This past Wednesday on the 24th of January, Sandia held its third informational night for the International Baccalaureate Program. The meeting began at 6:30 PM in the new library. There was a booth set up for incoming parents and students to sign in, and to receive informational flyers. Those who are interested in IB were crowded into the library, filling up the entire section set up for the night and spilling over into surrounding tables and chairs. Students as young as middle schoolers going up to the age of juniors were there, as well as their accompanying parents.
There were several people attending to learn about the IB Preparatory Program, with many more there who are enrolled, or wanting to learn about the Diploma Program. The night started out with Ms. Goswick discussing different aspects of the IB Program. Interested students were presented with information on different features of and requirements for IB. Students learned that Sandia has graduated three IB Diploma classes so far, and Ms. Goswick stated that the IB Program intends to offer a balanced curriculum, and “encourage students to become active thinkers, compassionate and lifelong learners who respect other cultures and traditions.” After speaking about different areas in IB, she told the crowd, “we’re interested in the whole person.”
After Ms. Goswick’s presentation, several other teachers and administrators involved in the IB program were presented, including Sandia’s principal Mr. D’anza. Mr. D’anza gave the students and parents more details about IB, and the school itself. He commented that this particular informational night had the smallest crowd, which was remarkable, considering how many people were in the library. Mr. D’anza talked about how Sandia is the only comprehensive high school in New Mexico that has the International Baccalaureate Program, and about the roots of the IB Program at Sandia. He explained that there are 100 slots open for transfer students in IB, and if a student wants transfer, they need to apply for one before January 31st at midnight. Mr. D’anza told everyone, “I’m very proud to be the principal of this school.”
Following Principal D’anza’s speech, Athletic Director Mr. Weems took the stage. He introduced himself, and then brought out a couple of student athletes, so that they could talk about how both being an athlete and in IB was possible. Mr. Weems’ intention was to appeal to the athletes in the crowd, and assure them that being in IB would not change their ability to participate in a sport. Four juniors came to the stage, including a girl in Drill/Dance, a girl in Track and Field, a boy in Football and Basketball, and a boy in Wrestling. The athletes talked about how doable being in IB and playing a sport is, saying things like IB is “completely manageable to do with a sport”, and that “it’s not hard once you fall into the habit of it.” One girl spoke about how the combination of the two actually made her life more rewarding, stating that, “I’m actually a lot more productive when I’m doing things.” After the students spoke, Mr. Weems gave a brief explanation about how the IB Program and participating in sports can go hand in hand.
After the presentation, students and parents were able to participate in a group Q&A. Parents asked about specifics of the IB Program, with questions relating to stress levels, commitment and how time consuming IB is. Afterward, the crowd separated, and those who were interested in the IB Program were able to have individual discussions with teachers, administrators, and other students involved with IB. Several people left after the group Q&A, but many more stayed behind to speak with teachers independantly. The informational night ended at around 7:45 PM, lasting just over an hour. Overall, the night was a great success, with a large number of people being interested in enrolling in the IB Program.