The Upper Grand District School Board has given approval in principle to the idea of offering an internationally recognized academic program in one of its high schools in Guelph.
The International Baccalaureate program, which is supported by a non-profit foundation based in Switzerland, includes a worldwide assessment system that ranks students against an international standard. It’s already offered in the neighbouring Waterloo Region and Halton Region boards, and several Guelph students commute daily to the IB program in Kitchener’s Cameron Heights Collegiate.
A feasibility study done by the board this year led to approval in principle from trustees at a recent board meeting.
Now another report will be prepared, which will go to trustees in March.
Issues that need to be addressed include identifying “a motivated and willing secondary school staff and administration” at a Guelph high school, looking at how to finance the start-up and ongoing costs of an IB program, finalizing of enrolment projections and deciding about transportation options for IB students, the board says.
After these issues have been dealt with successfully, it would take another two or three years for the board to get accredited and get ready to start the IB program in Guelph, the board says.
The IB program emerged in the 1960s to meet the academic needs of “geographically mobile students,” and it’s currently offered in 90 countries, the board says.
“The intention of the International Baccalaureate is that a common curriculum can be delivered in any country and be recognized by universities around the world,” said a board report earlier this year.
“Through rigorous study in all academic areas, the IB program encourages students to be responsible global citizens, critical, compassionate thinkers and lifelong learners.”
The Association for Bright Children of Ontario has urged the board to offer the program.