Fondren Middle School celebrated its new status as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School on Nov. 21 with music, poetry, art, and special guest speaker James Reilly, a former NASA astronaut. Fondren joins Reagan High School and Hogg Middle School in receiving official authorization in July to offer the rigorous IB Middle Years Programme (MYP).

“IB is a totally new approach to learning for us,” said Fondren MS Principal Monique Lewis. “Teachers are teaching differently, and students are learning differently. There is more collaboration among students and more open-mindedness in general.”

The focus of the MYP at Fondren is technology, foreign languages, and applying classroom instruction to real-world events through partnerships with local and national community service organizations. The school has trained staff, enhanced the school library, and updated campus technology over the past three years in order to qualify.

MYP Coordinator Robin Porter is very excited about the school’s new IB status. “We want people to see what we are doing, and how we are changing,” she said. “We are cultivating a new vision and shaping our students into well-rounded people who will go on to do great things in the world.”