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USC seeks International Baccalaureate for all grades

| Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2002

The Upper St. Clair School District soon may become only the second district in the nation to offer the International Baccalaureate program to all of its students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Upper St. Clair began using the program in 1999 in the upper high school grades. The International Baccalaureate Program is a standardized academic program based in Geneva, Switzerland, that emphasizes international citizenship, community service and foreign language.

Representatives of the program already have authorized the full middle school and high school programs.

Last week, program representatives visited the district to review the kindergarten through fourth grade programs.

Clark Remington, coordinator of Upper St. Clair's program, said the district could know within two months if the elementary program is fully authorized, as well.

"There are kids being accepted into colleges because they have this education," district Superintendent William Pope said. "This is really something special that goes beyond the norm."

The International Baccalaureate program features an internationalism theme with geography and citizenship included in every course, including English, mathematics and science. The program is optional; parents can choose to enroll their children in the classes at every level.

Students who take the program in grades 11 and 12 can earn International Baccalaureate diplomas. Those in the middle school years, grades 5 through 10, can earn certificates.

"We want to emphasize what it is to be a good citizen," Remington said, "not of the United States, necessarily — but of the world."

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