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By The Newman School
| October 2, 2019
In our interconnected global society, high school students need to build skills that will enable them to gain acceptance to universities, successfully manage the demands of higher education, and secure work that offers opportunities for fulfillment and success. When high school students enter colleges and ultimately start careers, they can expect to find themselves learning and working alongside peers from around the globe with widely different cultural and educational backgrounds. Therefore, students need an educational approach that helps them compete and thrive in multi-cultural environments, whether they pursue paths in science, finance, technology, or non-profit organizations.
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (the IBDP), established in 1968, provides a framework for secondary-level education that has spread across the world in response to this need. Statistics demonstrate that students who have earned the IB Diploma make a more successful adjustment to university studies and tend to achieve at a higher level than their peers. As a result, the pursuit of the IB Diploma has emerged as a highly respected application credential for both American and international universities.
To earn an IB Diploma, students must complete a demanding two-year curriculum in their junior and senior years, which includes a service component and a 4,000-word “extended essay.” The program culminates with multiple examinations, and all work is judged according to standards established by teams of international educators. While the list of requirements can seem daunting at first, all IB schools train their teachers to guide students to succeed, adopting a “coaching for success” philosophy.
IB schools pride themselves on being able to help students with different backgrounds and interests earn the IB Diploma. According to the International Baccalaureate Organization, parent interest in gaining access to this educational experience has spurred a 46% increase in the number of IB Diploma programs between February 2011 and February 2016. Overall in the United States, nearly 900 schools offer the IBDP, however the credential remains a relative rarity in the New England region, with just 14 public and private high schools authorized by IBO to teach the program.
The Newman School in Boston elected to begin offering the IBDP in 2009, and in 2011 congratulated its first group of IB Diploma recipients. Since then, the school has had over 140 students achieve this distinction. Newman, a 74-year-old school, historically has offered American and international students a liberal arts college preparatory curriculum with an international focus. As such, the IBDP was a natural fit within the school.
Newman’s motto, “Heart Speaks to Heart,” reflects the school’s core value of leading each student to their fullest intellectual development. “The IB Diploma program, with its emphasis on encouraging students to develop traits of thoughtfulness and careful analysis in both written and oral presentations, is reflective of our values as a school,” says head of school Harry Lynch.
The IB Diploma is not “one-size-fits-all.” The IBO understands that around the world, member schools will adapt the program to meet their particular educational and cultural circumstances. Newman offers a wide range of courses and allows students to pursue either the entire IB Diploma or those courses within the program that fit their personal interests and academic goals.
“Participation in the IB program offers schools an opportunity to breathe new vigor into all their programs,” Lynch says. “We encourage students in our seventh and eighth grades to get acquainted with IB. As they move along into their high school years, our students take the initiative to develop clubs and service programs, and they have great pride in meeting the academic and personal challenges the program presents. This gives them confidence in their capacity to take on the challenges of both college and life.”
Visit the Newman School’s open house on Sunday, October 20, 11am – 1pm to learn more.
THE NEWMAN SCHOOL • GRADES 7–12
247 Marlborough Street • Boston, MA 02116
617-267-4530 • www.newmanboston.org