The Compass

IB MYP Parent & Community Newsletter for Meade High School

Quarter 1: October 2019

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Meade High School’s Mission is to provide an inquiry-based teaching and learning environment that cultivates open-mindedness, critical thinking and effective communication to prepare college and career ready graduates with the necessary skills to make a positive impact within the global community.

Your Questions Answered

At the end of September we sent out a message asking parents what questions they had about instruction and your children's classes at Meade High School. Below we have answered those questions. Read on to learn more.

How does Meade High IB differ from other Anne Arundel County public schools?

Here at Meade High School, what we teach may be very similar to other Anne Arundel County Public high schools. For instance, US History starts with the Progressive Era and currently in October, they are teaching about World War I. Spanish 3 just finished their camping and nature unit in which they learned vocabulary related to the outdoors. The content in your child's classrooms may be similar to any other school. However, as an IB World School, there are two major differences you may notice.

First, how teachers teach in an IB school is different. We know students learn best when they have to apply their learning further than just the content they are learning. So teachers choose a few concepts to teach within a unit and make a strong connection to something in the real world. For instance, English 9 is studying how authors send messages through their characters and themes and looking closely at the real world connection of morals in their own lives and in texts. In Biology, instead of just studying organisms, students are exploring how "society has a responsibility to consider the consequences that affect the balance of our environments." While we know it is important for students to understand the content, we want them to remember it and be able to apply it to other situations. An important part of how we teach is using an inquiry approach to learning. Teachers ask a lot of questions and guide students to learn the material instead of just directly lecturing, which we know helps them remember what they are learning better.

The second big difference you will notice is that assessment in an IB school is different. Our students take IB MYP assessments at least once a quarter in all classes. These are typically more project-based, though they do not have to be, and require students to show what they know about the content and also the concepts students learned. These typically require them to show the skills they learned throughout the unit as well. These assessments are usually more appropriately challenging and allow students to show their understanding differently than a multiple choice test might. Teachers capture these assessments, scored on an MYP rubric, into the gradebook. You will know an IB MYP rubric was used to assess students if you see an MYP2, MYP5, etc. in the gradebook.

What activities and classes do our IB students share with other non-IB students?

All students in grades 9 and 10 are in the IB Middle Years Programme. That means if your child is a freshman or sophomore at Meade, they are an IB student. Some students apply and are accepted in 8th grade to join the IB Diploma Programme, which begins in grade 11. Those students who start 9th grade in the IB Diploma cohort participate at Meade High School like every other 9th and 10th grader. However, they are cohorted in English class in order to share information important to the IB Diploma cohort. Additionally, they are assigned to the same counselor, Ms. Lewis, to ensure they are scheduled for the correct classes to be able to continue into and be successful in the Diploma Programme. Lastly, Ms. Quinn, the IB Diploma Coordinator, works with them and their parents over 9th and 10th grade to support them.

All students, regardless of what programs they are in, may take similar classes. In English, Social Studies, Science, and Math, we offer both honors and standard level classes. More importantly than what program they are in, students will often take the appropriate leveled courses depending on their strengths or areas of need in different subjects. For students in special programs such as the IB Diploma (11th and 12th), the Homeland Security Program, AVID, Project Lead the Way, JROTC, etc., students would have additional classes only with those interested and/or who have been accepted into the programs.

Lastly, all students, regardless of their additional programs, participate in co-curricular and extracurricular activities together.

What important academic dates should parents know?

The end of the quarter is designated as time for students to demonstrate their mastery of what they have learned. The following are the testing windows for each content. Teachers will give their assessments on 1-2 particular days, but we have included them here so you have an idea of when assessments will be given and can remind your student to prepare and study:
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Homeland Security has a new website

Meade's signature program, Homeland Security, has a new resource for students and parents. Want to learn more about the program? Care to know more about what classes are offered? Want to partner with the HLS program as a community member? Check it out below:

Spotlight on Personal Project

All 10th graders at Meade High School complete a culminating project called the Personal Project. Each quarter, we will share some of the inspiring work our students are doing. Read below about the amazing work of our inquiring scholars.

Briona is investigating The Impact of War for her Personal Project. What is the inspiration for her passion project? Her grandmother left Liberia after providing passage for her 3 children to the US. She came once she knew they were safe. A former educator, Briona’s grandmother is insistent even today that all her children and grandchildren make school a priority. For the investigating part of the project, Briona is researching the causes of the war in Liberia and how it affected her family, in particular, as immigrants. She will be also looking into similar experiences by people from other countries who have been affected by war and had to emigrate to another country to find a better life.

Ja’ire Richards’ ultimate goal is to create a guidebook to help people who are homeless that our Meade community can use. He is interested in finding out how best to help and has identified needs such as clothing, shoes, food, blankets, and shelter. His project is inspired by his father who served in the Navy and his mother who also served in the military. Their focus in the military was to find ways to help people, and they have sparked an interest in their son Ja’ire to give back to his community.

A Parent's Guide to Who's Who

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Community Events

Families may want to consider some of the events below upcoming in the next month. *note: these are not school-sponsored events.

Friends Wildlife Holiday Bazaar

Saturday, Nov. 2nd, 9am

National Wildlife Visitors Center

Performing Arts Center for African Culture

Saturday, Oct. 26th, 9:30am

8576 Laureldale Drive

Laurel, MD

BESA African Dance Workout Saturdays 9:30 am

Drum Circle Last Friday of the Month 7:00 pm

Greek Festival

Friday, Nov. 15th, 12pm to Saturday, Nov. 16th, 12pm

2747 Riva Road

Annapolis, MD

Zoo Lights Opening Night at the National Zoo

Friday, Nov. 29th, 5pm

3001 Connecticut Avenue Northwest

Washington, DC

Jenna Lerro

IB Middle Years Programme Coordinator

Meade High School, IB World School