Missoula is about to have another school offering the International Baccalaureate program. So far, Big Sky and Hellgate Highschools offer the courses, and are considered “IB World Schools” but two elementary schools are on their way to that end as well. This week, Franklin Elementary was given the nod to be an International Baccalaureate “candidate” school.

“The Franklin staff is engaged in developing a plan to be an IB primary years program school," said Missoula County Public School District One Superintendent Mark Thane. I think it is really important to consider that IB is intended to serve all students and Franklin is one of the schools that is impacted heavily by families that have less socioeconomic status.”

Thane says changes in the classroom are already underway at Franklin.

“There is some intensive professional development, teachers will be teaching largely through an inquiry based model, which is a little bit different. So, we will engage in that, and you will start to see teachers teaching differently through the professional development activity they undertake. So, even though it is not formally fully approved at this point, there will be some changes instructionally.”

The candidate process will take three years to complete, it’s a process which Lewis and Clark Middle Elementary is almost finished with, they had their authorization visit recently and are waiting for final approval.