Jenks Academy starts International Baccalaureate program

Posted 10/19/23

The 2023-34 school year marks Jenks Academy’s start as an International Baccalaureate candidate school.

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Jenks Academy starts International Baccalaureate program


The 2023-34 school year marks Jenks Academy’s start as an International Baccalaureate candidate school, becoming part of a 5,000-school network that offers programming akin to Advanced Placement (AP) courses, but with more emphasis on innovation and service.

The recently earned accreditation provides Jenks with access to a global network sharing humanitarian values while noting how interdependent and connected students are in the world.  The International Baccalaureate (IB) program encourages Jenks students to be active in their communities and to take their learning beyond academic study.

Jenks kicked off the school year by formally introducing its students to the IB framework during their scheduled library time led by the school’s IB coordinator, Erin Younis. Youins works collaboratively with the Jenks staff to provide coaching and training on the IB modules and build student activism and global awareness. 

For their first IB unit, kindergarteners focused on healthy eating across the globe as students worked to design a healthy eating plate that represents a family meal. The five-year-old youngsters will also work with the school district food service program to create healthy options for school lunches. First grade students are implementing the IB theme of ‘How We Organize Ourselves’ as they analyze the structures of different community systems. These students are reading dozens of beautiful books donated by Reading Promise and the Chestnut Hill Rotary as they delve into the organization of communities around the globe. 

Second grade students are analyzing human relationships, essential agreements and the purpose for governing systems. The third grade at Jenks has been working to design a  Hispanic Heritage Month parade using math skills to calculate the architectural layout and plan the showcase of influential leaders. Older students at Jenks have been focused on the IB transdisciplinary theme of “Who we Are” as they cultivate perspectives on identity and the preservation of human dignity. 

The IB program gives students distinct advantages by building their critical thinking skills, nurturing their curiosity and their ability to solve complex problems. The IB students at Jenks learn across disciplines, ask challenging questions, and think critically about global issues crossing cultural and national boundaries. Every student in the International Baccalaureate is taught other languages of study as a requirement of the program. Jenks students are offered Spanish by Mr. Espinosa to increase their understanding of several cultures, and explore globally significant ideas through different languages. 

IB World Schools across the globe use school lending libraries to provide educational collaborative investigations with teachers and students and help them succeed in their inquiries. Jenks is fortunate to have a dedicated corps of volunteers and partners from the Chestnut Hill community to support the IB program. The Chestnut Hill Community Association, Chestnut Hill Rotary, Friends of Jenks and Home & School Association have helped Jenks create its Resource Library. Book purchases for the Jenks lending library are made through Follett School Solutions, which is an IB partner.  Follett’s collaboration with the IB makes it easier than ever to purchase IB books and merchandise which helps the Jenks school mission and vision of IB a sustainable reality. 

So whether it's in the Jenks library, playground or classroom, Jenks students can be found beginning their IB journey as global learners.