TORONTO - There is exciting news for intellectual minded in York Region. Holy Cross Catholic Academy (CA) is now recognized as an authorized IB World School for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.
The Woodbridge high school joins an exclusive group of 5,500 institutions worldwide which deliver the IB programme. Out of 16 secondary schools within the York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB), Holy Cross CA is now the fourth high school to offer students the opportunity to earn the IB Diploma, in addition to the Ontario Secondary School Diploma.
Other schools include Cardinal Carter in Aurora, and in Markham, Father Michael McGivney CA and St. Robert Catholic High School. In all, that represents a quarter of all Catholic schools in the York Region. The Board’s counterpart in Toronto, the TCDSB, has only 10% of high schools (3 out of 29) which offer the IB Diploma Programme.
Edward Lavor, Principal at Holy Cross CA, said in a press release, “We are honoured to offer the IB program to students wishing to deepen their level of knowledge and understanding of the curriculum, growing intellectually, emotionally and spiritually as they journey through their high school experience”.
When asked what the anticipated demand for the programme would be, Lavor told the Corriere, “considering Holy Cross CA is the only YCDSB school in York Region west (of Hwy 400) to offer the IB programme, we anticipate a healthy growth of interest in the near future and beyond”.
The prestigious designation means students, aged 16-19, who are accepted and enrolled in the IB programme will gain access to high quality, challenging educational courses. For students, it involves a curriculum designed to enhance the development of knowledgeable and critical-thinking skills for inquiring minds. Such attributes are beneficial for success at university and for life beyond.
The designation not only proves advantageous for students, but school staff also benefit from professional development opportunities. Studies suggest a higher rate of IB graduates carry on to university and higher education compared to non-IB students. The rigorous programme offers students a chance to be better prepared for employment in their chosen career.
According to Lavor, “students pursuing the IB and OSSD diplomas will develop strong academic and organizational skills, engaging in opportunities that make practical and global connections to the curriculum”.
Typically, an entry test is required to enrol in the program; however, due to Covid-19, that requirement has been temporarily waived.
The school is accepting online applications for the start of the 2021-2022 academic year in September. “Currently, over 100 students are registered in the (pre) IB classes offered, an impressive start to a programme that has only just begun”, Lavor added. It is often said that “knowledge is power”.
If that saying is true, the possibilities are endless for the next generation of empowered learners. That includes, all future inventors, scientists, educators and contributing members of society who have the ability to make a positive difference in the world.