Students: Look at facts before bashing Largo High IB
Recent criticism from some mid-Pinellas parents about the new IB program coming to Largo High (story here, follow-up here) struck a nerve with students at the school. Here is a response from Ashley Ruch, editor in chief of the Packer Press, who had help writing it from another editor, Mary Renfroe:
Largo High School is known across the county for a number of fantastic things. Whether it be for their superb football team or for their rigorous academic classes or even their ExCel magnet program, there is a lot to be proud of at Largo High School, and it is a shame that people cannot stop looking at their past and instead take a look at what they are becoming.
Largo High School has numerous respectable clubs, as well as nine different honor societies. The International Thespian Honor Society has one main goal; to keep the arts alive. They compete throughout the year, as well as have many on-campus performances. At each performance ITS asks the audience to give money to the Broadway Cares Foundation, a group that collects money for the cure for AIDS.
The National Honor Society, one of the biggest honor societies at Largo High School, has a tradition of hosting four blood drives a year since approximately 1988. In addition, this year NHS has added many more drives, such as the RCS canned food drive, collecting Christmas presents for less fortunate children at Mildred Helms Elementary, and the collection of pet supplies for the SPCA of Tampa Bay.
The Aethelbeorht Chapter of the National English Honors Society is the first chapter for the entire nation. They are currently hosting a book drive for the Ronald McDonald House, as well as throwing a number of themed teacher appreciation luncheons, such as “Green eggs and ham.”
Rho Kappa is Largo High School’s National History Honor Society. The members of this honor society are future historians exposing themselves to a variety of different historical venues allowing these students the opportunity to study the past as well as prepare for the future.
The Key Club of Largo High School is a service club sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Largo, which is a service club for adults. Key Club is very active in the community with different projects such as Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life, and even spending a Saturday building homes. Last year the Key Club had a huge part in raising money for the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary. The main goal of the Key Club is to build leadership through service to others. Currently, the Key Club is working together with both PMAC (Principal’s Multicultural Advisory Club) and SAVE (Students Against Violence Everywhere) Club in the Coexistence campaign to help stop bullying.
In addition, Largo High School also has twelve different advanced placement courses available for the students, with two more preparing to be launched next year. In 1993, Largo High School took on the ExCel magnet program, or as it was called then the 21st Century Learning Center & Teaching Arts Academy.
Now Largo High School is being challenged with taking on an International Baccalaureate (IB) program. The IB program will provide students with a broad and balanced, yet academically demanding, program of study; the development of critical-thinking and reflective skills; the development of independent learning skills; the development of research skills; the development of intercultural understanding and a globally recognized university entrance qualification. This program will not only allow students to have the opportunity to have an outstanding high school career, it could possibly eliminate the need for them to take any prerequisite courses their freshman year of college, thus setting them a year ahead when they enter college.
For those who believe that Largo High School is not the right school to host such an advanced program, maybe the facts should be reviewed one last time before a final decision/opinion is made regarding what Largo High School has accomplished.