By Michelle Huelmann
RAINIER BEACH – The landscape of education in Southeast Seattle will shift dramatically in the Fall of 2013 when Rainier Beach High School offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program. This high-quality educational program is in 144 countries and is recognized by the world’s leading universities for teaching students to ask challenging questions, to reflect critically, to develop research skills, and to learn how to learn.
The IB Diploma Program gives students a rigorous, internationally respected liberal arts education during high school, meanings they enter college already knowing how to learn and think critically. Studies have shown that taking even one IB course during high school increases a student’s success in completing college, and 80% of students with an IB Diploma complete college within four years. Students can also earn college credit in high school with the IB program, and some universities grant high-scoring IB students sophomore status.
Rainier Beach High School is committed to making the IB program something all students will be able participate in, whether it is for one class or the full IB Diploma. Students do not need to test into the program, which will be available to all interested Rainier Beach 11th- and 12th-grade students.
By the end of this year, over 90% of general education teachers in core subjects will have gone through the IB training program. This supports the school’s plan to teach all students at the high school, including 9th- and 10th-grade students, in a way that makes the transition into IB classes seamless. IB programs at Ingraham and Chief Sealth high schools have been extremely successful and there are now waiting lists to attend those schools. Rainier Beach expects the IB program to have a similar effect on student enrollment in the coming years.
Come see the ways that Rainier Beach is creating a successful and academically challenging environment for students, and helping to strengthen our community. Any interested parents or community members are encouraged to visit Rainier Beach and meet with the principal, Dwane Chappelle, and the IB coordinator, Colin Pierce (firstname.lastname@example.org), and everyone is invited to attend an open house or tour the school and see what the IB buzz is all about:
2/28: Rainer Beach High School Tour and Open House (8-9:30 am)
3/7: Rainer Beach High School Tour and Open House (8-9:30 am)
This article originally appeared in the February 2013 edition of Lakewood-Seward Park Community News. Photo/Rainier Valley Post