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Old 11-04-2010, 11:26 AM
 
559 posts, read 482,650 times
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Tell me about the international baccalaureate programs at Nashville area high schools. I'm most interested in the one at Franklin High School in Williamson County. I spoke to the head of the program on the phone, but would like to hear from personal experiences.

Is Franklin High School one of the schools most at risk of rezoning?
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:11 PM
 
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My understanding is that Franklin High School is the only high school in Williamson County that has the IB program. I do not currently live in the area, but I believe someone on this forum mentioned that this program may be open enrollment - I *think* meaning that anyone can enroll or apply to enroll if they live in the county. (Someone please correct me if I'm wrong!)

As for personal experiences - I have an IB diploma. Although not from a Williamson County High School and I earned mine in the early 90's. At that time you took Pre-IB courses as a freshman and sophomore and then junior and senior years you took the IB courses.

It was a lot of work and I always felt as if my IB courses were more intense than the AP courses my friends took at other high schools. That might have just been me being a whiney teenager though! I do feel I was very well prepared for college - I even got a full year's worth of credit because I scored high enough on each of the IB exams at the end of my senior year. I took some AP exams as well (can't remember why I did both) and at that time I felt the IB exams were harder.

I'm not sure if it's still this way, but I had to take IB Global History and IB American History junior and senior year. The IB history exam covered both meaning I had to review material I'd learned two years earlier to take the exam. The IB Program definitely is intense. I seem to recall having to do some sort of final project as a senior as well and having to defend it orally - almost like you'd do for a PhD thesis. (Again not sure if that's still part of the program.)

It was nice to get the college credit but in some respects I feel like I got a little cheated out of the high school experience. I got an IB diploma meaning every class I took was an IB course (you can also just take select courses). I studied a lot and did not have a whole lot of fun in high school. If my children are able and interested someday I'll let them enroll in this type of program, but it'll be okay with me if they don't want to as well.
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:55 PM
 
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Franklin High and Hillsboro (Metro) both have it. Franklin you have to apply for it and be accepted and if you can't keep up they'll drop you from the program. If you are out of zone you have to return to your home zone.

There are kids being rezoned from Franklin. The super. has made circles around every school now and if you live within the 1 mile radius of a high school or middle school you'll be "guaranteed" zoning.
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:02 PM
 
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Thanks for the replies! I do want my children to have a positive high school experience, time to relax, enjoy,play.

I have an 8th grader who qualifies for the IB program HERE for freshman year and I assume would also qualify for an IB program in Tennessee when we relocate there in a few months.

I'd like the IB program to be an option - and with our family circumstance, living outside the zone and depending on open enrollment might require me to transport her to and from school and that is not something I want to do.

I need to download and print a map and study it. Talking to self: I have lots of homework to do. How does an out-of-stater choose a middle school and high school for children?
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Old 11-05-2010, 09:55 AM
 
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If at all possible, I would try to visit each school if for no other reason than to get a feel for it. We are in the same situation as you with the exception we need an elementary school for the remainder of this year and on paper I thought I had the schools I wanted my children to attend. After visiting one of the elementary schools that came highly recommended, I disliked it immediately. Fortunately we went to visit another school that I had read about and was on my short list (we just "dropped by" and they were able to give us the nickle tour). The school is also ranked very well and we came away feeling that that school was a much better "fit" for our child. I actually felt like it was the difference between night and day between the 2 schools. The same with the high schools. We visited Franklin H.S. mainly because of the IB program (which sounds to be very challenging not only with the course work but also with community service requirements). We toured the school during the day and we were able to see how the kids interacted with faculty, safety etc. Everyone was very accommodating but again I wasn't "blown away" by what I saw. The study hall we observed seemed to be mass confusion which concerned me. We then went to visit another h.s. for comparison and I'm really glad we did. Don't get me wrong, both schools are very good but I got a totally different feeling from both schools. The schools are a lot bigger than where we are coming from so it will be a huge adjustment for my kids but I think by visiting the schools first, we will be able to help them make that transition a little easier (fingers crossed). Just my 2 cents. We did this and looked at houses in 3 very hectic days and with 3 kids in tow but I'm really glad we did it. Now I just need to find the right house.
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:19 AM
 
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Thanks, Wistomove. I want to take a trip for "getting a feel" for schools and to look at a few homes - hate to take my kids out of school here to do that. Would appreciate your specific thoughts and observations in a private message. I can do only so much research from 500+ miles away.
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Old 11-05-2010, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
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In my experience, the IB program is a feather in the cap for the school because it sounds prestigious, but it may not necessarily help your child.
I graduated from high school in Memphis with an IB diploma, but it didn't help me get into any universities and I didn't transfer any credits. Many counselors I talked to then and now about my own children recommend taking your basic classes, especially in your major, at your university anyway.
I would not make IB a major decision in my school choice. AP classes seem to hold more weight anyway.
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Old 11-05-2010, 01:27 PM
 
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What middle schools and high schools are socially welcoming and friendly? Are there some that have more transplants than others where my children might meet others who are new to the area and in similar situations?
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Old 11-05-2010, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
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Sunset Middle and Woodland Middle have a lot of transplants as well as Heritage out in Spring Hill and Spring Station in Thompsons Station.
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Old 11-05-2010, 01:35 PM
 
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Thanks.

And maybe I am overthinking at this point. So much to overthink about. *wink*
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