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IB Diploma program approved at Dickinson

March 17, 2012

Red Clay’s John Dickinson High School won approval Thursday to offer the prestigious International Baccalaureate Diploma, following a successful two-and-a-half year effort to prepare for the program requirements. Dickinson joins Mount Pleasant as the second high school in Delaware to offer the IB Diploma.

From Red Clay’s announcement:

Fifteen Dickinson teachers have been training for two years to teach the IB model, which emphasizes rigorous academics and students making a positive contribution to their school and community.

Approval also included a visit and interviews with a “validation team” representing the IB Board of Governors, a 17-member elected body based in Switzerland that has overseen and protected implementation of the IB model for 35 years.

The IB Diploma is a two-year program for grades 11-12. The diploma is internationally recognized and valued by top-tier universities, some of whom may allow IB graduates to skip freshman year and enter college as a sophomore:

The IB Diploma Programme is designed as an academically challenging and balanced programme of education with final examinations that prepares students, normally aged 16 to 19, for success at university and life beyond. The programme is normally taught over two years and has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities.

The University of Delaware, for example, allows incoming students to skip many courses based on their IB test scores.

Dickinson will begin offering the diploma program next fall, with the first class graduating in 2014. Even prior to approval, a group of 23 students entered Dickinson as ninth-graders in 2010 with the intention of being the first IB Diploma graduates in 2014.

Other changes are coming to Dickinson too. Red Clay:

The school’s IB program was a main part of a redesign of the instructional offerings at Dickinson announced in January 2010. In addition to the IB program, the school is converting into a STEM Academy (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and is upgrading and expanding its Career and Technical (CTE) programs.

Congratulations to the Dickinson community, and to Principal Byron Murphy and everybody who helped bring the IB program to Dickinson!

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