District Overview Page
Please note: Somers Middle School is a candidate school for the Middle Years Programme. We are pursuing authorization as an IB World School. IB World Schools share a common philosophy, a commitment to high quality, and challenging, international education that Somers Middle School believes are important for our students.
The Mission, Vision and Values of the Somers Central School District embrace the challenge of educating students in the 21st Century:
Somers Central School District will ignite a passion in each student by engaging all students at a personal level to ensure success in a global society.
The vision for Somers Central School District encompasses three fundamental areas, each and important component of the Whole Child:
- 21st Century Knowledge & Skills
- Social-Emotional-Physical Wellness
- Global Citizenship
We desire to be a school district that:
- Believes our schools are the center of our community – a safe place to be and grow.
- Leads by example and encourages students to follow their passions.
- Holds high expectations for student achievement and character.
- Develops a K-12 curriculum, instructional resources, and assessments intended to prepare students to thrive in a global community.
- Recognizes and celebrates the collective efforts and achievements of the Somers community and embraces a healthy balance of participation from all stakeholders.
- Values social/emotional/physical wellness as much as academic achievement.
- Believes the arts are vital to the core curriculum.
- Gives back to the community through service to others.
- Understands the law, the constitutions, and our civic, ethical and personal responsibilities to each other.
- Develops relationships that are characterized by honesty, respect and integrity.
- Learns from and works collaboratively with individuals from diverse cultures, religions and lifestyles in a spirit of mutual respect and open dialogue.
- Supports and encourag3es professional collaboration, district-wide and with local organizations, to promote student learning.
- Is driven by a sense of continuous improvement.
With a keen sense of our responsibility in preparing students to be well-educated, well-rounded and caring citizens, we began an exploration of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program with district and Somers High School administration in the spring of 2014. With the full support of the SCSD Board of Education in November of 2014, we began a feasibility study in January of 2015 with a team of Somers High School teachers, parents and administrators and by April of 2015 presented our findings to the Board of Education. After careful study, school visits and faculty discussion, the district clearly saw the connection between the IB approach and our own philosophy as a district.
The mission of the International Baccalaureate Organization - The International Baccalaureate® aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
To this end, the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.
These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right. (International Baccalaureate Organization, n.d.) - clearly matched our own mission, vision and values and our recommendation to the Board of Education was to move forward with the process to enable Somers High School to become an authorized IB school – offering all students in grades 11 and 12 the opportunity to take single IB courses or pursue the attainment of an IB Diploma. We are grateful to the Board of Education for their support of this work and, since our authorization was approved in the spring of 2017, we have been thrilled to see the impact of IB on the academic environment at the high school. In 2019, we graduated our first cohort of IB Diploma candidates and touched over 200 additional students through IB courses – from Psychology to Business to Dance and Film along with traditional subjects such as English Language and Literature, Mathematics and Environmental Societies and Systems.
Since our candidacy as an IB Diploma Program school and throughout our two years of authorization, our high school teachers have engaged in learning, and developed IB courses that meet the needs of Somers students while preparing them for life beyond high school. Their excitement – and the enthusiasm of our students was heard across town and teachers at the Somers Middle School wanted to learn more. What kind of experience would students have at Somers High School with the opportunity to take IB courses and how might we best prepare them at Somers Middle School to engage in this deeper learning?
With the support of the Board of Education and the faculty at Somers Middle School, we began a feasibility study and ultimately made the decision to pursue authorization for the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (MYP).
The IB Middle Years Program will involve the full scope of learning experiences at Somers Middle School. Teachers develop their own curriculum, based on our New York State standards, but include more inquiry to promote deeper thinking as well as global contexts – ideas around broad conceptual topics such as scientific and technical innovation, globalization and sustainability and personal and cultural expression. The MYP also asks teachers to develop interdisciplinary units of study – ones that will help students see the connection among curriculum such as science, mathematics and art or social studies and English language arts.
The Middle Years program does not change the content of our curriculum but does impact how students learn and engage with content and skills. The learner profile, listed below, spoke to our long-held hopes for all students in Somers schools:
The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.
IB learners strive to be; Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators Principled Open-Minded
Caring Risk-Takers Balanced and Reflective (Organization, n.d.)
During our candidacy phase, Somers Middle School faculty and administration are involved in collaborative study of best instructional practices, authentic assessment and rigorous curriculum development.