St. Matthias teachers, students, and parents were joined by:
Sr. Mary Paul McCaughey, Superintendent of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Alderman Pat O’Connor of the 40th ward, Alderman Ameya Pawar of the 47th ward, faculty from Loyola University of Chicago, DePaul University, and several International Baccalaureate (IB) high schools, the Big Shoulders Fund, and many parishioners, alumni, and friends to celebrate our inaugural year as an IB World School.
Speeches by Fr. John Sanaghan, pastor, and Mrs. Gail Hulse, principal of the Upper School, explained how the IB program supports of mission as a Catholic school and opens up the world to our students. Eighth grade student, Elisabeth McGovern, shared her experience as an IB Middle Years Programme student and how this program will help her in the future. Keith O’Connor, seventh grader, confidently welcomed the audience in Spanish, demonstrating the International Baccalaureate Programme’s commitment to second language development.
The final speech by Sr. Mary Paul congratulated the staff, parents, and student for the historic accomplishment as she shared very simply and genuinely, “I love you.” The ceremony concluded with the St. Matthias choir singing “Young People of the World” and the unveiling of a banner which will be installed on the school building announcing our status as an Internatonal Baccalaureate World School. St. Matthias is proud to be the first Catholic elementary school in the state of the Illinois certified to offer the IB Middle Years Programme, and the seventh in the nation.
On May 14th we learned that St. Matthias School has been accredited as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School and is authorized to offer the Middle Years Programme in our junior high (6th, 7th, & 8th grades). This makes St. Matthias the first Catholic elementary school in the state of Illinois to offer an IB Programme and the seventh in the nation! We surprised our students after Mass today with this great news and a celebration in the garden.
The authorization letter from the IB’s director general in Geneva, Switzerland came four months earlier than we had hoped. This was the final step in a three year long process of extensive preparation, teacher training and implementation of the IB Middle Years Programme.
The Middle Years Programme has transformed our Junior High. Our teachers are planning collaboratively across disciplines and challenging our students to think deeply and critically about real issues. Our students have become more self-aware, understanding themselves as learners, and have developed strong leadership and communication skills. IB authorization is a monumental accomplishment which will ensure that our educational program continues to strengthen and fully prepares our students for personal, academic, and professional success.
So, now that we are authorized, what’s next? The IB teachers will continue to collaborate to develop and improve IB instruction in grades six through eight. We also have the goal of becoming authorized to offer the Primary Years Programme (PYP) in grades preschool through five within the next three years. Teachers in the lower grades will begin to attend IB trainings as early as this summer to prepare for this transition.
Take a look at the amazing things happening at St. Matthias School. This video shows all of the happenings in just one typical St. Matthias day. Enjoy and then click here to learn how to become a part of our school.
You’ll find outstanding academic preparation and faith-based learning at St. Matthias School. We recognize that each student comes to us with unique experiences, skills, learning styles, and needs. Beginning in preschool, and extending through eighth grade, teachers use creative approaches to adapt their instruction to each student and provide them with tailored and meaningful educational experiences in a nurturing and diverse environment. Further, at St. Matthias, we’re a technology leader. Click here to learn more about the technology utilized in our classrooms.
Click here to learn more about the enrollment process. Applications are being accepted for grades Pk-3 through 8. Class size is limited to 25 students (20 in Pre-K with a teacher and assistant; a 1:10 ratio).
School tours are available upon request, please call 773/784-0999.