By Kim Carneal
They walked into the same school but anticipated completely different peers in the class , which sent mixed emotions to the former International Baccalaureate (IB) students. A select group of juniors have spent four years in the Middle Years Programme of IB.
“I’m still getting used to being mixed with other kids. The first day was weird,” junior Jessica Taylor said.
Some students had a positive outcome from being in IB, either with establishing a strong bond with peers or improving their school work ethic.
“You are with the same people all day. In four years it created a family-like bond,” Taylor said.
Others felt IB to be a downfall of their high school experience.
“I slowly realized being in IB had a negative effect on my grades,” junior Allison Nichols said.
Lack of a challenge to students encourages them to seek a more rigorous way of learning.
“I thought IB would be more of a challenge because there was not enough in regular classes,” sophomore Alexus Allen said.
The teaching during the MYP years focused on being more informed on worldwide issues.
“Teachers are teaching the IB students a more global way of thinking and applying concepts to everyday life,” IB Coordinator Crystal Barnwell said.
Even though MYP offers extensive learning, one student felt the need to take himself out of the program before his sophomore year.
“I did not agree with the project that none of us knew much about,” junior Jamar Johnson said.
Being socially excluded contributed to Johnson’s decision in withdrawing from IB.
“I hated being with the same people every day. There was not any individuality,” Johnson said.
Students have strong opinions on the effectiveness of being in IB. The opinions range from being well prepared to feeling slighted from being the first year of IB.
“There was a lot of projects and community service. That helped me with being prepared for college and getting involved. I talked about getting out while I was in [the program] but now I want to be back in,” Taylor said.
First year IB students set the foundation for developing the program to be well prepared for future years.
“Being the guinea pigs effected how prepared the teachers were when giving us assignments that were supposed to be on a higher level,” Johnson said.
Still being enrolled in the program does not stop students from expressing their opinion.
“I could be in honors [classes] doing the same thing but taught in a different way,” Allen said.
The step after the MYP is the Diploma Programme. The school board is still in discussion over the budget for the next level.
“We are in a budget crisis and that ways heavily on the decision about getting the Diploma Programme,” IB administrator Chris Romig said.
The Diploma Programme offers even more worldly knowledge to the students, however some students would have just taken the program to reap the additional benefits.
“I would continue on to get the certificate. It would look good on a college transcript,” Allen said
If the Diploma Programme was available to the former IB students, the want to continue varies.
“I probably would not have had a choice. My mom made it clear it was not an option to not be in IB,” Taylor said.
While the students do not have the opportunity to be enrolled in the Diploma Programme, they can still successful with just the MYP.
“Whether we get the Diploma Programme or not, the MYP students are going to be well prepared for A.P. or Dual-Enrollment classes, which will have them ready for college,” Barnwell said.