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Eich Intermediate School unveils International Baccalaureate plans

Will likely take 1 to 3 years for Eich to become IB ‘World School’
By: Sena Christian, Staff Reporter
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Eich IB informational meetings

When: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27; Spanish translation meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 12.

Where: Gymnasium, Eich Intermediate School, 1509 Sierra Gardens Drive in Roseville

Info: www.IBEich.com, www.facebook.com, twitter.com/IB_Eich

 

A Roseville school is undertaking efforts to become the first International Baccalaureate middle school campus in Placer County.

The school-wide IB program at Warren T. Eich Intermediate School will aim to create well-rounded students that are “more than a test score,” as Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Gary Callahan said during a parent informational meeting Feb. 26, with about 100 people in attendance.

The school is currently going through the application process, and expects to be in the candidate phase for 1 to 3 years and then become a certified 'IB World School,' depending on the training preparedness of teachers and courses offered. Principal Marc Buljan said 70 percent of Eich’s teachers will be trained in IB by the end of the summer.

The International Baccalaureate Organization is a nonprofit educational organization based in Geneva, Switzerland and founded in 1968 to serve the children of diplomats.

“What will the world be like in the future? … What will our students need to thrive in this future?” Buljan rhetorically asked during Tuesday’s presentation.

Buljan said these are the types of questions the IB program — which is a teaching philosophy, not a curriculum — addresses. He said the program fosters a holistic student, with an emphasis on developing both the left and right side of the brain.

IB encourages creative, critical and big-picture thinking, he said. According to the IB mission statement, the program’s goal is to “develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.” It also aims to develop lifelong learners versed in problem solving and communication.

“IB is really all about looking at things from a different perspective,” said Eich’s IB Coordinator Lisa Shrider.

District staff said launching an International Baccalaureate campus is a natural progression for Eich as IB incorporates the philosophies of Common Core Standards, which is being adopted as a nationwide standard. Eich will maintain its AVID, GATE, intervention, English Language Learner and other programs.

School officials hope offering the IB program will attract more students to a campus that has seen declining enrollment in recent years.

Beginning with the 2013-24 school year, Eich will become a sixth through eighth grade middle school, by incorporating the adjacent Sierra Gardens Elementary School campus, which will close this spring. That campus will become Eich’s sixth-grade wing.

The Roseville City School District board of trustees voted 4 to 1 to close the school in March 2012, citing declining enrollment at three of Eich’s feeder elementary schools — Sierra Gardens, Sargeant and Crestmont. That decision was contentious for Sierra Gardens parents, who mourned the future loss of their neighborhood campus.

As part of the transition, all feeder schools into Eich Intermediate School will shift from K-6 to K-5, including Sierra Gardens, Sargeant, Crestmont and Stoneridge elementary schools.