St. Frederick High School was recently authorized by the International Baccalaureate (IB) as an “IB World School,” becoming the only school in North Louisiana to receive such a distinction. St. Frederick joins the ranks of over 5000 schools worldwide offering the IB, which focuses on developing well-rounded students of excellent character, who are ready for 21st-century challenges. The program aligns perfectly with the school’s Catholic identity and college preparatory curriculum, and St. Frederick has seen a dramatic increase in enrollment as a result of the positive changes around campus.
What makes IB unique is its approach to learning, which is inquiry-based and student-led. Students are at the center of every unit, and the goal of assignments is to engage students in interdisciplinary lessons meant to broaden their understanding of the subject matter and the world around them. Students are encouraged to develop life-skills such as critical and creative thinking, collaboration, and empathy. Subject matter taught goes beyond the core four to include the arts, design, and a second language. Students at St. Frederick can take Spanish for up to six years.
The school elected to pursue authorization in 2019 and entered the “candidacy phase” in the fall of 2020. Principal Dr. Carynn Wiggins made the decision after researching top academic programs in the country, and after visiting a Catholic IB School in Wisconsin to see how the program matched up with the school’s Catholic identity. She then set out to hire the faculty and staff who would help realize her dream of becoming an IB World School.
Throughout the process, the school faced many challenges, including the pandemic, faculty turnover, and shifting school culture. Early donors to the program made the launch possible, and the combined efforts of the entire school community led to the final authorization in October. Dr. Wiggins credits the support of her staff, the school’s superintendent, the Board of Directors, the parents, and the students for the school’s continued success.
Now that St. Frederick has received full accreditation for the MYP, or Middle Years Programme, for grades 7-10, the school is currently pursuing consideration of the DP, or Diploma Programme, the most highly respected high school curriculum in the country. The goal of the administration is to help St. Frederick High School become one of the top schools in the state and region, producing students who are life-long learners – ready for college, career, and beyond – and who are competitive with the top students around the country.
For more information about IB at St. Frederick High School, please visit our website (https://www.stfrederickhigh.org/international-baccalaureate) or call 318-323-9636.