More options of upper-level classes will be available to Dexter High School students in the near future.
Nine new International Baccalaureate (IB) courses were approved by the Dexter Community Schools Board of Education during its meeting Monday night.
The new courses were approved with a 4-2 vote from the board, with Trustee Dick Lundy absent. Trustees Julie Schumaker and Bonnie Everdeen voted against the proposal.
Among the courses approved were IB French (standard level), Accelerated French 1 and 2, IB World Religions (standard level), Physics (standard level), IB Physics (higher level), Math (higher level), and Accelerated Spanish 1 and 2.
The courses will be offered in September for the 2013-14 school year.
According to a letter submitted by Dexter High School Principal William "Kit" Moran, the new IB courses are part of the phase-in of IB classes at the school. Since discussion on the courses began at the Nov. 5 school board meeting, the classes have gained a lot of support from students, faculty and community members.
"I strongly support IB classes and think the high school supports them as well," Schumaker said. "Seats in both AP (advanced placement) and IB classes have gone up about 50 percent in the last couple years. Being able to have both AP and IB offerings could attract more students to the district."
While she supports the IB classes, Schumaker was leery about approving a large amount of classes at one time.
"We should start small and let the program develop, mature and grow of the next couple years," she said.
Currently the IB classes are only open to juniors at the high school and have a lower enrollment than the six AP courses offered.
For the 2012-2013 school year, 49 students are enrolled in IB classes, of those 26 are diploma candidates.
"What we are being asked to do is approve the courses for offering, and if there's an adequate demand for them, that determines if they'll be offered," trustee Michael Wendorf said. "I like to hear what the demand is and give kids the chance to succeed down both paths."
The IB diploma program at DHS consists of six groups of study: language and literature, language acquisition, individual and society, experimental sciences, mathematics and computer science, and the arts. For students to achieve the IB diploma, they must take six classes, one from each group, take a minimum of three (but no more than four) higher level classes and complete all assessments, take the Theory of Knowledge class and complete all assessments, write the extended essay and fulfill the program's "Creativity, Action and Service" outcomes.
"IB classes have more required assessments than AP courses," Moran said. "Students are called upon to do more things."
In other action:
- Student representative Andrew Milkey announced that the students are holding a "Gold Rush" for Tuesday's boys' varsity basketball game. Fans are encouraged to wear gold as the Dreadnaughts take on Pinckney
- Denny Desmarias scheduled to meet with the school board Friday as a potential interim superintendent.