Prince George parents upset over future of IB program

PRINCE GEORGE, Va (WRIC) — Prince George County School Board has voted to discontinue the International Baccalaureate (IB) program for students who excel scholastically.

Now some parents are in an uproar and asking why?

In an email to 8News, parents said the Prince George County School Board suddenly and poorly made a decision to cut the International Baccalaureate program also known as the IB program.

They are hoping the board will soon change that decision.

According to the corporate company’s website, the International Baccalaureate program generally offers four programs of international education and is aimed at developing intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills in students. The program also encourages students to live, learn, work, and succeed in a rapidly globalizing world.

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According to school officials, the IB program has been offered in three Prince George County Public Schools for over a decade including Prince George High School, J.E.J Moore Middle and N.B. Clements Jr. High School.

“The program is a program that establishes a learning environment where students are very interactive use creative thinking communication skills, collaboration, creativity, and citizenship,” said Willie Elliot, director for Title I of MYP and Gifted programs.

More than 200 Prince George students are in the IB program.

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“Students are not only learning what’s happening in our country, but they are also learning about what is a happening around the world. We brought the program because we felt it was an opportunity to give students some options to experience the rigor that the program presents,” Elliott said.

The board met on December 15 to phase out the program, and with that decision, they decided the program would end with the current cohort of 6th graders.

Parents said the board members justify their decision by stating that the program is not worth the cost and more students are against it than for it.

According to the program director, the program costs about $40,000 a year and teacher training costs the most.

Parents told 8News they believe the benefits far outweigh the school board’s budget.

“Watching my granddaughter grow and learn the amazing things that she has learned the things that they do has been great.  I think it has been fantastic and I would hate to see the program go away,” said Barb Ruhlman.

The school board is planning a meeting to listen to parents’ concerns and possibly reconsider the IB program.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 28th at the board office at 6 p.m.

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