The IB program takes a holistic approach to education and allows students who successfully complete the program to earn up to 30 college credits.
The W under the mountain still burns red and the halls inside the brick building are still windowless, but there is a new academic touch at Weber High in the 2018-2019 school year that is a big change at the high school.
For the first time, Weber is implementing the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma program. The IB program takes a holistic approach to education and allows students who successfully complete the program to earn up to 30 college credits. Since the students are taking college-level classes, the coursework is rigorous. On top of that, there is also a Theory of Knowledge course, an extended research-based essay, and a community service project component.
Marcia Kloempken, math teacher but also the IB coordinator, sums it up by saying, “The IB program is a comprehensive and challenging pre-university program for motivated students in 11th and 12th grade. The IB program is widely recognized throughout the US and internationally for its rigor and high academic standards.”
In its inaugural season, eight students at Weber High are enrolled in all that IB offers: Kiara Lindsey, Anna Nielson, Tanna Bradley, Kaitlyn Furgeson, Ethan Harris, Jordan Williams, Natalie Stoddard, and Xitlali-Vanessa Ramirez.
The goal is to add 20 students for next year and for the number to continue to climb as the program gets rolling and more students see its benefits.
“I joined the IB program because of its promise of extensive learning along with the surplus amount of college credit available,” Harris, a junior, said. He adds that in addition to IB, his AP scores and his ACT score “will aid in reducing a healthy portion of initial costs and funds that will laden my college years.”
Ferguson, who is also in the school’s HOPE squad, said, “From the moment I heard about the program I felt like it was a good decision for me. I want to prove to myself that I can do hard things.”
Bradley shares a similar reason. “The IB Program will prepare me for college and the whole idea of a global comparison seemed very compelling.” She adds, “My favorite part is that I have three classes that are just IB students which makes the class size smaller and it’s easier to learn and talk with the teacher.”
One aspect that makes the IB program unique is that it’s an international program which emphasizes learning about and respecting different cultures and sharing in a common global community. Within and outside of the actual course, Weber High IB students will be involved in broadening their horizons and becoming more aware of the world around them.
“I love how IB intertwines culture and a world view on everything you learn. I feel that’s a great mindset to have while learning,” says Ferguson.
There will be a Parent Information Night for parents of students currently in grades 8-10. Parents may choose to come to one of the following sessions:
Tuesday, October 2 at 7pm
Thursday, November 29 at 7pm
Wednesday, January 20 at 7pm