Paterson receives approval to run prestigious international program | Paterson Times

Paterson receives approval to run prestigious international program


International High School has received the needed authorization to become the first high school in Passaic County to be a “World School.” The high school will offer the prestigious International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) to a cohort of 37 sophomores starting this fall.

“With the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme officially instituted at International High School, our students have unique opportunities to rise to the forefront as leaders in the growing global community and economy,” said state-appointed district superintendent Donnie Evans in a statement on Monday afternoon.

Evans’ administration proposed the prestigious program at the aptly named high school on Grand Street more than two years ago. The district had to undergo a rigorous review to demonstrate to the International Baccalaureate Organization it was serious about offering a challenging two-year curriculum to its students at the building.

“The IB Diploma Programme is an exciting addition to International, and exemplifies Paterson Public Schools’ commitment to prepare our students to thrive in a global society,” said Catherine Forfia-Dion, the district’s International Baccalaureate coordinator, who put in much of the work that resulted in the successful authorization from the Swiss organization.

The district received a letter on March 6th, 2017 from Geneva-based International Baccalaureate Organization giving it the green light to run the much vaunted program.

There are 37 sophomores at the school prepared to enroll in the academically challenging Diploma Programme which is designed for students in 11th and 12th grades. Students start the program as juniors and graduate their senior year with an internationally recognized diploma.

The district hopes to add 40 pupils per year to expand the program to a total of 75 students. The program also brings benefits for students not enrolled in the prestigious program. The high schoolers not enrolled will be able to take rigorous IB courses and receive full course credit and certificate upon completion, according to the district.

The courses offered through the program are tough and only the most dedicated students are able to successfully complete them. Students have to pass exams in literature, foreign language, history, mathematics, science, and the arts. Students have to complete a 4,000-word research paper and complete 100 hours of community service to earn their IB diploma.

Students with IB diplomas receive a leg up when attempting to gain admission to top universities in the United States and elsewhere in the world.

“This is truly a major step, not only toward our stated mission to prepare all students for success in the college or university of their choosing and in their chosen career, but also toward our vision of becoming the leader in educating New Jersey’s urban youth,” said Evans.

Paterson is now one of 15 high schools in New Jersey to offer the program.

The district prepares students for the program through a pre-IB program for 9th and 10th graders. Brainy 8th graders are admitted to an Accelerated Cohort based on test scores, teacher recommendations, interview, and other criteria.

Parents interested in enrolling their students in the pre-IB program which ultimately ensures admission to the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) should visit the district’s Accelerated Programs web page.

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