeffco Public Schools “Generations Vision” of successful 21st-century grads.

“I communicate better, I am able to help myself more,” said student Kevin Leija. “My grades improved and I have become more organized. I am more motivated and focused to get my schoolwork done.”
The IB Diploma Programme is the second of Alameda’s three programs, offering classes that require students to be fully engaged.

“Currently, we are looking at advertising in our language and literature class and all the different forms that it takes,” explained Chris Curtis, a Diploma Programme teacher. “When advertising can go awry when advertising can be controversial because they are inundated by those messages all of the time.”

“For me, it was the work ethic and the fact that I would be in a learning environment with people that want to learn,” said student Josue Navarro. “Having almost a distraction-free zone with people who are there to support you in your learning.”

The IB Diploma students take seven IB classes at the same time for two years. They are also required to do service hours, creativity hours and action hours. They are required to write a 4,000-word research paper and take a Theory of Knowledge class.

“They manage of all those things, with our help,” said Diploma Programme Coordinator Mindy Sautel.
“I like to learn and it is very rigorous class work every day,” said student Lisbeth Gonzalez. “After two years, we test in each subject to determine whether we earned our IB Diploma and college credits if scores are high enough.”

Alameda’s third IB option is the IB Career Programme, which includes a unique bilingual medical terminology class. As part of this course, students role play, switching between caregivers and patients.

“We are learning terminology for anatomy and proper terminology when conducting examinations or communicating with patients,” explained student Kenneth Phipps-Orive. “We do a lot of mock interviews. We have great coordinators who are always there to help us if we get stuck.”

If a student is more interested in veterinary medicine or tech or dental hygiene, rather than the more traditional health career fields, there are opportunities for them in the IB Career Programme, as well.

“We incorporate those fields and include projects for them. We include all kinds of things so they can really focus on the things that they are interested in investigating and studying for their potential future in health careers,” explained Catheryn Phipps-Orive, a Career Programme teacher.

“One of the things about our model at Alameda in both the Diploma and the Career Programmes is access for all model…and that is empowering for [students],” said IB Career Programme coordinator Steven Houwen.

There is no entry exam; the only requirement is that a student must be on track to graduate.

“I was not a great student and wanted to make a change. I noticed that the health career program was looking for students. There were no grade requirements or restrictions but a promise of a good education,” said student Sharai Conde.

“I had a 1.5 GPA and rarely came to school. I was interested in health care, specifically anesthesia, and decided to give it a try,” said student Isabel Martinez. “My GPA rose to 3.4 in one year. It opened my eyes to know what I wanted to do and the path I need to take. The teachers would help me reach my goal through internships and job shadows, giving me the knowledge I need to be successful in college.”

“When people ask me if the program is hard, I tell them it is challenging,” added student Berenice Brito. “I have learned time management and organization. I never used a calendar prior to attending the career program. My communication skills are better, and I really enjoy the program. “

Alameda’s IB times three approach has gotten plenty of notice, including the school’s inclusion as part of a recent 9NEWS Cool School feature. While the attention is nice, staff says the success of the program boils down to one thing.

“They finally feel like people in authority believe in them and believe that they have the capacity and the ability to perform. ‘Hey, you can do more, you can be more.’ I believe that plays a major role in student success,” said Houwen.

“The thing that I love is watching the growth both academically and in the maturity of the students,” added Curtis. “They walk out of here as different people than when they walked in. They are more understanding, hopefully, more compassionate, and better able to handle the rigors of academia as they move forward in their college and career.”

The IB students at Alameda would agree.

“You have to put in the work, but you don’t have to be the best student in the world to do it. You just need to be committed. It has changed my life quite dramatically,” said Kenneth Phipps-Orive.

See the JPS-TV version of this story here or below.

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2024 SchoolMessenger Corporation. All rights reserved.