- Sponsorship -

High School Applying to Become International Baccalaureate School

Students in the East Grand Rapids High School Class of 2018 may have the option of graduating with a global diploma. The district just finished the first year of a three-year process to start an International Baccalaureate program for high school juniors and seniors, and recently was approved as a candidate for the Diploma Program. Authorization is scheduled in 2015-2016 and implementation in 2016-2017.

The IB program, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, focuses on developing intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. Founded in 1968, it works with 3,718 schools in 147 countries and offers four programs to more than 1 million students.

“I am excited about IB and believe it will enhance learning opportunities for East students by providing a curriculum and instructional practices that are rigorous and focused on developing the 21st-century skills our students need to compete and succeed in the global environment,” Principal Jenny Fee said.  “Collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills will be developed through the IB curriculum.”

Jeanne Glowicki, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, and a team of staff and community members focused on extensive training and site visits to prepare for the application.

Glowicki said IB fits in perfectly with the vision and mission statement of East Grand Rapids Public Schools, including global-mindedness and a focus on development of the whole child.

“In the IB we are really hoping students see they can focus on strength areas but still have a really rich background,” she said.

Giving Students Another Option

An IB diploma also provides students a competitive advantage for college admissions and to achieve more success while in college, according to a 2012 study by i-graduate, a United Kingdom-based research consultancy.

If authorized as an IB school, EGR high school students would be able to complete the rigorous, integrated IB Diploma course of study, or pick and choose from IB courses. Current eighth-grade students would be the first to benefit.

City High/Middle School, West Ottawa Public Schools and Portage Northern and Central high schools offer IB programs.

IB is set up as three programs: Primary, Middle Years, and Diploma. The course of study is school-wide in elementary and middle schools, and students opt into the diploma program in high school.  EGR currently is only applying for the Diploma Program.

Some advanced placement and IB courses could potentially be taught together.  Most staff members already have completed some training.

The Diploma Program requirements consist of six subjects taken concurrently over two years. In addition to English, foreign language, science, math and arts, they include courses on Theory of Knowledge; Creativity, Action and Service, which involves activities alongside academics; and a 4,000-word essay.

The cost to the district of implementing IB will depend on the number of students interested because of student registration and student subject fees. There are about $23,000 in initial costs, and an annual school fee of $10,600. Each student would pay a $151 registration fee to take one or more examinations in a particular session and a fee of $104 for each subject taken.

Glowicki said funding could come from district money set aside for innovation, and through collaboration with the EGR Schools Foundation, private donors, and corporate and community sponsorships and partnerships.

CONNECT

International Baccalaureate

- Sponsorship -
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio or email Erin.

LATEST ARTICLES

Fourth-grade hockey fan gets a magical hour on ice: ‘I made the shot!’

Raised as a Red Wings and Grand Rapids Griffins hockey fan, Jackson Solow lights up while skating on an ice rink wearing his favorite hockey jersey...

‘This time it is continued learning’

One school’s switch from in-person to virtual education last week was nearly seamless, especially when compared with the forced school closure in March...

Foundation grants $28,285 in fall funding requests

Virtual phys ed and art experiences, materials to improve classroom focus and books on social issues aimed at middle-schoolers are among the grants approved this fall...

Latest school closings expand on state-ordered high school mandate

More Kent County districts continue to announce temporary school building closures, as schools contend with a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in Kent County and Michigan...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Short stories, tall tales

A collection of short stories by Mark Pullen’s fourth-graders at Lakeside Elementary shows what they have learned in their realistic fiction writing unit...

Bringing ‘positive intent’ to work every day

Heather McKinney-Rewa is the new East Grand Rapids Middle School assistant principal. SNN gets to know her in this edition of Meet the Principal...

Fifth-graders find beauty in science by dissecting marigolds

One teacher used readily available nature just outside school to introduce this year’s science unit, as well as flowers from home to study the parts of plants...
- Sponsorship -

HOW'S SCHOOL TODAY?

Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...

RADEMACHER & FRIENDS

Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -

MEDIA PARTNERS

Maranda Where You LiveWGVU

SUSTAINING SPONSORS