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Florence 1 Schools IB Program receives commendations on five-year evaluation

Florence 1 Schools recently received the results of the five-year evaluation of their International Baccalaureate (IB) Program. In the results, the program received several commendations including one for increasing the number of classes offered as well as the recent expansion at both the MYP and the IB Diploma levels.

Wilson High School was first authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization in 1996 to offer the IB Diploma program for 11th and 12th-grade students. The program expanded in 2002 to include the IB Middle Years Program (MYP) for grades 7-10 at Wilson and Williams Middle School. The MYP years are designed to prepare students for the coursework and community service work required to graduate with an IB Diploma.

The IB Program is open to all Florence One Schools students and participants are chosen based on an application as well as an interview process with IB program staff and school administrators. Teacher recommendations are also required.

The program was commended for having nearly 100 additional students enrolled in the MYP and DP programs.

“Our program has had a lot of wonderful success over the years,” said Brian Howell, Director of the Florence 1 IB Program. “We were very excited to be able to expand the number of spots available because that means more students can benefit from learning from, and working with, our highly trained staff.”

Howell said that Florence 1 was also commended for having a program fully-funded at the district level.

“In some IB programs, students actually pay to participate,” Howell said. “Our district fully funds our program and that really takes finances out of the equation for students who are interested in participating.”

During the five-year evaluation process, students and teachers are interviewed about the program providing self-reflection on things like what classes are offered. When it came to the IB exam scores, Florence 1 received a commendation for having student scores above the international average.

“I think it is really amazing that our students had scores that were competitive not only with their peers nation-wide but also internationally,” Howell said. “I think that speaks really highly of the hard work that students and staff put into this program.”

High levels of community involvement and an active community service aspect of the F1S program also earned commendations.