"THE BEST RECRUITING WE CAN DO IS TO TAKE CARE OF THE ONES THAT WE HAVE" B.BASSETT

Gar-Field's IB program is among the largest IB programs in the world having over 24 examining DP courses and over 800 exams administered each year to over 300 11th and 12th graders. Gar-Field High School was authorized to offer the Diploma Programme in 2000, Middle Years Programme 2002, and we became the 7th Virginia IB World School offering the IB Career-related Programme in 2016. 

How did IB get to Gar-Field HS?
In 1996, then Supt. Dr. Edward Kelly, began announcing his plans for specialty programs at the high schools.  Dr. Kelly and GF principal Roger Dallek had talked several times about Mr. Dallek's vision of making Gar-Field a "School of Champions" in the classroom as well as on the playing fields.  "He knew that I was making strides but he also knew that IB was the best program and offered it to me first" said principal Dallek.  Within a month, Mr. Dallek was off to an IB workshop for heads of schools in Nashville.  "I came back convinced that Gar-Field needed IB.  I began planning for the implementation of this program by appointing a coordinator, Peg Constantino, by beginning the application process and by informing our faculty of the impending improvements."  Mr. Dallek then contacted other PWCS IB Schools to get some insights (Stonewall Jackson was offering DP and Godwin MS was offering the MYP).  "I gained insights from Mr. Bixby (who was an AP at Stonewall Jackson HS at the time and would eventually become the principal at Gar-Field HS years later) and I had Mr. Dodge (principal at Godwin MS) attend a Gar-Field faculty meeting to field questions."  Mr. Dallek and Mrs. Constantino faced many challenges getting the IB Diploma Program to Gar-Field HS.  They faced opposition from those that thought the program would be too difficult, those that thought it was too expensive, those that thought it would separate students by racial and/or socio-economics factors.  "These hurdles, among others, had to be surmounted" said Dallek. 

Did you know that the GF science labs almost kept GF from getting authorized?  
After submitting the application for the Diploma Program in 1999.  The IB sent a team of educators to check out the facilities and meet with teachers, students and parents.  Mr. Dallek recalls, "they announced that everything was ready except for our pitiful science labs which did not meet IB standards."  The science labs were in awful shape, with major issues related to offering safe lab conditions for the level of lab work needed for college level courses. Dr. Kelly immediately committed $400,000 to get the GF science labs modernized.

In 2000, Mr. Dallek and Mrs. Constantino were notified by the IB that Gar-Field HS was the 1,133 Diploma Program authorized by the International Baccalaureate.  In May of 2001, the first IB Exam were offered in SL Environmental Systems (taught by future IB Coordinator Brian Bassett and SL Computer Science - Larry Baker).  

Gar-Field High School is entering its eighteenth year as an International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme school, a prestigious worldwide program that offers a rigorous two-year pre-university course of study, leading to examinations, which meets the needs of highly motivated eleventh and twelfth grade students. This program provides students of different linguistic, cultural, and educational backgrounds with the intellectual, social, and critical perspectives necessary for their success in our changing global society.IB not only provides challenging classes but helps create a well-rounded student by requiring that participants complete a minimum of 150 hours of community service. Gar-Field draws students from across the eastern portion of the county to take advantage of this valuable educational opportunity. Enrollment in the IB programme is open, which allows students to take as few as one IB class or a complete IB schedule and anything in between.