Just got back from the A+schools sponsored meeting on the IB program. It was nice to see so many familiar faces from Schenley, Frick, and even Linden. I am not a good judge of numbers so you will have to wait for the official report in the newspaper (if there is one) but I will say that the room was filled and they had to find extra chairs.
Designated speakers: Mr. Lopez, Ms. Reed, Mr. Huber, Mr. Casilli, and Ms. Smith. They gave a brief overview of the current IB diploma and the hopefully soon-to-be certified middle years program and then opened the floor for questions. We were told that we were not to discuss anything related to the building situation. After 3 or 4 questions were asked and answered (somewhat) they tried to close off questioning and break into groups for discussion. A large number of people protested and said that they would prefer having a longer question/answer session. By way of compromise, those who wanted the small group session went to one side of the room and those who wanted to keep asking questions went to the other. You can probably guess which side I was on!
I am sure Jen will have a more complete report of the meeting and the questions asked; she was writing furiously.
When the school becomes full IB, will there be any mainstream kids? What happens to the kids who are now called IS? Don't think that was answered. Some confusion with current grouping of PSP. As it currently stands, acceptance into Schenley's magnet has been dependent upon acceptable grades.
What happens to kids who can't keep up with the rigorous program?(They will have better support systems so that kids don't fail. Nice thought but not realistic!
Will the high standards of the program be maintained? (the high numbers in Theory of Knowledge were mentioned)
Is there any flexibility or will all kids be taking high level IB classes?
I managed to get in my question about the world language teachers considering the problems that Frick has had with hiring. Mr. Lopez said that they were just discussing the problems of hiring and that he will be going to Michigan to recruit and teachers will be offered contracts in April not August!!!!!
Cate Reed said that they have 125 kids signed up for 9th grade which came as a surprise to those of us who have been talking with Frick parents. this is one area where I hope that I am wrong. I hope that there will be a strong freshman class. They again assured us that the 9th graders will be able to participate in sports with the rest of the high school.
In closing, the small groups gave brief reports emphasizing the need for rigor and strong leadership.
Just some quick thoughts; I will probably remember more later. If anyone who was at the meeting wants to add anything, I will be happy to pass it along to the group.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
A+ Schools meets about IB situations -- after decisions are made
Amy sent this report. I didn't attend the meeting. I'm sorta busy with the kids.