Granada pilots the Middle Years Programme

Middle year program web picture 2 .jpg

By Katie Ryu

Granada Hills Charter (GHC) introduced the Middle Years Programme (MYP) this year. Often referred to as International Baccalaureate (IB) 9-10, the MYP is a five-year IB program. Around 70 freshmen are the first to partake in this program focused on global awareness and communication.

Not to be confused with the IB Diploma Programme (DP) for juniors and seniors, the MYP is a separate program that lasts from sixth through tenth grade. GHC is piloting the program starting with the ninth grade curriculum and plans to build the tenth grade curriculum next year. Accordingly, they intend to eventually establish the MYP on the Devonshire campus so that it can become one continuous program.

The school is currently undergoing the application process with the IB organization and working through candidacy, so there is no official MYP program yet. By establishing the IB program with younger years, GHC aims to design a seamless transition from eighth to ninth grade.

The MYP maintains the consistent focus on global awareness that IB offers as well as a particular emphasis on personal development.

“Whether it’s IB 11-12 or IB 9-10, it’s about developing the self and getting students to be confident in who they are. In order to do that, one of our pillars in ninth grade is speaking, so woven into the English curriculum is an emphasis on public speaking and development of public speaking skills,” Director of Instruction and former IB coordinator Nicholas Weber said.

MYP students are not required to remain in the program throughout their high school career. While the opportunity to pursue the DP would be offered to these students, there is no requirement. Conversely, incoming students who were not a part of GHC’s middle school would be given the opportunity to join the MYP from ninth grade.

Some are under the misconception that the MYP program has taken the place of the recently discontinued GHI program.

“While there is a lot of carryover when it comes to the teachers who teach in the two programs, the decision to dissolve the GHI program was unrelated to the introduction of the new IB program,” English teacher Rachael Phipps said.

According to Phipps, however, much of the concepts and materials studied in GHI are similar to the new MYP program. The primary difference between the two is that GHI was very specific in its focus regarding philosophy, social justice, and critical thinking whereas the MYP’s focus, at least in the ninth grade, is communication, public speaking, and the advancement of a global perspective. For IB 9 at GHC, the MYP curriculum framework is reflected in the requirement of a Human Geography class along with the flexibility to potentially take two science classes or study IB Global Politics.

The new program points to ambitions of the Devonshire and Zelzah campuses working in tandem. Younger students will be offered a wider range of learning opportunities and this proves true for today as well.

“I hope students leave the classroom with more global awareness to become better global citizens, understanding how to think critically, present themselves, communicate what it is they’re thinking, and use these skills to create a more positive community and environment around them,” Phipps said.


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