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IB program applauded

Published 10:52pm Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A slightly lower percentage of Suffolk Public Schools International Baccalaureate students received IB diplomas this year compared to 2012’s inaugural class, but Suffolk officials are nonetheless pleased with the program’s success.

The school district announced that 14 of the 20 IB students — 70 percent — earned IB diplomas in 2013, after 75 percent of the program’s participants achieved the result in 2012.

On average, students who received an IB diploma scored 29 points. Twenty-four points is the minimum requirement.

According to district officials, every student who missed the target missed it by only one point. Of 16 subjects in which students were assessed, the King’s Fork High School students scored above the world average in three and equaled it in nine.

“We are extremely proud of the students,” said Jacqueline Chavis, school district deputy superintendent.

“It speaks highly of the students, who really worked hard. I think it also is an example of the hard work of the staff of King’s Fork High School, who really worked hard to make sure students were prepared, not just for the exam but for the next step, which will be college.”

The IB diploma students are Lauren Alton, Nancy Angelelli, Erica Billmeyer, Alexis Brueggeman, Christine Fulgham, Octavia Gould, Amber Moreland, Abigail Norman, Marcus Pruitt, Anna Pudder, Stephanie Ragan, Laura Smith, Adriana White and James White.

The 20 diploma candidates have been accepted into a range of colleges, including the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech and the College of William & Mary, the officials say.

The students also received scholarships worth more than $1.6 million combined.

For the Suffolk students who did not receive IB diplomas, the experience will still prove invaluable, Chavis said.

Chavis said school officials expect the advanced program, which had more than 127,000 students worldwide in 2013, will continue to attract more Suffolk students.

“As we continue to get successful results, it will encourage other students to pursue it, even those who never thought about it before or had been teetering on the edge of doing it,” Chavis said.

She gave special thanks to Carol Kennedy-Dickens, the district’s supervisor of advanced instruction.

The May 2013 IB session involved the preparation of more than 770 examination papers and supporting documents in 74 languages, the IB organization reports.

In 2013, the worldwide average score for diploma students was 29.81, and 108 students achieved the maximum score of 45 points.

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