Skyline’s IB Takeover


Skyline High School has always been tagged with its prestigious title of an IB school, however only a very small percentage actually graduates Skyline having passed the IB diploma or taken an IB course throughout their high school career. Skyline has the goal (under new leadership) to expand the number of students participating in these IB classes and taking advantage of this program.

IB can be a great program to learn about certain topics in depth and in a more rigorous environment. Jill Thackeray, one of the leaders of the IB program at Skyline, gave her opinions on the upcoming changes. She said, “There is lots of research that shows that if you push students, they will rise to the higher challenge.” The idea is to encourage the larger student body to take these classes. Thackeray explained, “We are a world IB school and so we want to promote that better [and] let every student know you don’t necessarily need to be in the IB program to take an IB class.” One of the main changes that will be implemented in trying to realize this goal is to get rid of Freshman Core English options, and only have Freshman Honors English classes.

While IB can be helpful, it is also stressful and looked down upon by many students, even those who are in the program. They are difficult classes, which require a lot of time and energy. Thackeray stated, “We recognize that there are students that struggle with reading and writing, so this is going to require the 9th grade teachers to differentiate.” She recognized that many students and parents are apprehensive about these changes, but that she believes that the idea to change these classes is a good one. She explained her opinion by saying, “In places where they’ve done this, it’s shown to be very effective.”

When asked if she thought everyone could do IB if they tried, Thackeray responded positively, saying, “I do, if they have support. That means teachers have to be supportive, teachers, fellow students… it requires time management and desire to learn.”