I recently had the opportunity to tour Hilton Head Island High School with Principal Amanda O'Nan and her vice principals to gain firsthand knowledge of their International Baccalaureate program.
We met in the media center and had a presentation on how the state tracks SAT scores and graduation rates, how the Seahawks land on that scale and some of the challenges that come with those type of universal tracking tools. We then went through the awards that the school had won and why and were given a introduction to the IB program. The program has 20 IB diploma students and is preparing for 60 for next year, but the diploma students aren't the only students to get access to the IB way of teaching and learning.
We surveyed classrooms for civil rights, world affairs and Chinese and saw how the IB program challenges students to be critical thinkers. We watched a presentation on the invasion of Iraq and students engaging in civil rights issues from Eisenhower to Carter, all in an interactive and technologically advanced environment.
I encourage anyone who has questions, concerns or just wants to see what is happening at our high school to contact O'Nan and set up a meeting and tour or subscribe to her weekly email blast. See firsthand how these students -- whether they later attend a four- or two-year university or make another choice, have access to an educational environment that is challenging and informational.
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Heather Malia Rath
Hilton Head Island