“New Bedford High School has been designated an International Baccalaureate World School by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), authorizing the school to offer the renowned IB Diploma Program, beginning September 2023.
Respected by leading universities across the globe, the IB Diploma Program gives students distinct advantages to thrive in a rapidly changing world by building their critical thinking skills, nurturing their curiosity and their ability to solve complex problems.
In a letter to NBHS Principal Bernadette Coelho, IB Director General Olli-Pekka Heinonen, wrote “As an IB World School offering the Diploma Programme, you are part of a global community of schools committed to developing knowledgeable, caring young people who will be ready to negotiate their futures successfully and make contributions resulting in a more harmonious and peaceful world.”
The path to authorization culminated a 2-year collaborative effort that involved a team of NBHS and district staff, including Donna Guay, Manager of Educator Quality/DP Coordinator at NBHS and Magaly Sanchez, Curriculum Data & Assessment Manager for Accelerated and Enrichment Programs who led the work on behalf of the district.
In commending the team, Andrew O’Leary, Interim Superintendent stated, “With the addition of the IB Diploma Program, families have more options than ever for advanced pathways that will lead to college and career success. A broad spectrum of offerings like Career & Technical Education, Honors Academy, and Advanced Placement demonstrate that New Bedford High is a comprehensive high school that can offer success to all its students.”
Principal Coelho noted, “Earning the IB World School designation is another significant milestone for New Bedford High School as we continue to develop opportunities for rigorous learning, propelling students to some of the most competitive colleges and universities around the world.”
Team members engaged in IB content reviews, professional development and collaborative student-centered curriculum design. Ms. Sanchez noted, “While leading this work, one of the brightest moments I recall was hearing the IB teachers talk about their participation in the IB professional development, their excitement about IB pedagogy and their commitment to developing a robust IB community at NBHS.”
Authorization involved a rigorous application and review process, including detailed submissions of curricula, and consultancy and verification visits. The IB Verification Team toured the NBHS campus and engaged school community focus groups inclusive of multiple stakeholders including students, families, educators, school committee members, and district and NBHS staff. The IB team noted students’ strong sense of belonging and recognized NBHS’ commitment to offering students increased advanced, standards-based learning opportunities.
NBHS student Sadie Viveiros, who was involved in the process remarked, “I am very thankful for the opportunity to lead the tour, I think it is a wonderful idea to make New Bedford High an IB school. I am currently attending Early College Classes at BCC and that pathway is taking me to my future/dream career.”
New Bedford High School is one of two urban high schools in the region offering the program and one of 943 IB World Schools in the United States.
NBHS will host a Family Information Night on Wednesday, August 16, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. for families with students entering Grade 11 to learn about the IB Diploma Program, its benefits, the enrollment process, and how students can earn the IB Diploma starting in their junior year this September. Location: New Bedford High School Bronspiegel Auditorium, 245 Hathaway Boulevard, New Bedford, MA 02740.
New Bedford Public Schools is committed to developing a community of learners who are academically proficient; demonstrate strong character and exhibit self-confidence.”