International Baccalaureate

Hamilton Middle School  is an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) School.

IB World Schools share a common philosophy—a commitment to improve the teaching and learning of a diverse and inclusive community of students by delivering challenging, high quality programmes of international education that share a powerful vision.

IB 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 organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment. These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit


Our IB program is for all children. Every scholar receives the benefits of an International Baccalaureate education. All means all at Hamilton! 

Global Contexts

Students learn best when their learning experiences have context and are connected to their lives and their experience of the world that they have experienced.

As an IB candidate school, HMS uses global contexts to help students develop an understanding of their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet through developmentally appropriate explorations.


Global Context

Students will discover …

Identities & Relationships

Who am I? Who are we?
Students will explore:

  • Identity
  • beliefs and values
  • personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health
  • human relationships including families, friends, communities and cultures
  • what it means to be human

Orientation in Space & Time

What is the meaning of “where” and “when”?
Students will explore:

  • personal histories
  • homes and journeys; turning points in humankind
  • discoveries; explorations and migrations of humankind
  • the relationships between, and the interconnectedness of, individuals and civilizations, from personal, local and global perspectives

Personal & Cultural Expression

What is the nature and purpose of creative expression?
Students will explore:

  • the ways in which we discover and express ideas
  • feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values
  • the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity
  • our appreciation of the aesthetic.

Scientific & Technical Innovation

How do we understand the world in which we live?
Students will explore:

  • the natural world and its laws;
  • the interaction between people and the natural world
  • how humans use their understanding of scientific principles
  • the impact of scientific and technological advances on communities and environment
  • the impact of environments on human activity
  • how humans adapt environments to their needs

Globalization & Sustainability

How is everything connected?
Students will explore:

  • the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities
  • the relationship between local and global processes
  • how local experiences mediate the global
  • the opportunities and tensions provided by world interconnectedness
  • the impact of decision-making on humankind and the environment

Fairness & Development

What are the consequences of our common humanity?
Students will explore:

  • rights and responsibilities
  • the relationship between communities
  • sharing finite resources with other people and with other living things
  • access to equal opportunities
  • peace and conflict resolution


 How can I sign my child up for the IB candidate program at Hamilton?

The Middle Years Programme (MYP) is designed for ALL students in the middle school; students do not have to apply in order to participate.

All students at Hamilton are enrolled in our IB candidate program at Hamilton. We are proud to offer a one school for all model! 

Is IB offered at all Denver Public Schools?

No. Hamilton chose to go above and beyond our normal state accreditation and district requirements to become an IB school. IB candidate schools undergo a rigorous process to prove that practices are in place to become authorized as an IB world school.

Why are the subject names different?

IB recognizes 8 subject groups:

  • Arts: Visual Arts and Performing Arts (Orchestra, Band, Drama)
  • Design: STEM, Audiovisual Technology, Leadership
  • Individuals and Societies: Social Studies
  • Language Acquisition: Spanish and French
  • Language and Literature: Language Arts
  • Mathematics: Math
  • Physical and Health Education: Gym
  • Sciences: Science

What is the difference between year 1, 2, and 3?

In keeping with the international aspect of the program, IB uses number equivalencies to our American grade levels

  • Year 1: 6th grade
  • Year 2: 7th grade
  • Year 3: 8th grade 

What is the difference between IB and MYP?

International Baccalaureate is the overarching framework for education at Hamilton. The MYP, or Middle Years Programme, is the grade specific delineation of the IB framework for American middle schools. 

A good analogy is IB is like Nike, MYP is like Air Force Ones. 

Is IB a prescribed curriculum teachers have to adhere to?

No. IB is not a prescribed curriculum and teachers still write and create their own curriculum. Unit plans for each subject follow the IB framework that includes an emphasis on inquiry through certain concepts and global contexts.

How is this program different from the International Preparatory Magnet that was previously at Hamilton?

The IPM program was an application based magnet school within a school at Hamilton. It limited access to a global education to a few select students instead of including our entire population. Additionally, the curriculum for the IPM was loosely based on IB principles of service, learning, and reflection. To offer ALL of our students a quality education, Hamlton began the process of becoming an IB candidate school in 2015. IB offers additional curriculum, training, and educational learning opportunities that the IPM version did not. 

A good analogy is IPM was like the Kroger, or generic brand, version of the IB MYP. The IB MYP is the brand name, or official licensed version, of our educational model at Hamilton.  

How can I get involved in my child’s education?

You can get involved in your child’s education by looking at their subject overviews for the classes they are enrolled in (located on our website). These documents outline when and what your students are learning. 

Hamilton always encourages parents to reinforce learning at home. With the knowledge you can find in the subject group overviews, you can initiate conversations with your child about the specific topics they are currently learning about. 

Additionally, Hamilton teachers foster positive school-to-home relationships through open lines of communication. You can find updated phone numbers and email addresses on our school website. 

How is an IB education different from a traditional education?

An IB education emphasizes inquiry and project based tasks to tackle relevant global issues that are connected to the learning that takes place in classrooms. 

Additionally, IB emphasizes social emotional learning through Approaches to Learning skills and the Learner Profile traits. These traits and ATL skills teach students how to succeed at school and how to be effective members of our increasingly global society.