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March 26, 2007
For immediate release

Province to Introduce International Baccalaureate Program


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Education Minister Mildred Dover announced today that a new International Baccalaureate Diploma program will be established at Charlottetown Rural High School in September 2008. It will be open to all students in the Eastern School District.

The program offers a challenging curriculum that is widely recognized by the world’s leading universities.

Minister Dover said the establishment of the program responds to a recommendation made by the Task Force on Student Achievement to develop strategies for students who need academic enrichment. “The IB program will meet the needs of students who are looking for additional academic challenge,” said Minister Dover. “It will be of interest to students with a strong work ethic. Students who succeed in this program are those who are willing to work hard to meet high standards.”

Students who are in Grade 9 during the 2007-2008 year will be eligible for the program. They will take preparatory courses in Grade 10 and the full diploma program during their Grade 11 and 12 years.

Initially, 25 students will be accepted into the program each year. Later, courses will be offered to more students.

There are 102 International Baccalaureate Diploma programs in Canada. This is the first time that it will be available in Prince Edward Island.

Minister Dover said students with an IB diploma have a high rate of acceptance to leading universities. “Students in the program are encouraged to ask challenging questions, to critically reflect and to develop research skills. International-mindedness is promoted by encouraging students to develop a strong sense of their own identity, and to communicate with and understand people from other countries and cultures,” she said.

IB Diploma Program students generally take six examinations, including one literature course taught in the student’s native language, one foreign language, one social science, one experimental science, one mathematics and one arts course. The arts course can be replaced by a second social science, a second experimental science, or a third language. Students take their examinations at the end of the two-year diploma program. In some cases, they may take up to two of their examinations at the end of the first year of the program. Students are assessed by internal and external examiners.

Dr. Alex (Sandy) MacDonald, superintendent of the Eastern School District, said the program is being introduced by the Eastern School District in partnership with the Department of Education. “We are pleased to be able to add this option to our existing programs, and we look forward to the positive outcomes it will have for our students and schools,” he said.

Dr. Carla DiGiorgio of the UPEI Faculty of Education has been involved with gathering information and forming a link with UPEI for the program. “People at UPEI are very excited about the new program,” she said. “We are exploring ways to support the IB program through professional development for teachers, student access to the university library and resources, and opportunities for students and staff to interact with UPEI faculty on cutting edge research and scholarship in a broad range of disciplines.”

DiGiorgio is also hoping to follow the progress of the Eastern School District IB program through a longitudinal study.

The establishment of the program will be led by Kevin MacLeod, a curriculum consultant at the Eastern School District, who has previous experience with the IB program. Information will be made available over the next few months for students interested in the program.

Media Contact: Jean Doherty
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