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Visual Overview

over 3 years ago

Welcome to the Summit Middle School
 International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program
Coordinator: Nelle Biggs
International Baccalaureate® Middle Years Programme (IB MYP)
Phone: 970-368-1253


This visual model of the IBMYP shows how the multiple facets of the program fit together:

  • The middle years student is at the center, developing into an internationally-minded person through the IB Learner Profile.
  • Global concepts, approaches to teaching and learning, and areas of interaction provide connectivity and transference between subjects.
  • Service to one's commmunity and completion of a culminating Personal Project apply student learning to authentic, real-world challenges.
  • Eight MYP subjects are required to provide rigorous, well-rounded knowledge, skills, assessments, and attitudes tailored for the 21st century.
  • International-mindedness is the encompassing framework for learning.


Assessment: Connecting State and MYP

over 3 years ago

How SMS connects state and IBMYP grades

Summit Middle School teachers use a grading system that monitors student progress along two different continuums:

  • progress/proficiency on the state content standards, using "standards-based grading" (SBG)
  • progress/proficiency on the MYP assessment criteria, using IB rubrics for "criterion-referenced grading"



The state content standards ~ the required curriculum for each subject as defined by the Colorado Department of Education ~ are translated by teachers into "evidence outcomes" that clearly express what the student should know, understand, or be able to do in order to meet the state standard proficiently.  As students practice through "learning activities" like classwork and homework, teachers provide formative feedback that lets students know at which level they are currently achieving and what they can do to improve to the next level.  When a unit concludes, then, and students have had time and feedback to guide their learning, teachers provide a summative task for students to demonstrate their best achievement on the targeted evidence outcomes.  The grade a student earns for this summative task is called a "unit performance."



The summative assessment tasks, and many formative tasks as well, are linked by teachers to one or more specific MYP assessment criteria that are part of that MYP subject and reflect the MYP aims and objectives.  Teachers choose the best MYP rubric(s) that will accurately measure the level of efficacy, depth and creative independence their students can show in their evidence outcomes.  The MYP rubrics are the measuring tools of student achievement; they explain HOW proficient students are on their content standards, and how they can improve to the next level.




The MYP rubrics and the state standards work hand-in-hand to set a clear, explicit target for students, allow multiple chances to practice what's necessary to meet or surpass that target, provide relevant constructive feedback for improvement, and determine a level of achievement along a continuum that desribes what success looks like at each level, from novice up to mastery. 


Assessment: MYP Criteria

over 3 years ago

MYP Subjects and assessment criteria

As is presented in the visual model of the IB Middle Years Program, there are eight subjects that are all required for a minimum of 50 instructional hours in each year of the MYP.  For each subject, the MYP assessment criteria is used as the "measuring tool" for teachers to determine how well students can demonstrate the Colorado state content standards.  To simplify our assessment practice, the state content standards are WHAT we measure for student achievement, and the MYP assessment criteria are HOW we measure for student achievement.  We utilize our gradebooks so we can report out on either axis, the student progress toward/beyond proficiency in the state standards, or the student progress toward achievement and independence in each assessment criterion.

To visit the Colorado Department of Education home page for content areas and standards, please go to 

You can read over our district and MYP assessment policy in the link below.

MYP Arts

The MYP Arts span both the visual arts and the performing arts.  The MYP requires students to compile over time a portfolio called the "Development Workbook."  The Development Workbook (DW) allows students to reflect on their artistic process, consider teacher feedback in meaningful ways, and connect their skills to how and why they learn.  In Summit schools, our Arts teachers provide instruction in the Colorado state content standards for Music and Visual Art.  At this time, our Arts programs do not include the Colorado state content standards for Dance, or Drama & Theater Arts.
MYP Arts assessment criteria:
Criterion A = Knowledge and understanding
Criterion B = Application
Criterion C = Reflection and evaluation
Criterion D = Personal engagement

MYP Design Cycle and Technology

There is sometimes confusion in MYP schools over the nature of the "Technology" subject area.  A distinction must be made between the MYP Technology subject, which is more aptly described as "Design Cycle," and the Information and Communication Technology (ICT), which often includes the use of computers, presentation and database software by students to perform and communicate their work.

