QUEENSBURY — Queensbury High School is opening up its International Baccalaureate advanced academic program to students from other districts beginning this fall.
IB is an internationally benchmarked, rigorous program. There are core courses in English, foreign language, social studies, science and math as well as options in arts and electives.
Students have to take a theory of knowledge course, complete a 4,000-word essay and meet requirements for involvement in sports, the arts and community activities, according to the district’s website.
Superintendent of Schools Douglas Huntley said the district has space available for about six to eight students from nearby districts.
Queensbury has had the IB program for three years. When it first started, the district had one section of each course in the program. Now, Huntley said the program has expanded to the point where it has two sections of certain courses and the ability to accommodate outside students.
“The program has grown fast. We have 26 sophomores who are signed off to move into the program for next year. We have over 140 students who are taking one or more International Baccalaureate classes,” Huntley said.
“It’s a large number — particularly for a district our size,” he added.
Queensbury first started getting inquiries from other districts right when it started the program, according to Huntley.
“Our response was: When we get the program up and running and things are working well, perhaps we could provide the opportunity for students outside of the district,” he said.
Queensbury was able to start the program after it received a $1.8 million grant from the state Education Department.
Huntley said the program would be very similar to the Early College Career Academy that sends students to SUNY Adirondack — except that it is a full-day program. Juniors and seniors would be bused to Queensbury High School from their home district to attend the IB classes and any other electives, and then go back to the home district at the end of the day.
The students would still be considered to be attending their home school, according to Huntley.
“They wouldn’t walk across our stage for graduation. Athletic programs, musicals — they would be doing that in their home schools,” he said.
Other districts would be paying tuition through BOCES.
Parents of current sophomore high school students interested in finding out more about the program should contact their local high school counselors. Queensbury is also hosting an IB regional information session at 6:30 p.m. March 19 in Room 134 of Queensbury High School at 409 Aviation Road. People are asked to register online at bit.ly/IBsession2 or 518-824-5602 by March 17.
For more information, visit www.queensburyschool.org/ib.