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Reason to Celebrate! RFS Named an IB World School

By Mohammad Habbas, Math Teacher and MYP Coordinator

Previously when seventh grade English students were assigned Romeo and Juliet, accompanying classroom activities were limited to reading and interpreting the complex Shakespearean text. To most students, this was an arduous task that left them bored and unengaged.

Collaboration between the English, Art and Technology departments has made the classroom a much more vibrant place this year. Studying the text now includes drawing, designing and acting. Students have ventured into a new world as they study the text through these various mediums in preparation for their performance of the play in April. Students have designed a stage set, designed and sewed beautiful costumes, acted out various roles in the classroom, worked on creative writing assignments, analyzed the play’s theme and conflict through classroom discussions and created invitation cards and brochures for their big performance.

Another example of these tangible changes to our classroom curriculum was seen in the eighth grade history class. A true measure of understanding is being able to teach what you have learned. Thus, while students were studying the ancient Greeks, they simplified what they were learning into short stories with simple sentences and pictures, suitable for kindergarteners. They then spent one morning at the kindergarten, sharing the stories with their younger schoolmates.

These changes and many more came about as a result of our school’s acceptance into the International Baccalaureate’s (IB) Middle Years Program (MYP) — a program that emphasizes concepts of human ingenuity, innovative approaches to learning, community and service, social and health education and the environments we live in.

In 1999, the Upper School received authorization to offer the IB program in grades 11-12, and we were granted the highly regarded MYP authorization on February 20, 2012, for grades 6-10. This gives us the green light to refer to our school as an “IB World School” — the only such school in Palestine and one of a handful in the Middle East. Following many years of preparing to meet the International Baccalaureate Organization’s high standards, staff and faculty are celebrating the fruits of their hard work and accomplishments.

Learn more about the IB MYP.