International Baccalaureate program not for everyone, educators say
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. ” Incline Village’s public schools have the support of Washoe County’s educational leadership to go ahead and implement the rigorous International Baccalaureate curriculum.
The program, an internationally-focused teaching philosophy, is expected to boost Incline’s enrollment and further enhance the quality of education at the three schools in town.
Nationally and internationally, IB is lauded for producing high school graduates who attend some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country.
Case in point: Daryl Dibitonto, who coordinates an IB program at Wooster High School in Reno, said students have graduated and gone on to Yale, Harvard, Stanford and Cornell to name only a few.
But not all students go on to college. It’s a fact most schools are aware of, and even in relatively affluent Incline, where slightly less than 10 percent of students, according to Incline High School, do not advance to college.
Jeni Cross, an IHS French teacher who is heading up the IB movement, said the plan for Incline would accommodate those students without college aspirations.
The way Incline would like to implement IB is as a K-12 system, with all students K-10 participating in the IB Early Years and Middle Years Programmes, and students 11-12 opting into an IB Diploma Programme. All students would be able to handle the IB K-10 curriculum, Cross said, and those who are highly motivated and probably college bound could continue to the Diploma Programme.
“That’s the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow ” it’s the target,” Cross said. “But, it is for highly motivated students, and we need to be fully comprehensive and offer services for all kinds of students.”
Cross said students who don’t plan on college as their next step could opt out of the IB curriculum in grades 11-12, but still would be able to take an IB course in a way students now can take an Advanced Placement course.
The IB Diploma courses are challenging, with a long essay accompanying each, and students are required to complete a certain amount of community service on top of their regular coursework.
The proposed curriculum would allow for students looking to specialize in a trade to complete coursework such as Industrial Arts, said Rick Borba, superintendent for secondary education in the Washoe County School District.
“We have to provide services for those students, it’s what high school is all about, serving every single one of our students,” Borba said. He said Incline would continue to offer courses for students not planning on attending a traditional college.
Under IB, Wooster’s Dibitonto said students who may not be bound for colleges traditionally are still afforded the chance to take some high-end courses.
“While almost all of our students go to college here, IB can help those who aren’t going to college in the traditional sense, students who are maybe going to culinary school or a trade school or go on in the arts,” Dibitonto said.
He said students are welcome to challenge themselves by taking a single IB course, known as a ‘certificate’ in an area they may have academic strength in.
“If a student just isn’t very proficient in math and science, but may have a talent in history or languages, we encourage them to challenge themselves and go out on a limb,” Dibitonto said.
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