The renowned International Baccalaureate program attracts students from all over Fairfax County, but as the district population increases, Fairfax County has decided to discontinue the transfer process, prohibiting those interested in pursuing the diploma. Marshall currently holds a total of 2,233 students and is unable to accomodate more even with the additional trailers built.
“Our population is growing,” administrative assistant Debra Marciello said. “Northern Virginia in itself is booming. You can look around Marshall with the construction that’s happening. There are kids that live in those high-rise buildings that now need to go to Marshall so we need to be able to accommodate them here at Marshall.”
Although they say transfer cuts are necessary, some believe this new enforcement will negatively impact the school and lower the percentage of students taking the IB diploma.
“I think this new enforced policy will negatively affect Marshall because most of the transfer students are bringing in good test scores considering they’re interested in the IB diploma so it makes [Marshall] look better,” sophomore and transfer student Alyson Rees said. “I’m [planning on] doing the full [IB] diploma, so I feel like they should let people who are actually interested in pursuing the full IB diploma transfer in more than the students that aren’t.”
Fairfax County gives students the option of selecting the closest IB school to them that is open to transfers, allowing Fairfax County students to continue along their set education path.
“I don’t think cutting transfers is the best option because some people might be unhappy with the school they’re at and considering Marshall is one of the best IB schools, people want to take these opportunities but when you cut them off from that, you’re restricting them,” senior Andrew Chin said.
Transferring to the next closest IB school may cause transportation conflicts among families with children attending different schools.
“Older siblings could get accepted into the program and younger siblings aren’t able to come to [Marshall] anymore, so it’s harder on the families because you’re driving to two separate schools,” freshman and transfer student Lauren Taylor said.
The county instituted a $100 fee for those already accepted in.
“The fee makes sense because I am supposed to go to my base school, so anything that allows me to stay here, I would be happy to pay that fee,” Chin said. “But I don’t think cutting transfers is the best option because some people might be unhappy with the school they’re at and considering Marshall is one of the best IB schools, people want to take these opportunities but when you cut them off from that, you’re restricting them.”