Washtenaw County schools looking at countywide International Baccalaureate program
A countywide program for advanced students will “very likely” be started by the fall of 2011, Ann Arbor school Superintendent Todd Roberts said Wednesday.
A committee of local school officials has begun the planning process to form some sort of countywide International Baccalaureate program, Roberts told his school board.
The effort is being supported by all 10 local traditional school districts and is based on a consortium model running in Oakland County.
In that model, each district would offer support for the program, and in turn would get a set amount of seats in the school.
Details about how big the school would be, how many seats each district would get, the application process and cost still have to be worked out, Roberts said.
“We’re assessing what it might look like,” he said.
Roberts’ report came during a wide-ranging review of the district’s strategic plan, the board’s goals for the last school year and Roberts’ goals for the upcoming year.
Adding International Baccalaureate, which is a rigorous program of learning used around the world with advanced students, was one of the goals of the district’s strategic plan.
Roberts said he brought the idea of sharing the program to the county’s superintendents as a way to combine services and operate efficiently.
The board spent a considerable amount of time talking about efforts to improve the social climate at the district’s high schools, a long-time area of interest to several board members.
The district has begun looking at a variety ways to measure the social climate at the three comprehensive high schools - Pioneer, Huron and Skyline.
District officials are also looking at the role of guidance counselors at the high schools. Board members told Roberts they want to see counselors spend more time counseling and working with students and less time working on scheduling.
Roberts’ goals for the 2009-10 school year were mostly a repeat of his goals from the previous year and centered on improving student achievement, reducing suspensions, continuing to work on equity in the district and the transition planning for Huron and Pioneer as Skyline fills up.
David Jesse covers K-12 education for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at email@example.com or at 734-623-2534.