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 A new IB program in Seminole County is being added to Winter Springs High School.
Photo By: Gouthami Gadamsetty, Copy Editor

By: Amulya Dhulipala, Reporter

Seminole High School is known for its rigorous International Baccalaureate (IB) program that gives students in Seminole County access to an internationally renowned program. SHS is currently the only IB school in Seminole County and is accessible for students from anywhere in the county. However, a second IB program will be opening in Winter Springs High School (WSHS), in the fall of 2016.

Senior Faith Frith says, “The addition of a new IB program will give teachers the ability to mentor new IB teachers and share teaching methods. Some IB teachers might also find the new program’s location advantageous because it may be a quicker commute for them.”

WSHS is making preparations to create its own rigorous program for the first Winter Springs IB graduating class of 2020. The addition of a second IB program in Seminole County will create space within SHS’s program, allowing students who may have been previously rejected.

Assistant Principal of Winter Springs High School, Dr. Jordan Rodriguez, believes that the addition of a second IB program will impact SHS in a positive manner. Dr. Rodriguez says, “Having the two schools vie for the highest IB graduation rate will lead to both schools improving their performance. Furthermore, having a second group of teachers to collaborate with will benefit all teachers.”

Beginning in the fall of 2016, current seventh graders living in the Oviedo and Winter Springs region who are interested in joining the IB program will attend WSHS.

Junior Anupa Thirmiya says, “Knowing that Winter Springs has IB, my family is thinking about whether to send my there as we don’t know if Winter Springs has the rigor that Seminole has and that if he’ll be challenged enough because he’ll be the first graduating class.”

In the 2013-2014 school year, Seminole High School’s IB program’s graduation rate was 15% higher than the worldwide average of approximately 71%. WSHS will aim to match SHS’s highly developed program’s success by graduating students with passing rates higher than the worldwide average.

Dr. Rodriguez believes that cultivating Winter Springs into an IB school will be a gradual process. He says, “I think it is reasonable to expect that we will undergo certain growing pains as any new business/organization/program would. [Winter Springs] will learn from these growing pains and take the proper steps to ensure we continually improve our [school].”

Many of the effects of adding another IB school to Seminole County are unknown. However, it is clear that Winter Springs’s IB program will foster international awareness in Seminole County and allow more students to experience the IB program.