Curriculum Takes Global Approach at Holy Family School

The following article was contributed by Rachel Sonnentag, O’Connor Connective.

School Approved as “IB World School” for Middle Years Programme


The Green Bay Area Catholic Education school system (GRACE) announced today that Holy Family School, one of nine schools in the system, received approval to educate as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School for the Middle Years Programme (MYP). Holy Family joins a network of over 4,200 schools in 108 countries and 1.2 million students worldwide by garnering status as an IB World School.

This academic distinction is most impressive,” GRACE President Kim Desotell shared. “Holy Family sought the curriculum model of IB after much research and exploration. Offering this model of education provides an exceptional learning environment for our students and parents at Holy Family.

At the core of the program, IB prepares students to live, learn and work in a global society. In approaching learning from a collaborative view, students understand the interconnectedness of the world and their role in it. Students learn through inquiry-based approaches and become active learners in their education.

“It encourages students to become creative and reflective thinkers through the use of inquiry-based learning approaches,” said Tiffany Green, Holy Family IB coordinator and teacher.

Holy Family spent three years as an IB MYP Candidate School. Teachers completed extensive training, the coordinators conducted significant research, and parents were engaged through meetings and information sessions.

“The IB approval process is significant,” Holy Family Principal Allison Moseng said. “The Holy Family teachers, staff and IB coordinators committed to this progressive learning model so we can provide an education where our students will thrive in both the classroom setting, and in applying what they learn to our community.”

Unique Teaching and Learning Model

The IB program is centered around inquiry, action and reflection within a model that is focused on community integration and global impact. There are four programs in which schools can participate. Holy Family is approved as a Middle Years Programme (MYP), where the focus is on how students make connections between their studies and the world in which they live. All Holy Family students in grades 6-8 will participate in the IB MYP.

The program is unique because of its rigorous academic and personal standards,” Green said. “Using IB’s mission, we focus our classroom experience around how education can help build a better world.

The IB MYP is structured around three primary focuses: the IB Learner Profile, subject groups and Approaches to Learning (ATL).

Community Project Applies Classroom Education to Real World

In addition to the learner profile, subject groups and ATL, students complete an independent community project during their third year in the program. Students can work individually, in pairs or in small groups of three. Each student or student group works with a coach on the project.

Students decide what they want to learn about and focus their project based on their interests and passions. The students become active in a community of their choice and apply what they learn in the classroom to their local or global community.

More Than Challenging Academics   

The program is more than academics; the education received through IB is holistic and focused on developing the whole person, inclusive of cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development and well-being. The program prepares students for lifelong learning.

For Holy Family, an important curricular element is faith. There are many IB schools worldwide that are faith-based. The Holy Family curriculum still integrates the Catholic faith into all elements of teaching and learning.

IB Program Prepares Students for High School and College

Many Holy Family students attend Notre Dame Academy. Notre Dame is an IB Diploma Program School. The preparation in the IB MYP at Holy Family provides a seamless transition into the Notre Dame IB Diploma Program. Students have the skills needed to thrive in an inquiry-based learning environment and have an appreciation of the IB culture.

To read the full press release, Green Bay’s Holy Family School Approved as IB World School.

About Holy Family School 

Grounded in Catholic faith, the Holy Family School community educates students to reach their academic potential while inspiring a passion to be active, lifelong learners. Through Catholic teaching and global awareness, students learn the great importance of being compassionate, loving and understanding citizens. To learn more, visit


About International Baccalaureate (IB)

The International Baccalaureate (IB) mission is a simple idea—by educating students, a better world is created. IB, a nonprofit educational foundation formed in 1968, 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 foundation works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessment. These programs encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.  


GRACE stands for Green Bay Area Catholic Education and is a nine-school system that provides excellence in early childhood through eighth-grade education and serves the 23 Catholic parishes within the Greater Green Bay community. GRACE schools range in offerings and locations, and each has its own distinct history, focus and parish connections. GRACE is among the largest Catholic school systems in the state of Wisconsin. To learn more, visit