Meeting will offer IB program info

Published 8:03 pm Thursday, October 1, 2009

The International Baccalaureate program began its second year in Suffolk Public Schools this year, and staff members are already planning for the next installment.

There will be an informational meeting for parents of prospective IB students on Oct. 13 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the cafeteria at King’s Fork High School.

“It gives them an opportunity to find out about the program to see if their child may be interested,” said IB lead teacher Hilve Firek. “They get to meet the teachers, learn about the curriculum and ask questions.”

The IB program is a more challenging two-year curriculum for students in their junior and senior years. Students must apply in their eighth grade year to be accepted into the program so that they can begin all of the necessary prerequisite work in their freshmen and sophomore years.

To prepare for the prerequisite work, middle school students should have completed Algebra I, either French I or Spanish I and have maintained at least a 3.0 grade point average.

Firek said these types of meetings are also important to help clear up false ideas about how demanding the curriculum is.

“There are all kinds of misconceptions about the IB program and the workload,” Firek said. “Very often, we’ll hear people say, ‘You have to do work all summer and read 15 books.’ We can help clear some of that up.”

At the meeting, parents will get to meet Firek and IB instructors, as well as students currently enrolled in the program and their parents. There will be a brief meet-and-greet time, and then there will be an IB presentation, followed by time for questions and answers.

“It’s basically just an information night,” Firek said. “If anybody is interested in getting more information, this is the place to be.”

All parents of current eighth graders from all city middle schools are invited to attend. For more information, contact Firek at 923-5240.