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Einstein and Watkins Mill High Schools to Offer IB

July 17, 2003
Albert Einstein and Watkins Mill high schools have received authorization from the International Baccalaureate Organization to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program for eleventh and twelfth grade students beginning in the fall of 2004. The program is recognized internationally for its academic rigor and its emphasis on critical reading and writing skills.

The IB program at Einstein High School will be one of an array of specialized academic opportunities available to students attending any of the five high schools that are part of the Downcounty Consortium: Montgomery Blair, Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy, Wheaton, and Northwood (scheduled to reopen in 2004). The choice of programs will allow students to focus their learning around a specific academic or career pathway.

Janis Mills, principal of Einstein High School, welcomes the addition of the IB to the Consortium options. “Affiliation with IB adds the prestige of a highly respected, internationally known program that will meet the needs and foster high-level success for many Downcounty Consortium students,” she said.

Students will be admitted to both the Einstein and Watkins Mill IB programs on the basis of interest. Those who choose to participate will prepare by enrolling in high-level courses during their first two years of high school. Among the available courses will be honors-level geometry, biology, Spanish, U.S. history, and English.

“The Watkins Mill IB program is open to any motivated student at the school, and we anticipate that our students will rise to the challenge and take advantage of the opportunities the IB diploma affords,” said Mark Levine, acting principal at Watkins Mill High School.

Preparations to implement the IB program at Einstein and Watkins Mill high schools are well under way. Meetings are being held at both schools to provide more information about the program and explain the pre-IB courses that students will need in order to prepare for the IB curriculum, which begins in the junior year.

A meeting for parents of students in the Downcounty Consortium schools will take place on Monday, July 21, at 7:30 p.m. at Einstein High School. An IB information booth will be at Watkins Mills’ Back-to-School Night on September 4.

To earn an IB diploma, students must take a rigorous liberal arts course of studies, passing examinations in six subjects. Diploma candidates also must participate in 150 hours of “creativity, actions, service” activities, take a course in Theory of Knowledge, and write an extensive research paper.

The demanding IB curriculum is offered in 1,464 schools in 115 countries around the world. Three Montgomery County Public Schools high schools currently offer the IB diploma program: Richard Montgomery, Bethesda-Chevy Chase, and Springbrook high schools.

For more information, contact:

Malissa McCormick, IB coordinator
Albert Einstein High School Tel.: 301-962-1014

Lisa Ingram, IB coordinator
Watkins Mill High School Tel.: 301-840-3975

Erick Lang, director
Downcounty Consortium Tel.: 301-649-8081

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