Inquiry and problem solving are at the heart of MYP technologyMYP technology requires the use of the design cycle for solving problems in technology and promotes a practical and inquiry-based approach. The subject uses the design cycle as the model of thinking and the strategy to help students investigate problems and design, plan, create and evaluate the products/solutions that they generate. A product/solution can be defined as a model, prototype, product or system that students have generated independently. This means that MYP technology expects students to become actively involved in and to focus on the whole design process rather than on the final products/solutions. This helps students to develop not only practical skills but also creative- and critical-thinking strategies.

Information and communication technology (ICT) involves the use of computers, its applications and communications facilities in teaching and learning activities. The use of ICT extends to all the teaching and learning in all subjects across the curriculum.  The effective use of ICT is as an ‘Approaches to Learning' (ATL) skill that permeates all other subject areas.

Our district's Technology teachers are responsible for covering the National Education Technology Standards (NETS), which were written by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).  The NETS meet or exceed the Colorado state content standards for ICT, which now are found embedded into the other Colorado state content areas.  Therefore, to meet our minimum of 50 hours of instruction and assessment for MYP Design, Summit Middle School is implementing a plan to integrate the MYP Technology objectives and criteria into other subjects.  This is a work in progress as of April 2013 so stay tuned for more!

MYP Technology assessment criteria:
Criterion A = Investigate
Criterion B = Design
Criterion C = Plan
Criterion D = Create
Criterion E = Evaluate
Criterion F = Attitudes in technology

MYP Humanities

Humanities courses teach what is traditionally known as Social Studies.  Humanities teachers are responsible for covering the Colorado state content standards for Social Studies.
MYP Humanities Assessment criteria:
Criterion A = Knowing and understanding
Criterion B = Investigating
Criterion C = Thinking critically
Criterion D = Communicating

MYP Language A

Language "A" refers to the primary language of instruction in an MYP school.  For our schools, that is English, so Language A is synonymous with language arts class.  Language A teachers are responsible for the Colorado state content standards for Reading, Writing and Communicating.
MYP Language A Assessment criteria:
Criterion A = Content
Criterion B = Organization
Criterion C = Style and language usage

MYP Language B

Language B refers to the acquisition of an additional language after one's mother tongue.  MYP Language B is designed to expose students to five full years of continuous instruction in the same world language, in order to facilitate the communication abilities holistic learning, and intercultural awareness that are the cornerstone of international education.  Students are supported in acquiring functional fluency in their Language B by the end of year 5.  Currently, Summit schools offer Spanish and French as their Language B choices.  Language B teachers are responsible for covering the Colorado state content standards for World Languages, which are written for novice through intermediate levels.
MYP Language B assessment criteria:
Criterion A = Oral communication
Criterion B = Visual interpretation
Criterion C = Reading comprehension
Criterion D = Writing
Language B teachers work to modify all four of these criteria in the classroom to accommodate different phases of language acquisition and to correlate the criteria with the level of state standards (novice to intermediate) a student is working on.

MYP Mathematics

Our Math teachers are responsible for covering the Colorado state content standards for Mathematics.  They provide a strong continuum of mathematics courses that meet students at their appropriate developmental level and build solid foundations for advancing concepts as students progress. 
MYP Math assessment criteria:
Criterion A = Knowledge and understanding
Criterion B = Investigating patterns
Criterion C = Communication in mathematics
Criterion D = Reflection in mathematics

MYP Physical Education

Our Physical Education, or PE, teachers are responsible for covering the Colorado state content standards for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education.
MYP PE assessment criteria:
Criterion A = Use of knowledge
Criterion B = Movement composition
Criterion C = Performance
Criterion D = Social skills and personal engagement

MYP Sciences

Our Science teachers are responsible for covering the Colorado state content standards for Science.
MYP Science assessment criteria:
Criterion A = One world
Criterion B = Communication in science
Criterion C = Knowledge and understanding of science
Criterion D = Scientific inquiry
Criterion E = Processing data
Criterion F = Attitudes in science

Fundamental Concepts

over 3 years ago

Three Fundamental Concepts









Adolescents are confronted with a vast and often bewildering array of choices. The MYP is designed to provide students with the values and opportunities that will enable them to develop sound judgment. From its beginning, the MYP has been guided by three fundamental concepts that are rooted in the IB mission statement.  These are:

  • holistic learning—representing the notion that all knowledge is interrelated and that the curriculum should cater to the development of the whole person, the attributes of which are described by the IB learner profile
  • intercultural awareness—representing the notion that school communities should encourage and promote international-mindedness by engaging with and exploring other cultures, a key feature of international education as reflected in the attributes of the IB learner profile
  • communication—representing the notion that schools should encourage open and effective communication, important skills that contribute to international understanding as exemplified by the attributes of the IB learner profile.


