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IB Program adopts system for students to purchase books required for curriculum

Carina Muñiz, Opinion Editor

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A new school year brings new opportunities for many programs at Bonita Vista High (BVH), including the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program. Since the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, BVH has started to purchase books in bulk for IB English students to borrow or buy from BVH. IB Coordinator and IB math teacher, Jared Phelps, organized this change to benefit students financially and time-consciously.

“It occurred to me last year that for some students it’s no big deal to get a ride to Barnes and Noble to buy a copy of a book, but not everyone has easy access to books and other resources,” Phelps said.

After discussing among other IB English teachers, Phelps decided it was time to change the purchasing system for the good of the students and teachers. He worked collaboratively to bring the change to action.

“Mr. [Jason] Good, Mr. Phelps and I want to make access to the books as easy as possible for students because we recommend for students to purchase [their own books], but by no means are we requiring it,” IB Literature HL1 and English Accelerated 9 teacher Raymond Chhan said.

Chhan stated he encourages the purchasing of books in order to allow easier access to the books needed for students and allow them to analyze their readings, along with improve on their annotating skills.

“[Having your own book] makes you feel more close to it. You can take it anywhere, you can write freely in it and you can circle and highlight easier than it would be to do it on a second sheet of paper or on sticky notes,” junior and IB Literature HL 1 student, Alicia Verdugo said.

Senior IB candidate and IB Literature HL 2 student, Charlene Isaac explained that with the new change, it isn’t as hard to purchase a book than it was in her junior year when this system had not been implemented.

“It’s a good change because I don’t want to go to my parents and ask them to buy me a book for class. So it’s helpful that students have access [to buying books in the classroom],” Isaac said.

Among the new changes, IB students are now analyzing new books that have been replaced with former IB books. Some of these new books that were added were: The Complete Stories by Clarice Lispector, The Tempest by William Shakespeare, and Cenzontle by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo.

“One of the other reasons that we’re doing this, is because of the new IB English curriculum that’s happening for the first time this year. Some of the books that we’ve used in the past don’t fit the curriculum, so we’re not using them anymore,” Phelps said.

Currently, the price of the books varies based on which book is being purchased and how much it is being ordered for. According to Phelps, one of the books, Cenzontle, is being purchased for nine dollars and 71 cents, and being sold to the students for 10 dollars. With the extra 29 cents per purchase, Phelps adds money to the IB account through the Associated Student Body (ASB). 

“I don’t have the funds to buy a book for everybody. But if the majority of students are going to buy those books, we do have the funds to purchase books to allow students to buy them [more conveniently],” Phelps said.

As of now, the IB program remains in this new process of purchasing the books. With this system, students, including Verdugo and Isaac, both  agree that the new change will benefit students and staff alike.

“I think every student should practice or see what it’s like to annotate the text. So maybe [they shouldn’t] wait until junior year, but, if [the students have] the opportunity to get a book for class, and then annotate it [themselves], I think they’ll overall have a different experience when they read the text,” Chhan said.