Fishers High School has been approved to offer an International Baccalaureate program and diploma after a three-year application process. ”We’re thrilled that our application was approved on first presentation and are excited about the new opportunities now available to our students and faculty as members of this prestigious diploma program,” said Superintendent Dr. Concetta Raimondi.
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Sandra Hollingshead said that FHS Principal Dr. Scott Syverson and Assistant Principal Valerie Piehl took the lead in the process. “Dr. Syverson recognized the importance of having the IB.”
“It’s an extraordinary program that confirms that the district has a wide variety of challenging course offerings and appeals to some families looking for more rigorous instructional programming,” said Dr. Syverson. “In addition, I understand from other IB districts that it raises the achievement of all students.” He explained that all IB teachers receive extensive training. Because of that, they’re better teachers, not just in the IB courses, but in all the classes they teach. “It has a ripple effect.”
The process involved preliminary discussions, expressing intent to apply, filling out an application that involved hundreds of pages, getting courses in place, selecting and training staff and hosting a site visit. Dr. Syverson said applying was a team effort citing Piehl as the IB coordinator and the whole school, including many teachers and staff members involved in writing the application. In addition, he said the support to seek the program came from the top and Superintendent Dr. Concetta Raimondi. “It wouldn’t have happened without her vision and the support of the Board and central office administration.”
“It is an appealing program that attracts certain types of students. We are very pleased with the number of kids who expressed interest so far,” said Dr. Hollingshead about the program for juniors and seniors. In addition to Fishers High School students, the program allows HSE High School students to enroll and begin attending at FHS either beginning their junior or freshman years. The first IB graduates will come in 2008-09, and they have already tackled coursework in preparation that includes classes such as Honors English, AP World History as freshmen and foreign language in junior high.
Dr. Hollingshead said eventually both high schools may offer the program if participation numbers justify it. “We will have to have actual numbers showing interest, enrollment and completion in place before we offer it both places. Then HSEHS would also have to go through the same steps over two-three years and earn approval as well.” Because of the yearly expense of an IB program, Dr. Hollingshead said, “We will take great care and be able to provide ample data before moving forward with two sites.”