The English department will be adding in IB English Standard Level 1 as a course option for next year. English department chair Martha Noone said the decision came as a result of the FCPS School Board’s vote to add English Honors classes.
The school then looked at “what would be best for students” and decided to add IB SL English as a result, Noone said.
The program was not added before due to Marshall’s small size. Noone said that the course would be accessible for students coming out of English 10.
She added that the Statesmen taking IB English SL need to be “readers who do their homework.”
Next year, only IB SL English 1 will be offered, with IB SL English 2 being added the following year.
The course will require a staffing redistribution due to the limited number of section per English class.
IB coordinator Carlota Shewchuk added that the addition of IB English SL would be an option for IB Diploma candidates who want to pursue other classes as part of their Higher Level courses and advanced diploma candidates that do not want to take IB English HL.
The foreign language courses are also being revised. Shewchuk said that the main difference will be the change of IB Spanish A1 to an IB Group 1 course.Shewchuk said the primary reason that the change was implemented was to make it clear where bilingual students place.
“There’s another option for English that is called Language and Literature, but that has yet to be approved as a course in Fairfax County,” Shewchuk said.
Current juniors are the first class to take the Spanish A course, Language and Literature. The course will replace the Language A2 group for Spanish.
In addition to the English department, it is unclear whether IB Economics HL will be offered next year.
“The Higher Level [Economics] students would be best served having their own section,” Shewchuk said.
According to IB Economics teacher Kathryn Peyton, the IB Economics course is being revised to include fewer commentaries and more mathematics, particularly in the HL level.
The primary reason that IB Economics HL may not be offered is due to Peyton’s departure, she said.
History department chair Wanlace Yates said he does not see a significant impact.
“I just don’t see it impacting diploma plans,” he said.
Shewchuk also discussed the possibility of future IB courses.
“We have talked about as a school whether someday we will offer IB Geography,” Shewchuk said. “To a lot of social studies teachers, it would be an appealing option.”
Other IB courses like IB Chemistry HL are subject to the level of interest from students and can get their own separate classes if there is enough interest.