Woodrow Wilson High School has been designated DISD’s first International Baccalaureate (IB) high school as part of the district "redesign" of high schools throughout Dallas.

What does this mean for Woodrow? According to Woodrow principal Ruth Vail, greater rigor in the classroom, more academic challenges for students of all income levels, and an opportunity to burnish the educational reputation of the neighborhood’s 80-year-old landmark institution.

And the designation puts Woodrow in good company: there are about 540 IB high schools in the United States, and by way of comparison, there are more than 29,000 public high schools in the country.

The Woodrow announcement was made during a podcast we conducted with Vail (herself a Woodrow grad); you can listen to the eight-minute discussion and what it means for the school by clicking here. Pass the word and email a link to this blog post to neighborhood families, especially those with students who are currently sixth-graders or younger — that’s the group this new designation will have the greatest impact upon, because the program is expected to be fully implemented for the 2011 school year. But Vail says students currently in 7th-10th grades eventually will notice a difference in the school’s curriculum, too, as IB courses are added to the curriculum during the next few years.

I’ll have more information and a longer discussion about the IB program Tuesday.

Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.