International Baccalaureate program cut from Regina public schools

Regina Public Schools announced they will immediately start phasing out the International Baccalaureate program at public high schools.

Phase-out of advanced academics program begins immediately

The IB programs at Campbell and Thom Collegiate will be phased out starting immediately. (Trent Peppler/CBC)

Regina Public Schools is giving a failing grade in feasibility to the International Baccalaureate Program.

At a meeting on Tuesday, the school board announced its plan to phase out all IB programs at Regina public high schools. Currently it's offered at Thom and Campbell Collegiates, and was planned to be offered at Balfour Collegiate in the fall. The board cited low enrolment and high costs.

More than 4,000 schools around the world offer the IB program, which is a specialized schooling program dedicated to academics and professional development.

Students enrolled in the program are taught by teachers with particular training. Many use it to prepare for university and high-profile careers.    

At Thom Collegiate, 82 Grade 10-12 students were enrolled in the program in the 2010-11 school year. This year, there were five. The cost per student from last year was $20,875 each. 

Things fared better at Campbell Collegiate, where enrolment had gone up from 158 students in 2010-11 to 238 this year. The cost per student last year was $7,592.

The number of students enrolled in the IB program at Thom Collegiate has been dropping since 2010. (CBC)
At Campbell Collegiate, there has been a steady rise in enrolment in the IB program. (CBC)

Much of the cost associated with the program goes toward the program's specialized teaching staff. At Campbell Collegiate, it cost nearly $600,000 last year for IB staff. 

A report circulated at the meeting compared the IB program to the Advanced Placement program, which is also focused on advanced academics.

Students in the AP program take college-level curricula and exams. Both programs are highly regarded by universities in North America. 

The report stated that the cost for an AP student is $100 each. 

Terry Lazarou, media relations with the Regina Public Schools, said the AP program is now offered throughout Regina to all high school students.

"Regardless of where they live in the city, students now have access to enhanced education in all Regina public high schools," Lazarou said.

While the phase out of the IB program begins immediately, Lazarou said all those currently enrolled will be able to finish the program.


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