What began as a dream to offer at Inderkum High School a rigorous, world-class academic program honored by top universities ended in triumph this week when the campus was authorized to be an International Baccalaureate World School.
Heather Garcia, Inderkum leader and district assistant superintendent in charge of the IB program, couldn’t stop smiling Thursday after receiving news that climaxed hundreds of hours of planning, training and implementing. “This just happened,” she said in a Twitter post featuring the IB logo. “It’s official.”
Superintendent Chris Evans expressed pride in the district’s students, staff and parent community. “This is a strong example of what is possible when the Natomas Unified community works together on behalf of our students,” he said. “There is more work to be done throughout our district and together we will accomplish wonderful things for our children.”
Inderkum will graduate its first IB Diploma Programme Class in 2016, recognizing students who will be juniors next year. But Thursday's notification pays immediate dividends by signaling to the entire Sacramento region that Inderkum has laid the groundwork for a top-notch, internationally recognized academic program.
“Just today, (Thursday), I received an email from a family in Antelope looking to send their son to be a ninth-grader at Inderkum,” said Anna Vue, a parent who spearheaded the drive to create an Inderkum IB programme several years ago. “What our community and district have created is a program that will not only benefit our local Natomas community but provide options for students in the surrounding area seeking an IB curriculum.”
In authorizing Inderkum as an IB World School, officials who evaluated the local campus commended its groundwork. “It was clear there was very strong support from the governing board, superintendent, assistant superintendent and school administration,” a written evaluation noted, adding that, “A parent support group has been created within the school community and has shown a strong commitment to the programme.”
Superintendent Evans thanked the Inderkum staff for their commitment to the professional development and planning time required to have an IB World School, which exist throughout the United States and in 146 other countries.
The IB Diploma Programme is a two-year course of study that aims to create disciplined, responsible and well-rounded graduates by requiring advanced study in languages, mathematics, history, art, and social and natural sciences. Participants also are required to complete in-depth research -- designed to prepared them for college-level research – and to participate in projects involving creativity, action and service.
Many universities grant sophomore status to students with IB diplomas, and many universities guarantee admission for students who have completed the rigorous coursework. The University of California awards 30 hours of credit to any student who earns an IB diploma with a score of 30 points or higher, Inderkum tells prospective applicants via its campus website.
“IB aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect,” Inderkum’s informational materials say.
Vue, whose son is in line to graduate with Inderkum IB’s first Diploma Programme Class, in 2016, said that Thursday's announcement means that Natomas students can walk or bike to a local high school for a program that previously was available only by leaving the district every weekday.
"Three years ago, some of my best friends and I saw this as an opportunity to bring something here for our children and keep students in our local high school.” Vue said. “We knew it wasn’t going to be easy and some community members thought we were crazy. Thanks to our local representatives, school district and supportive community members, this dream has become a reality. We are definitely celebrating tonight and hope Natomas will come out to celebrate with us, too, on March 29th when we hold our annual Gala at Oshima Sushi.”