PJ Manley attended and summarized the meeting:
It would be an Accelerated IB program at a high school that already has a well-established IB program. The principal & teachers seem to be good, supportive, and available. It was a very upbeat meeting, and I think Bob V deserves a fair amount of credit for this idea. It's not his own. He readily admits he's copying the Interlake model in Bellevue.An anonymous parent also attended and added:
Based on what was presented, I'd choose an accelerated IB program over typical AP classes at a neighborhood school in a heartbeat. It would be the perfect fit for anyone on the fence between APP or IB. I have to believe it will appeal to a lot of people.
I am cautiously optimistic that it could become an excellent alternative for some kids.Update: Meg Diaz points out that the presentation is available (PDF).
The IB diploma is a rigorous and coordinated curriculum that has high value with college admissions officers. Gifted students would be in self-contained classrooms in 9th grade -- so the 9th grade academics are potentially more rigorous than at Garfield. It appears than some of the 10th-12 grade classes might also be only highly gifted students. So the gifted group would feel more cohesive. So overall, this curriculum held more appeal to me than a mishmash of AP courses at Garfield.
And the Ingraham teachers are already teaching the curriculum, so it might require less start up time than I had originally thought. The also are proposing to make it possible for gifted kids not currently in APP to test in -- which should both bring in new students and reduce the complaints that kids can't enter a "gifted program" in Seattle after 7th grade.
It was also clear that Bob Vaughan was passionate about its potential, based on the outcomes in Bellevue. And the Ingraham principal and staff who attended the meeting seemed excited about the program and having our kids ... I think its the core of a very good idea.