West Side high school to get IB program

Michele Clark to get International Baccalaureate program next year

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter


Staff Reporter

Austin high school students will no longer have to leave the West Side to study in an International Baccalaureate program.

Michele Clark Academic Prep Magnet High School recently learned from CPS officials it will be able to offer an IB program starting next year. IB is already offered at three elementary schools on the West Side: Oscar DePriest, Duke Ellington and Frazier International Magnet. A fourth elementary school – Michael Faraday – will be adding IB.

Now 8th graders who've been studying in a West Side IB program will be able to stay in the area, coming to Michele Clark to continue the rigorous study undertaken by more than 1 million students in more than 146 countries.

Citywide, more than 19,000 CPS students will have access to an IB program at 62 schools, making the district the largest IB network in North America, CPS officials said.

"It was so important that we got this because we have elementary schools that are IB," Michele Clark Principal Charles Anderson Jr. said. "The message used to be, 'You have to leave your community.' I'm just so excited that … they don't have to leave their community."

Anderson, in his fourth year as principal, said the school will continue its focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). The Austin native said the school is working out the details of how IB and STEM will merge. "IB just adds a new level."

Michele Clark had to submit an application to CPS, competing with more than 100 schools also interested in offering or expanding their offerings in IB, STEM/STEAM, fine and performing arts, dual or world language, personalized learning or gifted. CPS ultimately chose 32 schools that will share in $32 million.

Michele Clark will receive $200,000, which Principal Anderson said likely be used to hire an IB coordinator and conduct training for teachers, among other things. "We're going to take what we have and push global/international" – something they've already begun to do, he said.

In addition to West Side elementary schools already offering IB that wrote letters of support, Anderson credits many people and groups for the high school receiving the coveted IB designation: Parents, Ald. Chris Taliaferro, Austin Coming Together, Kids First Chicago and community members like longtime education advocate Dwayne Truss.

Truss has a grandson who is a freshman at Michele Clark; he may benefit from IB depending on how they roll it out, Truss said.

"It lets parents know there's a great school in Austin and a place to get a great education," said Truss, who also lauded the expansion of IB at the two Austin elementary schools, DePriest and Ellington.

He and other education advocates have also been pushing for more vocational training at West Side high schools like the advanced manufacturing program that's offered at Austin College & Career Academy (on the former Austin High School campus).

"Everybody is not going to college."

As Michele Clark teachers and staff work to implement IB, Anderson expects enrollment at the school – now about 500 students – will increase.

"It's a tremendous victory for the Austin community," he said.

CONTACT: austintalks.org@gmail.com  

Reader Comments

1 Comment - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Judy Edwards-Pride from Chicago  

Posted: April 17th, 2019 1:15 PM

Congrats Principal Andersen and Michele Clark HS! Charles, I see your passion and commitment towards obtaining a superlative education has continued to follow you since we graduated together from Westinghouse HS where you were the class valedictorian of course. Thanks for being a blessing to the Austin community and I know your students will definitely have a successful future. Judy Edwards-Pride c/o 82.

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2019

To view the full print edition of the Austin Weekly News 2019 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Austin and Garfield Park.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Classified Ad