Stamford, CT - Stamford Public Schools (SPS) announced that Stamford High School (SHS) in now an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School for the Diploma Program (DP), joining IB schools in 147 countries across the globe. After a rigorous two-and-a-half year process, which culminated with a verification visit, SHS received its official notification in late May. SHS becomes the first high school in Stamford to offer an IB opportunity to students and one of only nine qualified in Connecticut.
“We are so excited and proud to be able to offer the IBDP to Stamford students, in addition to our elementary and middle school IB offerings,” said Assistant Superintendent—Secondary Dr. Michael Fernandes. “Now our high school students have an opportunity to participate in a more holistic education that will help them to be even more successful in both the local community and in the wider world.”
Currently the district offers IB programs at Rogers International School (K-8), Strawberry Hill Elementary School—an extension of Rogers International and at Rippowam Middle School. Students entering their junior year who are enrolled in the IBDP will commence their studies in the demanding two-year IBDP coursework this fall. Application to the program was open to any sophomore residing in Stamford regardless of the high school they currently attend.
The process for IB World School authorization comprises four phases:
· Consideration phase, during which time the administration explores the process, analyzes requirements and resources, and informs the IB of interest
· Request for candidacy phase, which includes the application process and demonstrated plans for commitment to meeting requirements
· Candidate phase, during which time the school receives ongoing IB consultation and a school visit, takes necessary actions to fulfill the IB requirements, participates in professional development, creates policies and all aspects of the program
· Request for authorization phase, which is the final review including a verification visit and ultimate authorization
The IB is recognized across the world for its innovative approach to education. We strongly believe that it is important to place an equal focus on academics and other, transferable skills, in order to best prepare students for success beyond,” said Drew Deutsch, Director, IB America, International Baccalaureate. “That Stamford High School has now successfully completed the authorization process and can now start offering the IB marks an exciting time for Stamford and more importantly, for the students who will benefit from an IB education.”
According to the IB organization, the IB has a positive impact on students, schools and their wider communities with learning going well beyond the classroom. At the core of all learning is a keen focus on international-mindedness. Beyond a customized academic schedule that allows each student to delve into well-rounded learning in a variety of global topics, those students also engage in self-directed research in the form of the Extended Essay and in CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service), a framework that promotes school involvement and service learning. The IB Diploma Program promotes deep learning and self-reflection throughout the two years.
“In addition to the benefits our students will experience, at the same time our teachers have an opportunity to be a part of an international network of experts leading the field in education,” said Fernandes.
Students wishing to participate in the IBDP must apply for consideration during their sophomore year. Once accepted, students begin the program in their junior year and are required to follow a planned course of study, including the core course: Theory of Knowledge.