Joe Schmitt writes a weekly blog called The Good Life, featuring information about the region’s history, culture, climate and economy. The blog also showcases new residents, clubs and organizations, outdoor recreational opportunities and local events.
For over 20 years the Yakima School District has offered some of the most rigorous high school courses in Washington State. Davis High School is home to the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. Founded in Geneva, Switzerland by a group of educators, the IB program is designed to help internationally mobile students obtain the credits necessary to be accepted into prominent universities.
Davis is one of 17 schools in Washington State that enjoy the prestigious IB designation. To maintain the International Baccalaureate designation Davis must maintain a core group of highly trained educators. The school must also be re-certified every five years. International Baccalaureate courses are offered to juniors and seniors who typically have taken advanced placement courses in their freshman and sophomore years. Davis averages between 10 and 20 full-time IB students annually who are working towards receiving a full IB diploma.To accomplish this they must maintain a certain level of performance, earn 24 IB program points, volunteer over 150 hours in their senior year, and pass exit exams in their specific subjects.
In addition, over 100 students take two or more IB classes and over 200 take at least one course subject. According to Davis High’s Steve McKenna, IB Davis program coordinator, “Approximately 25 percent of our IB students transfer here from outside the Yakima School District. Offering this program has not only enriched the diversity of our students but greatly enhanced the number of advanced subjects and students who take those courses at both Davis and Eisenhower High schools. We’ve graduated students who have gone on to top tier universities like Harvard, Stanford, Cornell, Duke, and Johns Hopkins.”
The International Baccalaureate program is now offered in 140 countries and has programs serving students aged three to 19. The program requires six courses of study to qualify for a full IB diploma: Language A1, Second Language, Individuals and Societies, Experimental Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science, and the Arts.
For more information about the Yakima School District’s IB program contact Steve McKenna at 509-573-2520 or McKenna.Steve@yakimaschools.org