Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando's Springstead High will offer International Baccalaureate program

SPRING HILL — Springstead High School entered the big leagues of academic achievement this week, gaining official status as an International Baccalaureate diploma school.

Hernando County School Board officials were over the moon Tuesday upon learning the school had received final acceptance of its application to join the rigorous, two-year program.

"This is a significant milestone, not just for Springstead High School but for all students in Hernando County," said coordinator Cliff Wagner.

More than 2,000 schools worldwide take part in the program, which is widely considered to be more challenging than taking a full slate of advanced placement classes. IB diploma candidates must take high-level courses in science, math, language and history; pass tough IB exams; write a 4,000-word research essay; and conduct 150 hours of community service.

Committing to climb that mountain of work was daunting, admitted sophomore Sasha Spalding.

"I thought I wasn't going to be able to do anything," she said. "My life was going to be consumed with studying, work and no sleep."

She is one of nearly 70 students who have been taking honors-level courses together at Springstead in anticipation of starting the program. Next fall 28 juniors from the class of 2011 will begin the required coursework, and around 80 eighth-graders from across the county have expressed interest in transferring to the school.

They're an ambitious group, Wagner said. All scored near the top of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test and most earned A's and B's in middle school, though top grades are not an absolute requirement for admission to the new Hernando program. "What the program requires more than anything is self-motivation," he said. "The idea is to open ourselves to as many students in Hernando County as meet the minimum qualifications."

Sasha comes from a family of achievers; one older sibling is an accountant, while another is finishing her final year of medical school. She hopes to attend Stanford University and major in finance, and balances her studies with membership in the cross country, basketball and track teams.

"As long as I stayed on top of my work and studied, I got good grades," she added, saying that's what her family expects. "They won't let me do less than my best."

It wasn't easy for the district to join the program, either. Gaining acceptance took nearly four years of training, site visits and applications, Wagner said. And more inspections and evaluations will follow once the program is running. Springstead joins 61 other IB diploma schools in Florida, including Land O'Lakes and Gulf high schools in Pasco County.

Tom Marshall can be reached at tmarshall@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1431.

Hernando's Springstead High will offer International Baccalaureate program 03/04/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 4, 2009 7:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Flower boxes on Fort Harrison in Clearwater to go, traffic pattern to stay

    Roads

    I travel Fort Harrison Avenue in Clearwater often and I've noticed that the travel lanes have been rerouted to allow for what looks like flower boxes that have been painted by children. There are also a few spaces that push the travel lane to the center that have no boxes. Is this a permanent travel lane now? It …

  2. Palm Harbor boat dealer facing litany of complaints of bad deals

    Business

    PALM HARBOR — With an aging father sick in the hospital and a son just graduating high school, Andrew Kashella, in between jobs, knew what he had to do.

    A sign on a front window of Gulf Coast Boat Sales, 37517 Us Highway 19 N, in Palm Harbor, notifies people they are under restructuring  The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office has received 20 complaints against Gulf Coast Boat Sales in Palm Harbor. Complainants say they sold the shop their boats and never got paid and/or paid for boats they never received. Pinellas County Consumer Protection is leading the investigation.
  3. Here's what you need to know before you buy that Groupon vacation deal

    Travel

    There are times in life that call for caution, for using that chunk of money in savings to renovate the bathroom because the bathroom is from 1974, and not in a cool way.

    ALI DOUGLASS   |   Special to the Times
  4. Zephyrhills selects company to operate planned tennis center

    Local Government

    ZEPHYRHILLS — The Zephyrhills City Council has selected a company whose owner has past ties to the tennis community in Pasco County to run the city's planned center for the sport.

  5. Rays set to activate Tommy Hunter from DL

    Blogs

    The Rays plan to activate RHP Tommy Hunter from the DL for Thursday's series finale against the Angels.