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Letter: International School was community asset


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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Susie Sawin

Columbus

Received: Nov. 19

The closure of the International School of Columbus was a huge loss to this community. Most of us do not fully appreciate what Columbus had. ISC was teaching the International Baccalaureate curriculum to (some of) its students, a very rigorous curriculum emphasizing critical thinking, creativity, writing, community service and academic excellence.

The IB is a well-respected, world-class curriculum that is recognized and sought-after by college admissions officers all over the world. ISC, with a 39 percent free and reduced-price lunch population (same as the BCSC middle/high school population) demonstrated the academic excellence of IB.

Our first graduating class has gone on to college. Two-thirds received honors diplomas, and two students received four-year scholarships at IU Bloomington and Purdue. In the school’s (more than) four-year existence, ISC was able to compete with much larger schools to win state honors in multiple science and math competitions, thanks to the dedication of the students and teachers.

It is a tremendous sadness that our community and school system did not find a way to acquire and keep this authorized IB school. The teachers, principals and guidance counselors have done a wonderful job of welcoming our students into the local school system, but they cannot replicate the rigor and attention of ISC in classrooms that already are full and dedicated to a traditional high school curriculum.

Many of the students from ISC miss the elements of critical thinking and examination that are intrinsic to an IB education. A number of these kids lost the best fit to develop their own unique capabilities with the closure of ISC. As a community, and as a culture, our future depends on developing the next generation.

A large percentage of the best high schools in the nation and in our state offer IB, either exclusively or as an educational track. I sincerely hope that we can find a way to offer this sort of opportunity in our community again.

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