Advanced classes gain interest

While Spring Lake school officials prepare to roll out the International Baccalaureate program for the 2015-16 school year, parent and student interest is growing.
Krystle Wagner
Mar 7, 2014

More than 80 ninth-graders and their parents recently attended an informational meeting about the two-year program, which begins during a student’s junior year of high school. It aims to provide students with an intercultural understanding.

Amy Bodbyl-Mast said she hopes the program helps prepare her ninth-grade son for college because it relates content to a global aspect, as well as practical use in life.

“I hope he’s able to explore all of his interests to a level that would steer him in the right direction for his future,” she said.

Spring Lake High School is awaiting word on becoming an authorized International Baccalaureate site. Meanwhile, school officials are in the process of completing an application as 14 teachers undergo training for the program.

Currently, more than 1,200 schools in 30 countries offer the diploma program.

Ann Henke, Spring Lake High School International Baccalaureate coordinator, said they are excited about offering the “rigorous” program.

Henke said the district will pay the registration fee and families will cover the expense of assessments for each IB course. Each assessment costs about $100, and students will take six IB courses during the two-year program.

In order to receive the International Baccalaureate diploma, students must take literature, a second language, individuals and societies, experimental sciences, and math and arts courses. Students will also take three high-level subjects for 240 hours and three standard-level subjects for 150 hours. Students will also take a “theory of knowledge” course.

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