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IB is Canceled

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The school district has announced that it will no longer have the International Baccalaureate program as part of its offerings in the 2024-2025 school year. This decision came after much debate, and there are many sides to consider.

Although the program will not be opening its doors to new students, IB coordinator Kevin Crean says that current students will still be able to finish their classes and their diplomas. The program has been a part of the school for many years.

“We started the program in the fall of 2015, but preparation started a couple of years before that. I don’t think our college-level courses really had a comprehensive direction. They were very piecemeal and a la carte. We brought in the IB program because it for one, it had a lot to offer, and for two, it had a glue that held the classes together. I think that really held us together as teachers. It allows a multidisciplinary approach that doesn’t really exist in AP or Dual Credit,” said Crean.

For some, the IB program is something that is in their peripheral, but not something that they know about or focus on. However, IB was helpful for a variety of students and in a variety of ways.

“IB challenges teachers to explore with students how they know things, how we build knowledge in our field, and how we challenge students to think critically. I know several of our teachers, including me, have applied these ideas in their other classes. I also think that the IB Learner profile can encourage students to be their best selves, which our teachers can use outside of IB as well,” said Crean.

For teachers, the end of this program brings up mixed emotions, like IB Biology teacher Jennifer Talley.

“So it makes me very sad because it was a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. I mean there was so much planning, so much that went into bringing the program here to begin with, and it’s a lot of work for the teachers and the coordinator as well. It’s hard because you’re seeing this baby that we’ve kind of grown since inception, and now it’s just you’re off and done. It makes me sad to know that some of our students won’t be able to achieve the diploma that the kids in the last eight or nine years have been able to. It makes me sad that students don’t have as many options as they had with this program. It doesn’t upset me as much though because of the planning and the work it takes. I mean, it’s a lot as a teacher to stay on top of what you need to do, the curriculum changes all the time. So when the curriculum changes, you have to rewrite things. So I’m sad but I’m also a little relieved, as far as selfishly, the work that goes into it. However, I’d rather offer the program and me struggle and have kids succeed in something that’s such a high caliber program,” said Talley.

Although this decision may feel abrupt, there have been many moving parts behind the scenes that have contributed to this. Principal Scott Bacon explains how the district, school board, and other administrators came to this conclusion.

“Well, I think it’s a much bigger decision than just our building. I think it’s a good program but it’s a very costly program and I think you know, the district and the school board certainly looked at those things very closely. And when you have some IB classes with four students or very small numbers compared to other classes, it’s hard to justify that. And so I think that was a concern and an issue that maybe had been going on here for a few years and had led to conversations about, ‘Okay is this something we should continue or should we pivot and do some things differently,’” said Bacon.

However, the school is not getting rid of this program at the overall cost of their students. The school plans to make sure that students can still receive similar college-preparatory classes with more variety.

“Well, I think one of the things that we’re looking at trying to do going forward is really build our AP program. A lot of the experiences that a student might gain in an IB class they can also gain in an AP class. In addition to that, they can earn the college credit that goes with that AP class if they choose to take the exam and perform well on the exam so our students will still have an opportunity to gain college credit through AP classes which are very good preparatory classes for college, and we will probably add some offerings. There will be some new and different classes that’ll be AP-level classes that will provide a broader experience for our students than what we currently have,” said Bacon.

Although this is the best decision for the district, the IB students are disappointed that the program will no longer exist. Senior IB diploma candidate Brayden Schulze talks about what the program gave him and his thoughts on his cancellation.

“I really enjoyed it, and I think that IB provides a unique experience that the other classes can’t offer. It’s really the only way that people in high school get access to research opportunities and develop a passion for the subjects they care about. I think it’s really sad because there were a lot of great opportunities from the program and for personal advancement but now they’re all gone,” said Schulze.

The program will no longer be a part of the school but it has graduated many students who got to experience its benefits. Even though IB will no longer be available, the district is working to create a change that will still allow beneficial and differentiated types of college-prep classes to be offered to the students.

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Audrey Mitchell, Copy and Online Editor

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