LETTER TO PARENTS
Dear PreDiploma/IB Parents,
On behalf of the Warwick High School administration and faculty, I would like to welcome you to the 2016-2017 school year and to congratulate you on your outstanding decision to enroll your son/daughter in the International Baccalaureate Program at Warwick High School. We applaud your choice of a program which puts emphasis on educating the "whole person" who will be able to use the life skills learned in high school to function successfully in college and in the work place after college.
For those of you who wish to electronically access more information about the International Baccalaureate Organization, the address is www.ibo.org. The site may be of particular interest to students who wish to know IB university policy. This information with the name of the contact person is more accurate than talking to some college representatives who may not be fully aware of the university policies. Not only can this information be accessed, but there is direct access to the university home pages.
We want to congratulate our graduating class of 2016. They were graduated with a high amount of scholarships and grants. They were accepted to a full range of colleges including MIT, UVA, William and Mary, and Virginia Tech. What is unique is that all of the students will recognize the benefits of an IB education once they are in college, and all students will be able to receive credit for individual courses.
The benefits of participation in the IB program are numerous. A college level of instruction from global perspectives, development of strong study skills, and encouragement of critical thinking are just a few. We believe that the culmination of this course work is the examination itself. We strongly encourage each student to fulfill every stage of his /her commitment to excellence. Taking the examinations will enable students to be prepared for college examinations, both oral and written, and may facilitate acceptance and /or advanced placement on the university level. I will be registering juniors and seniors in October for the May 2017 examinations. An added bonus is having the related fees paid in full by the Newport News Public Schools.
Our Pre-Diploma program provides for students to be well-prepared in basic study skills which will help them to meet the challenges of the pre-university program planned for them in the last two years of high school. The Pre-Dip teachers are well aware of the expectations which will be placed on their students, and it is their goal to teach the students in a manner that will give students a smooth transition from year to year.
Students in the IB program will have a chance to reflect on their decision to proceed each year. While there is the need to maintain a 3.2 grade point average each quarter, it is the student's motivation which we find to be the determiner of his/her success in the program.
Students in the IB Diploma years (juniors and seniors) should understand that the IB requires a minimum of 150 class hours in one year courses and 240 class hours in two-year courses. In addition, the integrity of the program world-wide must be kept intact as it expands. Some students have begun to look for easier ways to complete assignments which has resulted in academic malpractice. We have adopted an Honor Code on attendance and academic integrity which makes clear our position in these areas. In addition, we have attached a discipline clause which indicates our policy in cases that students are cited for poor behavior choices.
A top priority for students in grades 9 through 11 at this time is preparing to take the PSATs in October. Please make sure that your child registers during the registration period when the guidance department notifies you. The fee is paid by NNPS for juniors. Students in the 9th and 10th grade will receive an agenda book for planning along with the payment for the PSAT. Students in the 9th grade will receive a vocabulary book as well. Please regard this test as a required responsibility for your child's academic future.
As the IB Coordinator, I am excited about being afforded the opportunity to assist your son/daughter in having a comfortable and rewarding experience with the IB. I publish a newsletter for students, Reflections, which I will distribute electronically the first of each month. The purpose of this newsletter is to keep the students updated on important issues and dates for each month. This newsletter will also be posted on the Warwick home page (http://warwick.nn.k12.va.us). The IB section has been updated. In addition, I will be corresponding with you each quarter to keep you updated on program events. Through these tools, I hope that we will be able to keep the organization and time management skills on an optimum level of efficiency.
The guidance IB counselor is Ms. Louisa Slagle. She will be working with students in all grades. Seniors should turn their college applications with resumes in to her to process. (By the way, seniors, we expect that your extended essay will be complete when school starts.) Ms. Slagle and I will handle schedule changes for PreDip/IB courses for all grades. While we tried to assign all students the electives of their choice, there may be changes due to the demands of the PreDip/IB schedule. Please make an appointment to see Ms. Slagle to discuss possible changes in electives.
Our seniors are afforded the opportunity to enroll in an internship program second semester. Through this program they are able to gain experience in a career which has piqued their interest spending three to five hours per week. I suggested to the coordinator that our parents represent a wide range of careers and may be willing to have a student shadow them or may be able to provide contacts for a worthwhile experience. If you are one of those parents, please contact Ms. Jones, the coordinator, or me as soon as possible by phone, FAX, or e-mail.
We solicit parent assistance on several committees throughout the year. If you are interested in one of the following, please e-mail me: teacher appreciation, student appreciation, May invigilation, rising junior reception.
Too often I hear folks saying that the IB program is too hard and one wouldn't have a life if one became involved. I would disagree. The IB program is not hard, but rather an academic challenge. IB students are, indeed, involved in many activities in and out of school. The challenge is for American students to do as students do in most other cultures-prioritize- placing their education far above hanging out at the mall or talking on the phone. Let €™s approach the new school year with a positive, can do attitude!
These are just a few of my thoughts for the beginning of the year. Certainly, I welcome your suggestions. I can be reached at school if you have concerns or suggestions you would like to share. My e-mail address is email@example.com. Again, I look forward to greeting you at one of our meetings.