Hello and welcome to a new school year! It’s been a crazy start, and many of us IB parents have been frustrated and confused regarding the change in the master bell schedule and how it has affected our kids’ schedules. As a representative of the IB Parent Organization, I was able to meet yesterday with Principal Barnett, Ms. Rasgado (Woodrow’s IB Coordinator), Assistant Principal Cardenas, Assistant Principal Mercon and Ms. Fontenot (District IB Coordinator) to voice our collective concerns.
First, however, I want to reassure you that Ms. Rasgado and all the counselors all working very diligently to fix our kids’ schedules. They care about our IB students, and they are doing all they can to support the program and ensure that all juniors and seniors are scheduled to take the necessary/required courses to be eligible to receive their IB Diploma. Please remember that they are dealing with a situation that was outside their control or creation and have patience as they work through all 1,800 student schedules. It may take several weeks to fix everything, but it will happen.
If you read no further than this paragraph, please take note of the following: IB students or parents with any issues regarding their schedules or questions about the IB requirements should immediately email Ms. Rasgado (email@example.com) and cc: Ms. Rodriguez (firstname.lastname@example.org) as well as their assigned counselor (see list below). Ms. Rasgado is working to fix IB schedules on a case-by-case basis. The student will still need to turn in the official green Schedule Request form by the end of day Friday, August 19.
Below is the list of concerns I raised at the meeting yesterday along with Woodrow’s responses. If you still have any questions about the IB program after reading this, I encourage you to reach out to Ms. Rasgado. I’m also happy to help however I can, as I have a junior currently in the IB Diploma Programme and two kids who previously graduated from it.
Thank you for your patience and support … let’s have a great year!
Parents are getting conflicting messages from Woodrow about making schedule changes. The communication from Woodrow is that no schedule changes will be processed via email and to only turn in the official schedule change request form, while some IB parents are being told to email Ms. Rasgado directly for help with their students’ schedules. What steps can IB junior and senior parents take this week to fix their IB students’ schedules?
Response: IB students with any questions or issues with their schedules should email Ms. Rasgado and cc: Ms. Rodriguez and their assigned counselor. The student will still need to turn in the official green Schedule Request Form by end of the day Friday, August 19.
Parents are either unaware or confused by the IB Diploma Programme (DP) requirements as well as what IB courses Woodrow even offers.
Response: Any student or parent confused about IB DP requirements should email Ms. Rasgado directly to ask her, and she can also look at the student’s schedule to ensure IB requirements are being met.
Are all IB juniors and seniors being audited to ensure their schedules allow them to be eligible to take the necessary/required tests for the IB DP?
Response: Ms. Rasgado is, first, auditing the students/parents who contact her for help with schedule issues. After all schedules are finalized, she will go through all IB juniors and seniors to ensure they are on track to take the necessary/required tests for the IB DP.
Now that counselors are assigned by last name, many students have counselors who are not familiar with the IB DP and its requirements. How do we know our students’ schedules are being evaluated correctly for IB specifically if they don’t know IB?
Response: All counselors will (eventually) be trained in IB DP requirements and course offerings, but until that transition has been completed, any IB-specific schedule questions should be directed to Ms. Rasgado and Ms. Rodriguez and cc: assigned counselor.
Many IB juniors are struggling to fit TOK into their schedules this spring. Are there any other options being considered? Is a yearlong TOK class senior year only even an option?
Response: According to the IB DP requirements guide that Woodrow is following, TOK cannot be offered as a yearlong course. It must occur over two years (i.e. Spring of junior year/Fall of senior year). If students are having issues fitting in TOK this year, they need to email Ms. Rasgado who will work with them to make sure they can fit it in and have met all IB DP requirements. They will determine on a case-by-case basis if creative offering times need to happen.
There seems to be an abundance of IB juniors in Office Assistant as a class this fall because they’ve been told by counselors that there is no other option. Are there other options for those who are in this situation? With all the necessary requirements for graduation, and IB specifically, they probably don’t have a semester to spend in a non-academic “class” setting.
Response: Woodrow is working on evaluating the master schedule and adding course sections where needed, but if students have any issue with a non-IB or non-academic course they have been scheduled in, they should email Ms. Rasgado and cc: their assigned counselor to see what can be done to replace it with an academic or graduation requirement. Students and parents need to remember to be flexible when re-scheduling is being done since all courses are not offered every class period.