October 23, 2018 Achievements

4 SCCSD schools in line for International Baccalaureate program

After the Sioux City school Board voted affirmatively Monday night, a big round of applause went up from many of the 30 teachers and parents who support adding an International Baccalaureate, or IB, program.

As an extended, back-and-forth, 80-minute discussion by the seven board members played out, some observers thought the final vote was in doubt. But ultimately, on a 6-1 vote, the school board pinpointed four elementary schools they hope can participate in an IB program that may be added down the line.

Since early 2018, superintendent Paul Gausman and other school leaders have urged school board members, who set, approve and fund school initiatives, to add the program. Backers claim IB would draw or retain more students, better prepare them for college and boost standardized test scores.

Initially, the discussion was to add IB in five schools in a few years. Now, the number may be as many as seven, Gausman said Monday. The superintendent said that likely would include all three middle schools, plus the four elementary schools approved Monday — Nodland, Sunnyside, Perry Creek and the Clark Early Childhood Center.

IB, administered by a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., has been implemented in 2,223 U.S. school districts, including some large metro districts like Chicago and Atlanta. Some schools have all instruction steered to International Baccalaureate, including a Minneapolis suburb, said Phillip Evans, a development specialist for IB, told school officials at a May meeting.

The IB curriculum covers a broad base of academic subjects, including English, foreign language, math, science, social studies, the arts and physical education.

View the full story from the Sioux City Journal
by Bret Hayworth