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Board of Ed: Enthusiasm for IB Program Tempered by its Cost

Hauppauge school trustees recognize academic program would provide students with new challenges, but weigh the costs.

The atmosphere at Hauppauge school district's International Baccalaureate presentation reflected a gradual shift of public opinions toward the academic program over the past six months, from outrage to concern.

District officials gathered the Board of Education and more than 60 residents for a second information session and question-and-answer on Oct. 6 before board members make the final vote on whether to go forward with an IB program. Board members expressed support for the academic program, but questioned its financial cost and potential impact.

"There's no doubt the rigor will get [students] ready for college, but my biggest problem is financial," said Board Vice President Eileen Mass. "The biggest problem is how do this financially when we are making classes bigger with all the options we have now?"

Trustees Susan Hodosky and Ginger Todoro expressed similar concerns about the cost, looking ahead to the 2012-2013 school budget while facing a 2 percent tax cap. Hodosky wondered if the school would have enough money to run IB properly.

Hauppauge public schools has spent $100,356 to date on applying to the International Baccalaureate, teacher training, materials and curriculum writing, up from

“The major expenses for this program are behind us now,” Superintendent Patricia Sullivan-Kriss said. “Now is the best time for us to do this as opposed to if we were starting fresh and having to do these things.”

Yearly costs for the International Baccalaureate program would include a $10,000 annual fee, $141 for each student to register with the program, $400 to $5,000 to mail out exams and teacher training, according to Assistant Superintendent Kyrie Siegel. Students would also have to pay $96 per test in each course, where AP tests cost $87 each.

Mass and Todoro’s main concerns included class size, as in September at the high school were some foreign language and social studies courses had up to 39 students. 

“I believe in creating options for kids is our responsibility, whether it’s a class that needs to be six or seven students, that will increase class sizes elsewhere,” Sullivan-Kriss said.

One option to make potentially IB classes larger would be to co-seat IB students and AP students in the same class, the superintendent said, as the . The district currently co-seats students in some foreign language courses.

“It would require planning and emphasis on skill sets that are required by both AP and IB. Based on personal experience, I think it can be done and it can strengthen the course of study for both areas,” said Ellen Ryan, Hauppauge’s IB coordinator.

Board member Pat Lesser said she was excited to see Hauppauge school district pursuing the IB program after 10 years on the board.

Hauppauge school district is nearing the end of a two-year application process for the International Baccalaureate program, a two-year international academic program that educates students in six core areas tied together through a Theory of Knowledge course.

Board members will vote at Tuesday’s board meeting on whether to continue with the application, with a site visit from IB officials on Oct. 30, to be accepted into the program.

patriotmommy October 11, 2011 at 11:45 AM
Stick with AP!!! You've already wasted $100,000 on this IB nonsense .... shame on the Hauppauge BoE for allowing that waste of money which could have paid for two classroom teachers. www.truthaboutib.com
patriotmommy October 11, 2011 at 12:16 PM
A few more financial considerations: 1. IB Coordinator salary 2. Stipends for CAS and EE Supervisors 3. 2011 fee for DP is $10,200, not $10,000 - expect to rise annually 4. IB Site Team visit - $3,500-4,000 5. Student registration fee to rise to $145 6. IB Conference - $5,000 7. Levels 2 & 3 IB Teacher training - $100-120,000
patriotmommy October 11, 2011 at 12:18 PM
Btw, I am about to leave for a presentation to the Merrimac Valley SD in New Hampshire to try and prevent them from wasting taxpayer money on IB the way Hauppauge did. Please remember I did offer my services for free to Hauppauge as a fellow Long Islander and none of your Board members bothered to take me up on it.
We Heart Long Island October 11, 2011 at 01:17 PM
They don't want your services because you are a wacko.
stefan krompier October 11, 2011 at 03:55 PM
What is the cost on a per student basis? Also, what is the research relating to the before and after benefits of the program i.e. higher SAT scores, higher college GPA's, more acceptances into into more/most competitive colleges, increase - quantity/ quality of college scholarships, etc.
Sara Walsh (Editor) October 11, 2011 at 04:39 PM
Stefan - Superintendent Patricia Sullivan-Kriss said she expects approximately 25 diploma candidates per grade level. That would mean once fully implemented, the superintendent expects approximately 50 students fully enrolled in the program at any time.
Haup21 October 11, 2011 at 06:28 PM
This is a bunch of nonsense! How dare the district waste $100,000 of OUR money on this controversial program without first putting it to a public vote. It is almost impossible to find anything positive about IB from any objective source! As parents, we will be getting way more bang for the dollar with AP credits. This is an obvious attempt by the Sullivan-Kriss and the board to pull a fast one on the residents of Hauppauge.. The only people who will be served by IB are the teachers who will be getting trips on the taxpayers dime to have "training" . I find it alarming that i get daily notices in my kid's backpacks regarding insignificant events like plant sales and book drives, but when it comes to a MAJOR and COSTLY addition to the HS curriculum, its kept a big secret. Unless we comb through the district website, we would know nothing about IB until its forced down our throats! Trust me, if this program gets voted in by the board, it won't be long until they do away with the AP program. That seems to be the pattern in other districts across the country that have implemented the IB program. Put it to a public vote and let the residents decide!
patriotmommy October 12, 2011 at 12:02 PM
concerned citizen 3, You are absolutely correct about AP being eliminated in favor of IB. In Locust Valley, which used to offer 14 AP courses and produce 35-36 AP Scholars on average annually, we now only have 3 AP courses, 0 AP Scholars and an average of 20 IB Diplomas. IB is an ideological, expensive scam and should not be allowed in American public schools.

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