They Announced Two New Pathway Choices.

After two postponements due to snow, the high school finally held its Introduction to IB program.

For those still uninitiated, the IB program is the International Baccalaureate diploma program. Basically it’s a high school degree that’s accepted worldwide and, if one ignores all the controversy about whether or not it’s actually better than the more practiced Advanced Placement program, an IB diploma supposedly guarantees admittance into top universities. The program only takes two years to complete, but there are a number of prerequisites that have to be taken in 9th and 10th grade, so that the rigorous IB schedule is possible in the junior and senior years.

Dylan’s school has an optional IB Certification Program, which – given his ADHD and hands-on learning style – is, without a doubt, a better fit for Dylan. For the IBCP, Dylan needs to choose a pathway. The pathway choices are quite limited. Since he chose an engineering pathway in middle school, we assumed he would follow the engineering pathway.

But he’s been hesitant about taking the introductory class for engineering.

“Everybody says there’s like a ton of homework in that class,” Dylan said. Had he not been uprooted and gone to a private school (with no engineering classes), Dylan would have been taking that class in 8th grade – and he has friends who are taking it now, and reporting back to him.

So I started to question his issues with engineering. He’s been building things out of nothing since he was old enough to sit up on his own. His focus would quadruple when given manipulatives with which to create. He’s a brilliant designer – with his hands – but doesn’t care much about drawing, or designing, or even conceptualizing.

He likes to build without thinking about it first. And engineering is all about the thinking part that takes place before building.

Later, I asked him about engineering again. “I thought I would really like it,” he said. “But you just draw and draw and draw. I thought it was like construction, only smaller.”

So, I thought, engineering is probably out. (And then I wrote that whole blog about how algebra turned him against engineering which, I now see, was probably entirely false.)

Then, last night, they announced two new pathway choices – things that, in spite of my years of research, had never appeared on my radar. One of them was justice and law, and the other is media production. Both of these interested Dylan, and the words “media production” made my heart skip a little beat in ecstasy. (I majored in communications in college, so I have a weakness for that sort of thing.)

Then, it was announced, there is a chance that they will also offer a computer coding option as a pathway within the next year – meaning, Dylan could choose that, too.

So now I have a new mission: find out about the coding pathway. See how much media production is involved in media production. See how many hands-on classes Dylan can take, and still get an IB certificate – without taking engineering, which he no longer likes.

Oh yeah, and also, create a new list of choices for Dylan so he can choose, and not me.


  1. Kirsten says:

    The IBCP program is brand new, all across the country. The IB program at his school is also fairly new. The meetings they have held thus far have ALL been for parents – and since the IB programs start in 11th grade, that’s when they start talking to the kids.

    At the end of 9th grade, Dylan will be asked to choose his own classes – and he’ll have a pathway to follow, as well as electives. Right now, Dylan needs to concentrate on the classes he’s taking, the high school credits he’s earning, his science fair experiment, the talent show, play rehearsals, making sure he turns in his work, and keeping an open communication line with his teachers. He will find out soon enough ALL about high school – when he gets there. Meanwhile, I’m happy to find out what I can and relay the information. He’s the one who will be doing the real work.

  2. Lorrie says:

    maybe instead of just deciding, Dylan could actually do the research that will lead him to his decision. Might be a bit easier on you Mom!

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