International program due to expand at OHS

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Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 8:24 PM CST
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) -Odessa High is the only school in the Permian Basin that offers the International Baccalaureate program.

And after almost 20 years of having this form of education, they’re close to expanding it to more students in the lower grades.

The IB Diploma program is one of the most effective and rigorous forms of college preparation.

It also has a high percentage of students continue their education after high school.

Unlike honors classes, the IB program asks students to take courses in six academic areas.

Three at standard level and three at higher level over two years.

At the moment they only have the diploma program which is for students aged 16-19, but plan to expand in the near future to the middle years, which is ages 11-16.

And the primary years program that ranges from  3-12.

“So, the diploma are college level courses that are offered, for most students it starts junior year, and that is because the courses require a level of critical thinking. And reflection that most students aren’t ready for,” said the coordinator for the IB program in OHS, Melissa Roth.

To achieve a diploma students must complete an extended essay, which ranges from 10 to 14 pages of personal research and communicating ideas effectively.

At least 150 hours of what’s called CAS. Which means creativity, activity, service.

Where students do extracurricular, community service, and athletic options outside of school.

And theory of knowledge. For students to study how individuals view the world to develop their own ways of thinking.

“I would say that it’s a high rate of success. About 99% of our kids go to higher education. Many go to Ivy league colleges and after college they go into the work force and work in many different fields.” said Anthony Garcia, OHS principle.

For some OHS students, the bonds they share with each other makes the rigorous course more enjoyable.

“Definitely just the community. The sense of community. I love the students and the teachers, and we all support each other one hundred percent. We learn from each other, and they just really push me to become a better person.” said Marissa Rodriguez, senior at OHS.

“I would like to clarify that the IB program is open to everyone. And anyone who is willing to prove themselves and be recognized by colleges, that they have the determination to be successful.” said OHS junior, Reynaldo Ramos.

Former OHS students that went through the program started higher educations at Dartmouth, Duke, Rice, Texas A&M University and more.

If you want to know more information on this program, click here.