Mar 4, 2014

Cathedral High School is accepted as an international baccalaureate school



By Sharon Roulier

SPRINGFIELD – On Monday, March 3, Cathedral High School received word that they would be accepted as an authorized International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) school.

For the last year and a half, the school has been participating as a pilot school for the International Baccalaureate program, an academically challenging and balanced program which prepares students to meet the challenges of higher education and beyond.

“I am relieved and delighted,” said John Miller, principal of Cathedral High School, in an interview with iobserve. “I am looking forward to starting to enroll students in the program for next year.”

School officials say the program has already enhanced the school’s academic program, with 71 percent of the senior class and 61 percent of the junior class taking one or more of the IBDP pilot courses. The IB Theory of Knowledge course is completely full and has a waiting list.

Throughout the IBDP students will:

  • Develop physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically
  • Acquire breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding
  • Develop the skills and a positive attitude toward learning that will prepare them for higher education
  • Study at least two languages and increase their understanding of cultures
  • Make connections across traditional academic disciplines and explore the nature of knowledge
  • Undertake in-depth research into an area of interest through the lens of one or more academic disciplines in the extended essay
  • Enhance their personal and interpersonal development through creativity, action, and service

There are three “CORE” programs that students in the program must take that teach them how to tie all the disciplines together. 

  • The extended essay asks students to engage in independent research through an in-depth study of a question relating to one of the DP subjects they are studying. The world studies extended essay option allows students to focus on a topic of global significance which they examine through the lens of at least two DP subjects.
  • Theory of Knowledge develops a coherent approach to learning that unifies the academic disciplines. In this course on critical thinking, students inquire into the nature of knowing and deepen their understanding of knowledge as a human construction.
  • Creativity, action, service (CAS) involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies. The three strands of CAS enhance students’ personal and interpersonal development through experiential learning and enable journeys of self-discovery.

The school was notified on Monday that it has complied with 95 percent of the preparation necessary to be admitted into the program. Upon completion of one administrative component, the school will be authorized to offer IB courses this fall, said Miller.