WIMA - About Us
THE INCEPTION OF WIMA
Based on the increased number of international families who reside in Washtenaw County, the growing local interest in the IB Diploma Program and the IB’s well-earned reputation as a model educational program, the Washtenaw County Superintendents’ Association began a discussion and investigation of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program during the 2008-2009 school year. The success of the International Academy in Oakland County, the growth of IB programs in the US and more specifically in Michigan and the increased recognition of the need to offer a variety of high quality educational options also impacted this discussion.
In the fall of 2010 seven school districts (Ann Arbor, Lincoln, Milan, Saline, Whitmore Lake, Ypsilanti and Willow Run) voted to open a county-wide magnet high school using the IB Diploma Program beginning with a target of 150 students and a goal of up to 600 students by year four.
Along with the consolidation of the Ypsilanti and Willow Run School Districts, and the desire to create a 5 through 12 IB experience, WIMA was created and opened in the fall of 2013. This new middle school began with an enrollment of 184 students in grades 5 through 8. WIMA plans to become a fully authorized MYP (Middle Years Programme) school in the International Baccalaureate, providing students with preparation for the Diploma Programme in high school.
The school will apply to become a candidate school in the fall of 2014. The full authorization process takes 2 to 3 years and involves all staff and students in grades 6 through 10. WIMA’s curriculum and schedule has been designed to align with the requirements of the MYP.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) was originally started in 1968 by international schools to: provide shared assessments across the world, and help children living outside of their native country receive a standardized education that would allow them to return to their native country for college.
Today, IB offers programs for students age 3 to 19 (Primary Years, Middle Years and Diploma Program) to develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a global society.
The International Baccalaureate’s comprehensive offerings, whole child emphasis, exceptional academic standards, mission-centered curriculum and 21st century skill-based assessments offer real education reform based on international standards.
In Washtenaw County, there is growing support for IB program adoption at all grade levels across local school districts including the support for our county-wide magnet high school using the IB Diploma Program.
- Washtenaw International Middle Academy (WIMA) is an International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Program (MYP) candidate school serving 190 students in grades 6 through 8 in Ypsilanti Community Schools and surrounding districts.
- The IB Middle Years Program aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
- Students who love to learn, are committed to their education and thrive in a rigorous and relevant academic environment excel at WIMA.
- WIMA students are actively engaged in learning within an A day/B day 90-minute block schedule. Students are immersed in learning within an extended school year, starting in August through June.
- WIMA students take 8 academic classes including World Literature, Spanish, World Studies, Mathematics, Science, Design Technology, Physical Education, and Fine Arts.
- WIMA staff are dedicated and skilled in inquiry-based, student-centered, MYP instruction to engage students in critical thinking and active learning.
- Nearly 70% of WIMA students continue on to the #1 county ranked and #2 nationally ranked, Washtenaw International High School (WIHI).
Courses meet every-other-day. Some elective courses meet more infrequently. Thisformat provides an opportunity for student-centered differentiated instruction to meetthe needs of a diverse population. All classes are approximately 90 minutes in length.The length of class allows for more interaction and activity-based instruction.