There are 41 students enrolled in NorKam’s International Baccalaureate program for September, with 19 spaces still available to students.
“The word is out there. If you want your child to go to university, this is the program they should take,” principal Sheryl Lindquist said Friday.
That’s almost twice the number currently enrolled in the speciality education program, which launched in the fall after a lengthy contractual dispute between the local teachers’ union and school district.
She said more than 100 parents attended an information session earlier this year, so there’s a good chance the remaining 19 seats will be filled.
A couple of new classes will be added to the curriculum for September. Lindquist said students will be able to study art and film.
This is on top of the nine programs already offered. Subjects range from the basics like English, French and math to specialty topics like theory of knowledge, and extended essay writing.
The program is geared to preparing students for university courses anywhere in the world. At first, IB can be daunting, but the pupils eventually get into the groove, said Lindquist.
Grade 11 student Kaylee Samuelson said the program, and its workload, took her by surprise.
She came from Valleyview secondary, where she studied for a few months after her family moved to Kamloops from Princeton. She was used to coming in at the top of her class in marks, said Samuelson.
“It seemed like it would be too much work and different than what I’d done before,” she said.
Now she’s enjoying herself, and the course work. Samuelson said French is even more involved than an average French class.
“It’s more like French immersion,” she said, adding the teacher speaks almost entirely in French. “The first week, I didn’t understand anything. Now, I understand it.”
School district superintendent Terry Sullivan said he’s glad the program has caught on.
The district’s goal is to bring more programs of excellence to the North Shore and IB, along with a trades and technology school at NorKam, are a step in that direction, he said.