WSHS strives for excellence in the classroom

Olivia Song, Business Manager

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program has been with Winter Springs High School for four years, and this year, the Class of 2020 will be the first class to be graduating with an IB Diploma at WSHS. The program offers amazing teachers and counselors to assist the student during their High School experience in the program. In Seminole County, there are two schools that host the IB Diploma Program: Winter Springs High School and Seminole High School. Seminole High’s School IB Program has been around for a very long time, but WSHS decided to join the bandwagon and be another school in Seminole County that offers the IB Diploma Program. Being in this program might come off as being very scary, but you get mentored through the whole thing.

When a student enters High School in 9th grade they are not yet considered in IB, till they get to their Junior and Senior year because the program doesn’t start until the 11th and 12th grade. During 9th and 10th grade the student is considered to be Pre-DP meaning that they are Candidates for the IB Diploma Program. Being part of this program the student has to sustain a weighted 3.0 GPA and at the end of the program has to have a total of 24 points, which includes taking a Theory of Knowledge course, four Higher Level Subject courses, and three Standard Level Subject courses. Also, in the two years the student is part of IB they have to complete an extended 4,000 word essay written independently and “self – directed piece of research.” They will also have to complete a Creative, Activity and Service Project to earn the IB Diploma. 

Amber Melendez is a Senior at Winter Springs and has been through the Pre-DP program and the IB Diploma Program. She is finishing up her last year of the program. In this program, it can be very challenging and hard to balance all the extracurricular activities that the student may want to do, but you just have to learn how to use their time that are given properly. Melendez was part of Band of Gold all four years in High School and balanced being in this rigorous program. Melendez was able to complete everything by knowing where her priorities are. Her biggest advice for underclassmen is, “ Crying is okay. Know your stuff and don’t wait for someone to tell you.” Melendez is going to spend these last three quarters of her High School life “not caring about what people think, having a good time, and preparing for the next chapter of [her] academic career.” After High School, Melendez plans on going to college and getting a degree in Political Science for Law. 

In conclusion being part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program can be tough, but the end outcome of it is so worth it.