Welcome to the start of the school year.

First, I would like to congratulate the IB Class of 2017!

Through the efforts of our gifted and hard-working students and the support of their parents, teachers, DCHS staff and administration, they earned the highest percentage of IB diplomas in the last five years!

I am also happy to report that one of our students broke the previous DCHS record for total points earned on exams and other IB work.

We look forward to building on these successes through support for each of the classes in our program. We have made a number of improvements to the Extended Essay process, as well as enhancements to our Theory of Knowledge classes, that will help students earn additional bonus points that go toward earning the IB Diploma.

Two new 6th Subject options, Design Technology and Philosophy, will give students more choice in pursuing their interests and improving their performance.

Sophomores will now take AP U.S. History. This will not only provide the depth of learning and structured writing experience upon which the IB curriculum in the 11th and 12th grades will build, it will also give students an early experience at taking a major exam at the end of the course. It is an opportunity to earn college credit, and they will benefit from having another demanding course on their transcript, one that also earns the bonus half point granted to IB and AP courses for purposes of calculating the HOPE GPA.

We are also teaching American Government and Economics as a combined course for the freshmen this year. Melding the two is something Douglas County and many other state schools have done successfully in the past and it will open up an additional elective for our IB students to use toward their academic interests.

We have also added outstanding new teachers in math, social studies, literature, and science. Each brings a great deal of experience in successfully teaching high-achieving students and a passion for service.

Of course, parent support and feedback are essential to the continued growth and improvement of the IB Program at Douglas County High School.We welcome insights and advice on how we can make our product better. Many of the changes we have made began with a suggestion from a parent or student.

In many ways, we will continue to implement new policies and practices to help support the diverse needs of our IB students and their families. I look forward to another great year of working with your inspirational children, and in helping make their experience in the IB Program as successful, enjoyable, and rewarding as possible.