Weber School District to start offering International Baccalaureate diploma

Saturday , March 03, 2018 - 5:00 AM

PLEASANT VIEW — Weber School District is getting its first International Baccalaureate program.

Marcia Kloempken, Weber High International Baccalaureate coordinator, said the high school will start offering the IB diploma this fall.

Students participating in the IB program could graduate with up to 30 college credits and start their college career with sophomore standing, Kloempken said.

“It’s a holistic program,” Kloempken said.

She said some students in the past have left to attend an IB program elsewhere. She expects the program will help keep students in the district.

Weber High Principal Velden Wardle said the school has been considering the program for about six years after the school’s community council mentioned interest in it.

According to its website, the school officially started the process to become an IB World School in June 2015. It received full authorization by the International Baccalaureate Organization earlier this month. 

“It’s a program meant to really help our students that are college- and university-bound,” Wardle said. “We didn’t have a program that was aimed at that population of students.”

Students participating in the program will take the same courses as their peers around the world.

“They see that global comparison,” Wardle said. “It is also one of the things that would add to a student’s university score.”

He said some universities give additional points to applicants with an IB diploma.

About 12 Weber High teachers and administrators have been trained as IB instructors, Kloempken said. 

According to a 2017 report by the International Baccalaureate Organization, 85,508 students in the United States were IB diploma candidates.

In Utah, IB diplomas are offered at nine high schools in Salt Lake City, Davis, Canyon, Ogden and Granite School Districts.

Kloempken said she expects the first cohort to be about 20 students. These students will start in their junior year, since it is a two-year program.

To be successful in the program, students need to have good ethics and be able to balance the rigorous course load, she said.

“It’s more about attitude and dedication,” Kloempken said.

She said students from other high schools in the district are also encouraged to apply to the IB program on Weber High’s website

Contact education reporter Sergio Martínez-Beltrán at smartinezbeltran@standard.net or 801-625-4274. Follow him on Twitter @SergioMarBel and like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/STANDARDEXSergio.

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