Traverse City Record-Eagle

May 24, 2013

Elk Rapids now has authorized baccalaureate school

Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Elk Rapids Middle School is being recognized for adopting a world-renowned education style, and other local districts are prepared to follow suit, thanks in part to a $3 million Kellogg Foundation grant.

Elk Rapids Public Schools officials recently received word of their International Baccalaureate authorization after three years of training staff and restructuring classroom curriculum to align with the IB model, which champions curriculum intended to promote independent and critical thinking, and multicultural understanding and awareness, according to the group’s website.

It marks the first time a northern Michigan middle school received IB authorization, and it followed a visit to Elk Rapids from three IB officials who evaluated the middle school through interviews with staff and students, and classroom observations.

“I was just elated,” Elk Rapids Superintendent Stephen Prissel said. “I was so proud of everyone ... . This is no small feat.”

Elk Rapids officials received news of the authorization the same week the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District won a $3 million Kellogg Foundation grant for developing IB programming in Kalkaska, Leland and Traverse City public districts, in addition to Elk Rapids.

The grant also will help fund the study and planning of an IB International Diploma Programme for area high school juniors and seniors.

“We’re really excited about that,” said Jason Jeffrey, TBAISD assistant superintendent for general & career and technical education. “We’re also extremely excited for Elk Rapids.”