Center Moriches Schools Achievement in the International Baccalaureate

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The 1,500-student Moriches Center has emerged as the first center on Long Island to offer world-oriented International Baccalaureate programs with a seamless flow from pre-school through 12th grade, local education leaders announced.

Morrisseys said they reached the milestone last month when Clayton Huey Primary School was granted permission to offer the International Baccalaureate Primary Years program to its 600 students. The area’s high school and middle school already have IB programmes.

The International Baccalaureate Organization, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, is globally recognized as the sponsor of college-level courses and examinations used in thousands of public and private schools. It has been six years since principals and teachers at Center Moriches began exploratory work on adopting a baccalaureate curriculum; Completing the effort locally is seen as a mark of distinction.

“At Center Moriches, we pride ourselves on being a small town with deep roots and a cosmopolitan mindset,” said Ron Massera, District Director.

The International Baccalaureate is expanding on the island, although a competing program, Advanced Placement, remains the largest sponsor of accelerated studies in the region. Since 2021, the number of IB schools in Nassau and Suffolk counties has increased from 16 to 24, with six of those newly designated schools located in Hempstead.

David Weiss, President of the International Baccalaureate System for American Schools, issued a statement from headquarters in Washington, D.C. calling naming the Huey School “a great achievement for children, teachers, and leadership because all students in the district now have access to it.” Weiss, the former director of local baccalaureate programs on the island, also once served as superintendent in Long Beach.

In addition to advanced coursework, the International Baccalaureate is known for its progressive curriculum that emphasizes cultural diversity around the world, while encouraging students to think for themselves academically. Elementary classrooms, for example, often feature “Wonder Walls” where questions asked by students are posted and incorporated into lessons.

The International Baccalaureate also encourages public service. Middle school students enrolled in the program must complete community service projects such as neighborhood clean-ups before moving on to ninth grade, and high school students must do the same at a more advanced level.

“It will give you a new outlook on life,” said Elizabeth Smirnova, 13, an eighth-grade student at Center Moriches Middle School. She recently joined classmates Ava Sadler, 14, and Samira Treadwell, 13, in collecting clothes for homeless shelter residents.

Staff training is a huge part of the system. Dennis Ritchie, Principal of Huey Elementary School, trained with IB experts for several days in St. Louis. Michelle Craig, School Librarian and IB Primary Years Program Coordinator, has had similar training in St. Petersburg, Florida and Los Angeles.

The training is accompanied by extensive rewriting of the curriculum and individual lesson plans, resulting in teaching with an international accent. At the Huey School, teachers recently collaborated on lessons with classmates in India. Meanwhile, young students in Kindergarten were connecting with contemporaries at the International Baccalaureate School in Singapore.

“It kind of opened our eyes, when we design the curriculum, are we recognize the global aspect of our curriculum and help students realize how small we are and how really big the world is,” Ritchie said.

Students who choose to complete the high school program earn International Baccalaureate diplomas in grade 12 after passing at least seven advanced examinations and writing research papers of 4,000 words. Last year, 38 students at Center Moriches High School took a total of 89 tests and passed them all, according to Amy Meyer, district curriculum director.

Maysara, the supervisor, said the success of the program is reflected in the feedback from the graduates who returned to the area after attending college.

“What they tell us is that they feel very prepared for the college programs because of the rigors of what they went through in high school and the challenge they faced,” he said.


Districts and Schools Offering IB Programs and Program Levels: Levels include Primary Years Programme, for ages 3-12; Middle Years Programme, ages 11 to 16; and Diploma programme, from 16 to 19 years old. Diploma programs are offered in the last two years of the school.

elementary years

Mauritius Centre: Clayton Huey Primary School. Hempstead: Barack Obama Elementary School, David Patterson School, Jackson Main School, Joseph A. McNeil School, Prospect School, Rhodes Academy for the Humanities and the Arts

Middle years

Center Moriches Middle School Commack Middle School Alverta B. Gray Schultz Middle School (Hempstead) Long Beach Middle School South Side Middle School (Rockville Center)


Bay Shore High School, Center Moriches High School, Commack High School, Hauppauge High School, Locust Valley High School, Long Beach High School, North Shore High School (Glen Head), Northport High School, Portledge School (private), South Side High The School (Rockville Centre), Pearson High School (Sag Harbor), West Islip High School

related to the job

Comac Secondary