Published: Jan 13, 2014 5:20 PM EST
Updated: Jan 13, 2014 5:38 PM EST

CAPE CORAL, Fla. - This past Friday, Mariner Middle School received word that they had officially earned the title of authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School.

As an IB World School for the Middle Years Programme (MYP), Mariner Middle becomes part of a global community of schools that are committed to developing knowledgeable, caring young people who will be ready to negotiate their futures successfully and make contributions resulting in a more harmonious and peaceful world.

This designation aligns with the school's mission statement: "Through a challenging educational experience, Mariner Middle School will develop lifelong learners who appreciate differences and create a better and peaceful world through mutual compassion and respect.

These ideals will help me on my journey to determine who I become." Mariner Middle School is now home to the first IB Middle Years Programme in the District's West Zone.

International Baccalaureate programs are recognized around the globe as offering students a rigorous and challenging curriculum that aligns with standards held by the world's leading colleges and universities.

The IB Middle Years Programme consists of eight subject groups integrated through five interactive areas providing global contexts for learning. Students are required to study at least two languages (as part of their multilingual profile), humanities, sciences, mathematics, arts, physical education and technology.

In their final year of the program, students must undertake an independent 'personal project' to demonstrate the development of their skills and understanding. Assessments for students enrolled in the program are criterion-related.

Teachers structure varied and valid assessment tasks so that students can demonstrate achievement according to objectives defined by the IB.

Tasks are assessed against established criteria, not against the work of other students.

Of the school's accomplishment, Principal Rachel Gould states:

Becoming an IB World School has been a tremendous undertaking. The staff voted to take on this challenge three years ago and then we went to work. It took some trial and error to find just the right people to move our school forward, but once we did, the program took off. I really credit (teachers) Karrie Wikman and James Kroll for their hard work and leadership. Now that we know that our hard work and preparation has been validated by the International Baccalaureate Director, we are thrilled to move forward with educating our students to think