Feeding a demand in southeast Davidson County, Metro Nashville Public Schools is planning to expand the International Baccalaureate education program to Antioch High School.
“The Antioch parents have been requesting that in the past few years, and it’s time,” Metro’s Associate Superintendent for High Schools Jay Steele told The City Paper Monday after hinting about the announcement at last week’s school board meeting.
Antioch, beginning in the 2013-14 school year, will become the third high school to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, joining Hillsboro and Hunters Lane. School officials must first kick off a feasibility study –– which can take six months to one year –– and then formally apply with the Geneva, Switzerland-based International Baccalaureate for the program’s arrival at Antioch to become official.
“It’s going to be a lot of hard work, but well worth it in the years to come,” Antioch principal Adrienne Battle-Kroger said.
Provided budgetary and other considerations are addressed, Steele said entry-level IB courses would begin at Antioch during the 2013-14 school year. The entire “phase-in” of the program could take three years, he said.
International Baccalaureate, known as “IB,” is recognized as one of the world’s highest demanding education programs. Used in more than 140 nations, IB junior and senior high school students work towards earning an IB diploma at the end of their studies, which requires passing a final examination.
The program’s mission statement: “to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.”
In addition to offering the IB Diploma program at three district high schools, Metro also offers its middle and primary years programs at some middle and elementary schools. For now, however, Steele said IB would be offered only at Antioch High School and not lower schools within its cluster.
Steele said his goal is for every Metro school to offer an internationally recognized advanced curriculum program to take the district’s existing Academies of Nashville program “to the next level.”
Metro is also planning to bring the Cambridge University-based Advanced International Certificate of Education diploma program to four high schools: Whites Creek, McGavock, Cane Ridge and Overton, according to Steele.
At Metro’s remaining five comprehensive high schools –– Glencliff, Hillwood, Maplewood, Pearl-Cohn, Stratford –– Steele said the district is ramping up its “Advanced Scholars” program by offering additional Advanced Placement courses and dual-enrollment options.