Golden Apple: Grand Rapids Provides International Degree For High School Students
The International Baccalaureate at Grand Rapids High School is the first and longest running program of its kind in the state. As Mal Meyer reports for this week’s Golden Apple, the students can get immersed in cultures far and wide from right here in Minnesota.
Since 1983, the school has been providing the college level courses to its students in lieu of advanced placement options.
Students can choose from the 20 different courses to go towards a course certificate to use for college credit or try to get a full degree. Students like Alex Margo, a senior, have to take six of the classes, a critical thinking class, 150 hours of community action, an exam and a college level thesis paper.
The curriculum isn’t necessarily based on points you have to cover. Rather, the program guides teachers to hit different topic area such as world events, cultural diversity, customs and traditions.
International Baccalaureate is offered in all but three countries in the entire world and connects them to each other.
The seniors in German 4 just wrapped up their oral examinations. They send off the audio recordings to be evaluated by a randomly selected school.
While the program is open to all students, the class work is challenging so the courses are mostly juniors and seniors. A good challenge as they start to prepare for college.
About 30 to 40 percent of all juniors and seniors will take at least one IB class. Some are up to the challenge of getting their degrees.
While a lot of work, Assistant Principal Matt Dass says this provides an incredible opportunity.