Marilyn Watt heads the successful new International Baccalaureate Diploma program at Downtown Magnets High School.

Asked to explain the success of their new International Baccalaureate Diploma program, the students and teachers at Downtown Magnets High School didn’t simply respond.

They made a video.

Produced by senior Yerek Tornez, the five-minute video touts the collaboration of the program, which involves rigorous academics and allows students to earn a second diploma – the International Baccalaureate Diploma. The program includes advanced courses in literature, history, foreign language, science, math and the arts, all of which promote critical-thinking and creative skills. Graduates also must complete three additional requirements: an extended essay; theory of knowledge; and creativity, activity and service.

The University of California is among the many universities that offer course credits for successful IB students, while the University of Southern California and Harvard offer a year of college credit to freshmen who have earned an IB Diploma.

“The way that IB is preparing us for college is that we’re being asked to go beyond the knowing and more into the understanding,” said senior Rodrigo Garduno.

More than two dozen Downtown Magnets students received IB Diplomas when they graduated in June, becoming the school’s first class to complete the program. Twenty members of the Class of 2018 are on track to graduate in June with their IB Diploma.

“The IB Team partnered with their students and their families with a mindset of commitment and perseverance,” said Marilyn Watt, the IB coordinator at Downtown Magnets. “We did all we could do to ensure students lived up to their highest selves. Such an endeavor is not easy. Winning an achievement like the full diploma means so much because it takes so much.”

Click here to watch the video on the International Baccalaureate Diploma program at Downtown Magnets High School.

For information on the IB program and enrollment, email