After IB Matters host Jon Peterson heard that South St. Paul Public Schools became the first BARR (Building Assets, Reducing Risks) and IB (International Baccalaureate) World Schools district, he wanted to learn more about how the frameworks both complement each other in the classroom and beyond.
BARR’s Founder and Executive Director Angela Jerabek and Strategic Partnership Director Hannah Scherer joined Peterson on the IB Matters podcast and spoke about how relationships and data are being used to help schools best support each of their students across the country. During this time, they also talked about how BARR helps support a variety of programs being implemented at schools across the country, including the IB programme. IB is an international education continuum that encourages students in their personal and academic achievement while also providing them with challenges to help them excel in achieving personal development (Programmes, 2021).
“BARR is a model that really supports any program that is happening,” said Scherer. “The pieces that I’ve always found and think that BARR really goes well with IB is the fact that you’re looking at the whole child and IB does such a nice job of really making it student-centered.”
There are a variety of benefits that come from IB including the curricula, hoping to develop inquisitive, caring, and knowledgeable students who are motivated to achieve success (Benefits of the IB, 2021). BARR serves in an important role to support this programme, and different initiatives happening at schools, while also prioritizing data and relationships. The philosophical alignment between BARR and IB is having transformational outcomes on students.
“The students in particular who are often farthest from opportunity are really excelling under this [BARR] model because of this attentiveness to quantitative and qualitative data, and they are just thriving,” said Jerabek. “You not only are having them fail fewer classes, we’re having them enroll and be successful in more AP [Advanced Placement] and IB courses.”
At different IB schools, BARR is supporting school communities by continuing to emphasize the importance of relationships that are staff-to-staff, student-to-student, and staff-to student.
“As a parent [of a student in BARR], it’s amazing to have a teacher share about your child and truly know your child,” said Scherer.
With BARR now being implemented district-wide, it provides an opportunity for educators to develop relationships that can help support students from the first day of kindergarten until the day they graduate. In order to strengthen these relationships and best support the IB programme in schools, BARR helps structure the way educators collaborate.
“Every conversation has to begin with a student’s strength,” said Jerabek.
When these relationships are strengthened through BARR, it is better able to help schools implement the IB programme that encourages students to be risk-takers. These relationships are setting the stage for students to feel cared for. In return, this compassion provides students with the support they need to step out of their comfort zones to reach their full potential.
BARR looks forward to continuing to partner with IB schools to provide each student with the support they need to accomplish their dreams.
Programmes. 2021. Retrieved from www.ibo.org/benefits
Benefits of the IB. 2021. Retrieved from www.ibo.org/benefits