IB program grows

Jessica Salisbury, News Editor

The IB program is an academically challenging and balanced educational program that prepares students for the rigor of college. The program continues to grow and develop as many students make an attempt to receive the IB diploma every year.

This year the program has close to 400 students testing in the May 2017 session. Those students will be taking 533 SL exams and 238 HL exams.

“There are also 20 seniors working towards the IB diploma and 50 juniors just starting the journey this year,” IB Coordinator Linda Bradshaw said.

There were also over 30 IB courses offered to students this year, and there will be a new course offered next year called IB World Religions.

“Each IB class you take, gives you more tools in your toolbox to use in college,” Bradshaw said.

The program continues to expand because it has many benefits that appeal to many students.

“I think the program continues to grow because it has to adapt to changing times, as it probably should, especially since it prides itself on being so worldly,” senior IB candidate Madison Schinstock said.

Many students take IB classes to push themselves and to become prepared for the future.

“Part of the reason for why I took the classes was to challenge myself and see if I could conquer late nights and extended essays,” Schinstock said.

Others take it because it is an international program.

“I want to study abroad in Korea, and since IB is an international program, it will be appreciated in schools abroad,” senior IB candidate Rachael Champion said.

Bradshaw says students enjoy the program because the teachers are passionate about the subject’s they teach, and students could get a potential credit at college.

“A 2016 graduate who is at Virginia Tech now started off on sophomore status because of all the credits they received from their IB tests,” Bradshaw said.

What many students don’t understand is that the program is much more than just a bunch of rigorous classes.
“Students must complete an extended essay and CAS project among other international assessments as well” Champion said.

Students also get a lot of support by their teachers and coordinator to complete these assessments. Students meet monthly to go over Extended Essay and CAS requirements as well as they are given time in the spring in the library to work on their Extended Essays.

Past graduates also return to tell current candidates about the classes they took previously.

“They recall how writing the extended essay helped them with college papers and that they have stronger time management and study skills after taking IB courses,” Bradshaw said.

The IB Mission statement is “to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.”

Students interested in pursuing the IB diploma are encouraged to contact Bradshaw to create a course sequence plan for their junior and senior year. There are also pride time information sessions that are available this month to interested candidates.