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Posted on Tue, Nov 2, 2010 : 9:22 a.m.

Seven Washtenaw County school districts join countywide International Baccalaureate program

By Kyle Feldscher

Seven Washtenaw County school districts will be in the countywide International Baccalaureate program, with the western districts deciding against joining the consortium.

The Ann Arbor, Saline, Willow Run, Ypsilanti, Whitmore Lake, Lincoln and Milan school districts all voted to join with the Washtenaw Intermediate School District to form the Washtenaw International High School.

The school is scheduled to open in the fall of 2011 in the former East Middle School in Ypsilanti.

The Dexter, Chelsea and Manchester school districts decided against joining the consortium. Dexter Community Schools will be offering its students an IB program at Dexter High School.

County school districts had until the end of October to decide whether to join the consortium.

The school will hold 600 students, with 150 students joining in each of the first four years of the program. The allotment of students will be determined according to the size of each of the districts in the consortium. Student enrollment processes will be finalized in the coming weeks, according to a news release.

The IB is a rigorous program of learning used around the world. More than 3,000 IB programs exist in 139 countries around the world involving about 1 million students. There are 33 IB schools in Michigan.

The WISD will front $250,000 to start the program in the first years. The proposed budget for the first full year of the program, the 2011-12 school year, is about $1.4 million. Association fees for each of the districts will be determined in the near future, officials said.

Kyle Feldscher covers K-12 education for He can be reached at



Thu, Nov 18, 2010 : 12:16 p.m.

The IB Program is not for all students. A full IB candidate's schedule is very intense and demands self-driven students. IB Curriculum costs money as well, plus the cost of external assessments (This is true of AP courses too). What sets IB apart from AP is its focus on depth, its committment to a world perspective, and its focus on skill development through internal and external assesments. The AP focuses on breadth and is driven by an end of year test. I can personally attest that my teaching has greatly developed because of my certification as an IB teacher, even though I am not currently teaching IB. If all candidates at the school are full IB, it will be an intense school (for students as well as teachers)!

Basic Bob

Tue, Nov 2, 2010 : 4:14 p.m.

Yes, it's true. Six high schools in Ann Arbor is not enough. Now they have a seventh public high school available to AAPS students, all of which are paid from the AAPS operating budget. They must be rolling in cash.


Tue, Nov 2, 2010 : 3:11 p.m.

Hopefully the Saline School Board won't be making any policy decisions about discrimination and equal treatment at the school.


Tue, Nov 2, 2010 : 2:25 p.m.

If the program is that good as to be singled out, why not adopt it in all high schools? Why have a separate school? Seems funding could be given to the high schools in those districts to set up the IB program in each high school. It would lower the cost of running a separate school building, with separate teachers and administrators than what they are planning for now.