Midlo IB creates a new interview process for students while social distancing

2020 IB Interviews

Midlos IB program interviews potential students while maintaining social distance.

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Midlo’s IB program interviews potential students while maintaining social distance.

Social distancing has altered many aspects of Chesterfield County Public Schools, including the specialty center application process. Every year, students in eighth grade apply to specialty centers across the County and interview with current members of the program. Due to COVID-19, Midlo’s International Baccalaureate Program cannot conduct interviews this year, so they used their creativity to implement an alternative process.

A typical interview day for the IB Program at Midlo would consist of a math assessment, a writing assessment, and a face-to-face interview with a leader in the IB Program. While this year’s interview process continues to undergo development, the IB Coordinator, Mr. Mark Spewak, has made some adjustments to the usual order of business. This year, Spewak has decided to remove the math assessment and instead give logic questions, allowing the program to gauge students in a more effective manner. In addition, the normal face-to-face interviews will be conducted through Zoom, creating an opportunity for IB leaders to still speak “face-to-face” with potential students.

For one student applying to the IB Program, the new interview guidelines feel daunting. Georgia Horne, an eighth grade student at Manchester Middle School, intends to apply to the Midlo IB Program with hopes to enroll in the fall of 2021. Horne shared her worries for students with technology issues, describing the problems students could face when submitting applications electronically. “If there’s a mixup or the website crashes, students’ applications could get lost,” Horne said. 

Spewak understands that potential students have concerns about applications to specialty centers this year. He hopes to address students’ concerns in the Q&A sessions that Midlo’s IB Program has hosted; the last session will take place on December 9. Spewak hopes that students interested in applying to the IB Program will understand that “we’re not just trying to grow scientists and mathematicians, we’re trying to grow responsible citizens and thinkers.” Students interested in applying to the IB Program can find more information on their website.