Inquiring, open-minded, knowledgeable, principled, balanced and reflective.
Those are just a few of the characteristics that many of the 490 students who graduated Wednesday will bring to the outside world.
These “elite” graduates are among about 2,000 students in Eagle Rock High’s International Baccalaureate (I.B.) program. Last month, after several years of being a “candidate school,” ERHS became the first LAUSD school to be fully certified by the global I.B. program for students in grades seven to 10, that is, the middle years aged 11 to 16.
“We are very proud of the accomplishment,” says ERHS Principal Salvador Velasco. “This shows that we can implement the program correctly in the first try.”
At the core of the I.B. program is a rigorous multidisciplinary curriculum that not only connects academic subject to each other but also to key aspects of a student’s life. “You have to find out what your intellectual passion is, which usually involves a problem and a solution,” explains Delia Estrada, one of the school’s four assistant principals and the one entrusted with instruction and curriculum. “It can be an art work, a play, a dance or a research paper—we have kids who have written novels and poetry books.”
The next step for Eagle Rock High on the prestigious I.B. ladder? By 2014, the school expects to roll out an I.B. diploma program for grade 11 and 12 students aged 16 to 19 years.