A $30,000 check to help finance the start-up of the International Baccalaureate program in Clover Park Schools was presented Friday to Marty Schafer, president of the school board, by Bob Zawilski, representing the Rotary Club of Lakewood.
The payment was the third $30,000 grant made by the Rotary Club as part of its pledge to help the district finance the program’s start. A total of $148,000 has been pledged by the community service club. “The Lakewood Rotary Club decided several years ago the best way it could help the school district improve was to encourage creation of the internationally known education system,” Zawilski said in presenting the check at the club’s regular Friday noon meeting.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program is recognized as one of the most academically rigorous, college preparatory programs in the world. This highly respected, 2-year curriculum focuses on classical liberal arts and sciences. Founded in the 1960’s to serve international students the IB Diploma Program is now available in over 1,600 schools around the world.
The Clover Park board decided to start the program at the middle school level and build it over a number of years through the high school. It will be a 4-year course of study with two phases; the Middle Year Program and the Diploma Program. The Middle Year Program prepares students for the rigor and critical thinking required in the eleventh and twelfth grade diploma courses.
Many colleges give academic progression to students from the IB program in high school at their colleges.
At the present time, the program is in the process of being fully established and approved by the International Baccalaureate organization. The grant from the Rotary Club is designed to help fund many of the district’s costs in getting teachers trained and approved and materials acquired.
Zawilski said the Rotary Club agreed to provide the annual grant for up to fine years as long as the program is moving positively toward ultimate approval by the IB organization.