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Inaugural Class of IB Students Heads Down Challenging Path

21 Sandia High students are the first at a comprehensive high school in New Mexico to take part in the world-renowned International Baccalaureate Programme.

Call them pioneers – 21 Sandia High School students who are the first at a comprehensive high school in New Mexico to take on the challenges of the world-recognized International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

These students know what’s in store for them: demanding classes, high expectations, a balance between academics and extracurricular activities, community service, a 4,000-word paper, rigorous end-of-course exams. But they also know that the two years of hard work they’ve just begun will pay off when they are well prepared for success at the university level and beyond.

The inaugural class participated in a pinning ceremony on Monday, Aug. 19, during which they and their parents signed commitment letters. Students then received a commemorative pin from Superintendent Winston Brooks.

“I have respect and admiration for this inaugural class of IB students who are willing to work hard to complete this challenging program,” said Brooks. “It won’t be easy, but I’m confident that upon their graduation from this program these students will be well prepared for college and successful careers.

Sandia recently became an authorized International Baccalaureate World School, offering the academically challenging Diploma Programme for the first time this fall for juniors. Though housed at Sandia, qualified students from around Albuquerque were invited and encouraged to participate in the program.

APS, at the encouragement of Superintendent Winston Brooks and through the leadership of Sandia Principal Katy Harvey, has worked diligently over the past couple of years to get Sandia authorized as an IB school. The process included pages and pages of applications, site visits, staff training and certification and more. Founded as an international program for the children of diplomats, IB is now in more than 3,000 schools in 139 countries.

The program has received the endorsement of the city of Albuquerque which provided $115,000 to pay for training, materials and other start-up costs as well as to help students cover testing fees to assure the program is inclusive and available to all interested and eligible students.

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