April 17, 2013
Eastern Senior High School First in the City to Offer IB Diploma at a Neighborhood High School
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (DP) is an academically rigorous and internationally focused course of studies.
Beginning in August, Eastern Senior High School will be the only comprehensive, neighborhood high school in the District of Columbia to offer an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma. Eastern Principal Rachel Skerritt received notification last week of the school’s authorization to offer the IB programme. International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (DP) is an academically rigorous and internationally focused course of studies.
“This is a great opportunity for the Ramblers and a testament to the students, staff and leadership at Eastern Senior High School,” said DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson. “IB will teach our students to think from a global perspective and set them on a path toward success. Eastern is on the rise, and with this new IB program, they’re set to take an international journey.”
The IB Diploma Programme is a holistic approach to education that requires students participating to take courses in six areas, English, history, math, science, world language and arts. Following their coursework, students will have to write a 4,000 word Extended Essay, pass a “theory of knowledge” philosophy class, and obtain 150 hours of activities focused on creativity, action and service (CAS). These CAS hours can include activities such as arts, sports, dance and voluntary service. Seniors can use the service hours toward their community service graduation requirement of 100 hours.
Currently, Thomson, Shepherd and H.D. Cooke elementary schools offer the IB Primary Years Programme, Deal Middle School offers the IB Middle Years Programme, and Banneker High School offers the Diploma Programme. In 2001, Banneker was the first DCPS school authorized to offer the program. The other schools followed in 2010 and 2011.
Eliot-Hine Middle School and Jefferson Middle School have applied to offer the IB Middle Years Programme, a five-year program that will end in the 10th grade at Eastern Senior High School
In 2011, Eastern Senior High School was re-opened and redesigned with new staff and curriculum and a model to ensure all students graduate with the content knowledge, character and confidence to serve as innovative, inclusive global leaders. Eastern currently holds a freshman and sophomore class, and the school will grow by a grade each year with a freshman, sophomore, junior and senior class by the 2014-2015 school year. One of the promises made to the community during the redesign was an IB programme at Eastern Senior High School.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer the prestigious IB World Diploma to students in our Legacy Class of 2015, and all classes that follow, who choose to pursue this rigorous program of study,” said Eastern Principal Rachel Skerritt. “When Eastern was relaunched, one significant goal was for students to receive a world-class college preparatory curriculum in a comprehensive, neighborhood high school. The IB organization recognized our success in meeting that goal and has responded by approving our candidacy.”
Unique for Eastern, the IB program will be offered both as a comprehensive model for students to complete throughout their junior and senior years, and also as individual classes for other students to take courses in areas of interest to them to experience the rigor and international focus. To prepare for the program, Eastern teachers received extensive training and their course outlines were reviewed by the International Baccalaureate Organization. Eastern also will have an IB coordinator at the school who will be responsible for providing information to subject teachers about curriculum and assessment, guidance for DP students, and administrative support by organizing DP external and internal exam schedules.
According to the IB website, graduates of the DP generally graduate college at higher rates than their peers who graduate with a standard diploma.