The lengthy online application read, “Please click the finish button…” to submit. At 4:30pm on Thursday, September 29, we clicked the finish button and submitted our application for authorization as an IB World School. The paradox is striking…we are not finished. The high bar that IB sets for us, and the one we set for ourselves, guarantee that we will never be quite finished.
This submission is, however, a very important milestone in our journey to becoming an IB World School offering the IB Middle Years Program. At this juncture, I find myself reflecting on the essential elements that have led to the successes we have achieved thus far in this demanding process. Just as the IB Learner Profile closely connects with our faith, so the process has revealed surprisingly familiar faith elements:
Humility. It is tempting when faced with a challenging growth process to dwell on the ways we are “already doing these things.” Thanks to former principal, Maureen Arbeznik, it is true that many of the fundamental aspects of MYP pedagogy were alive and well at LCA. Teachers had been trained in conceptual instruction under the philosophy of Understanding by Design. We had already tackled some of the important differences between formative and summative assessment. LCA had long been a place that put students first in so many ways. However, to rest in the notion of what we “already do” would have denied our capacity for growth. I am proud to say, we do not often succumb to this temptation. When we are at our best, we humbly recognize areas in which we can grow and improve.
Prayerful Work. As noted earlier, there is no “finish line” to this continuous improvement process. The “water breaks” are few and far between as well. An impressive amount of work is required to foster an authentic IB educational environment. Teachers and administrators spend many extra hours, including summer hours, on important work impacting instruction, facilities, scheduling, and school culture. When we are at our best, this work is reflective and prayerful.
True Collaboration. We are better when we work together. This is true for teachers, administrators, students, and the entire LCA community. Teacher teams collaborate weekly to share ideas, methods, and strategies. Administrators collaborate to ensure delivery of support and resources. We gather regularly with our colleagues from Saint Edward High School to learn and grow. Students increasingly collaborate in our active classrooms. The LCA community comes together to advance exciting initiatives. When we are at our best, we recognize and honor our own gifts and the gifts of others.
Our faith has always challenged us to humbly work together to follow the example of Jesus Christ. May we continue to integrate the faith elements of humility, prayerful work, and true collaboration into our vocation as educators and into our growth as a vibrant Catholic community.
It will be nearly a year before we receive notice of our status as an IB World School. At some point in the next several months, an IB verification team will visit our campus. In the meantime, we will enthusiastically continue to grow and develop. We are so very thankful for your prayers and support as we journey forward.
~ Mrs. Eileen McGuire, IB Coordinator
To learn more about our journey to IB, please visit our IB webpage