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### Alachua County’s First Elementary School with IB Program: Williams Elementary Makes History

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) – The announcement of an IB program coming to Joseph Williams Elementary in southeast Gainesville has sparked reactions among parents of students at the school.

Brandy Winter, a parent with one child already enrolled in an IB program and another soon to follow, expressed optimism about the upcoming program at Williams. Drawing from her positive experience with the IB program at Eastside High School, Winter believes that this addition will be beneficial for the community.

Traditionally more prevalent in middle and high schools, IB programs are now gaining traction at the elementary level, with IB’s requirement for a comprehensive, school-wide implementation being a distinguishing factor. Jackie Jonson, the school board’s public information officer, highlighted the inclusive nature of IB programs, emphasizing the benefits they offer to all students involved.

While some parents have raised concerns on social media regarding the program’s academic rigor potentially leading to student attrition, Johnson assured that contingency plans, such as magnet programs or zoning exemptions, are available to address such scenarios.

Despite uncertainties about associated costs, many parents, like Winter, are enthusiastic about the educational opportunities the IB program will bring to Williams Elementary. Winter stressed the value of education as a cornerstone for success, underscoring the positive impact of introducing such programs.

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