Prepared Notes for Board Meeting – WKHS IB
January 10, 2011
Marc A. Schare –
First, I want to thank the team from WKHS for tonight’s presentation. It is especially rewarding for me to get to listen to this proposal in my first hour as President of the board because encouraging efforts just like this, right here, is one of the reasons I got involved in educational politics in the first place.
It is well documented that High Schools throughout Ohio and the country are failing to adequately prepare kids for their lives after graduation, be it college or entrance into the work force. In Worthington, we’ve been blessed that our student’s high school experiences are better than most as determined by ACT scores, college remediation rates and other objective measures, but we also understand that the world is changing and we must change with it if our students are to compete successfully. Such was the challenge offered across our district with the renewal program and when the board sanctioned the renewal efforts, it was my hope that efforts like this would emerge.
The IB program is certainly well known but what I found particularly impressive about this proposal is that it not only offers our students the opportunity for the International Baccalaureate Diploma, it extends the concept so that all WKHS students across the district can benefit through, for example, new course offerings and content. The text of their proposal acknowledges, just to pick one, the addition of “mathematical investigation”, a concept I didn’t get to explore until my junior year of college and mathematical modeling, blending the theoretical with the pragmatic. The proposal further describes expanded offerings in English composition, Experimental Sciences and the Arts but what makes this program somewhat unique is the innovative approach to inclusion that allows students to sample IB classes and obtain recognition for doing so without having to commit to the entire IB curriculum.
People have been talking about “High School Reform” in this district for at least a decade and I’ve lost track of how many community engagement sessions on the subject I’ve attended. The WKHS IB Professional Learning Community, AKA “The Design Team” has, in my opinion, delivered a tangible result from these efforts and I’m sure we all wish you well as you embark on the next phase of your program. We look forward to seeing your progress in the years to come.