WEST PALM BEACH – International Baccalaureate programs will be introduced or expanded at four School District of Palm Beach County elementary and middle schools and a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) program will be established at one School District of Palm Beach County middle school, thanks to a $11.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education Magnet Schools Assistance Program.
Palm Beach County was one of only nine districts nationwide to receive the grant. The money will pay for implementing rigorous, student-centered curriculum in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) fields. More than $7.2 million of the grant will be immediately awarded to provide laboratories, technology, materials, supplies and equipment, as well as professional development of magnet speciality teachers and curriculum for the project-based learning IB Programme so that the schools are ready to offer the programs to students for the 2017-2018 school year. The remaining funds will be awarded over the course of the three-year grant.
“We are honored that the DOE has recognized the commitment of the School District of Palm Beach County toward ensuring academic success and equity among all of our students,” said Dr. Robert Avossa. “The International Baccalaureate Programme is recognized worldwide as a demanding and prestigious program that prepares our students for the college and post-graduate success.” The grant will be awarded over the 2016- 2019 school years to:
Carver Middle School: STEM-Infused International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IBMYP) *Expansion of current IB MYP program
Congress Middle School: STEAM Grove Park Elementary School: STEM-In- fused International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP)
Howell L. Watkins Middle School: STEM- Infused International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IBMYP)
Palmetto Elementary School: STEM-Infused International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP)
The Magnet Schools Assistance Program grants allow for school districts to attract more racially-diverse students to schools that have a proportion of students who belong to a specific minority group that is significantly greater than the district average percentage of that group, thus reducing what is called Minority Group Isolation.
“This grant means an opportunity for our communities to further close the achievement gap and provide more school choice options for all of our students,” said Dr. Peter Licata, Director of Choice and Career Programs for the District.
The International Baccalaureate program continuum established with this grant allows students from the four schools implementing IB to matriculate through IB programs in the District and to eventually earn a special IB Diploma.
Applications for these programs are accepted November 1, 2016 through January 27, 2017. To apply online, visit http://mypbchoiceapp.com/site.php.