-taken from MYP: From Principals to Practice, page 10


Role of Inquiry

over 3 years ago

Inquiry and Seeking to Build Knowledge ~ Guiding Questions

The Use of Guiding Questions prompts students to consider the big conceptual ideas, or "enduring understandings" of their subject and shows them how their lessons are relevant pieces of a bigger picture.  Effective Guiding Questions are generative, meaning they generate multiple avenues of inquiry and investigation.  They suggest various connections among subjects and invite students to think deeply through a global context or Area of Interaction. 
Examples of Guiding Questions (with primary Area of Interaction) include:
  • How do communities work together to solve problems?  (Community & Service focus)
  • Why do human beings create?  (Human Ingenuity focus)
  • How does the natural environment impact human progress?  (Environments focus)
  • How can knowing myself help me to be successful?  (Approaches to Learning focus)
  • Why are relationships important for personal well-being?  (Health & Social Education focus)

Active questioning keeps the brain engaged: an inquiring mind is absorbing information and constructing meaning.  Deliberate and thoughtful questioning instigates higher order thinking skills (H.O.T.S.), depth of knowledge (D.O.K.), and authentic and practical applications, and transference of learning....all crucial ingredients for the 21st century, according to both educational and business researchers.  The IBMYP builds on the significance of INQUIRY in the Primary Years Program to continue to push student thinking forward and outward.

Mission of International Education

over 3 years ago

International Education
The principles of the MYP are deeply rooted in international education. They are shared by all the IB programmes, are stated within the IB’s mission statement and provide a framework for constructing a school’s own curriculum.  The driving force behind all IB programmes is a deeply held philosophy about the nature of international education. This philosophy is reflected firstly in the IB mission statement, which expresses the IB’s overall purpose as an organization promoting and developing programmes of international education. Secondly, the IB has made a statement of its beliefs and values as defined by the outcomes of student learning in IB World Schools. The IB defines this learning through a learner profile that encompasses the aims of the curriculum.

The IB mission statement


The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.


To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.


These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

-taken from MYP: From Principals to Practice, page 7

Personal Project

over 3 years ago

~  The MYP Personal Project  ~
The MYP Personal Project is an important aspect of the MYP, undertaken by students over an extended period of time and a major component of our 9th and 10th graders' experience.  As a culminating experience, much like the Primary Years Program (PYP)'s Exhibition and the Diploma Program (DP)'s Extended Essay, it is the product of the student’s own initiative and creativity, reflecting a personal appreciation of the MYP's areas of interaction and the application of approaches to learning skills.

The Personal Project should be seen as a self-designed activity through which students present, in a truly personal way, their understanding of real-world themes, concepts and issues using the areas of interaction as a lens for interpretation and analysis. Students’ practice of approaches to learning skills over the earlier MYP years should prepare them gradually for working independently and developing a project over an extended period of time. 

Students have an opportunity to choose a project that allows them to explore a topic of interest to them, and to present it in a way that reflects their learning style. Summit High School offers students flexibility to facilitate personal expression, for example through the use of a student’s mother tongue or access to technology, and the support through REACH classes to help students plan out and complete this type of high-level endeavor.  Students often surprise themselves when they realize what they are able to achieve. 

Once Personal Projects are completed during the students' 10th grade year, an event is held in which students display and present their projects to the community, sharing their reflections and victories and what they learned.  Students who are successful with their personal projects are well prepared to tackle the multiple challenges and opportunities that come in 11th and 12th grade and beyond high school.  

It is important for our Middle Years Program that all staff, parents and students understand the central importance of the Personal Project.  Detailed guidance on the Personal Project's aims, objectives, organization and assessment is provided in the MYP Personal Project Subject Guide

-adapted from MYP: From Principals to Practice, pages 15-16


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