High School of Commerce
International Baccalaureate Middle Years and Diploma Programs

Commerce Bldg
t the High School of Commerce students are able to enroll in the rigorous International Baccalaureate (IB) Program, considered by colleges and universities around the world to be the “gold standard” for high school education. Upon entering college, IB Diploma students frequently receive college credit for their work done in high school.

What is the International Baccalaureate Program?

IB programs are based on the premise that education can foster understanding among young people around the world through intercultural awareness that helps provide a foundation for  living peacefully and productively.

The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO)was created to meet the needs of the children of diplomats living overseas who often moved from country to country.  The IBO drew from the best educational practices from around the world and is now offered in over 3,674 schools in 146 countries to develop and offers four challenging programs to over 1,136,000 students aged 3 to 19 years.

IB Character Traits.CommerceThe most competitive colleges and universities around the world seek out IB students. These institutions have developed admissions policies for awarding credit or advanced standing for high school IB work including schools such as Harvard, Radcliffe, Brown University, Williams College, Smith, Mount Holyoke College, Brandeis University, Vassar College among many others.  Recent statistics show that students with IB diplomas are accepted into many of these prestigious universities at more than double the rate of students without an IB background.


The History of IB in Springfield:

Springfield is one of the few school districts in the country to offer this internationally renowned and respected program at the Primary Years (Kensington International School), Middle Years (Van Sickle and Commerce) and Diploma Program (Commerce) levels.In 1998, Springfield received a federal Magnet grant to add unique educational programs to several Springfield schools, including Commerce.  A team of educators, parents, students, university and business partners came together to develop a proposal to turn Commerce into an IB school.  This work required a close review of the curriculum and teaching practices, modifications to school structures (schedule, resources) and a commitment on the part of the school district to support the rigorous work involved in offering this prestigious program.  IBO has a rigorous review process that assures programmatic quality control among all authorized IB high schools around the world and after meeting the standards and evaluations of IBO, Commerce was authorized to provide the coveted Diploma Program in 2000 for 11th and 12th grade students.  Commerce artist

A second round of Magnet funding, received in 2001, brought in the Middle Years Program (MYP) to Van Sickle for students in 6th through 8th grades and to Commerce for students in 9th and 10th grade.  The MYP is seen as an important precursor to the advanced work required of students enrolled in the Diploma program though stands on its own as an educational program designed to promote international understandings and cultural awareness. In 2004, another Magnet grant brought Kensington Elementary School into the fold as an IB Primary Years Program school, completing the K-12 pathway.

High School of Commerce Mission Statement and Expectations:

Mission Statement:

Commerce graduatesThe High School of Commerce will provide students with the opportunity to acquire and master the knowledge and skills necessary to select and prepare for rewarding careers in areas such as law and government, health and medicine, finance and entrepreneurship.

Students will have the opportunity to pursue an International Baccalaureate Diploma and become lifelong learners in an ever-changing global society. The faculty and staff of the High School of Commerce will provide a safe and nurturing learning environment supported by parents, the Springfield School District, and the community.

Expectations for Student Learning:

Students of The High School of Commerce will be able to:

A. Academic Expectations

  1. Demonstrate substantive knowledge in all content areas.
  2. Develop critical writing, reading, speaking, and listening skills.
  3. Develop research skills using a variety of resources.
  4. Develop critical thinking skills analytical problem solving skills.
  5. Apply their skills and abilities in real-world settings.

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B. Social Expectations

  1. Work cooperatively with others.
  2. Use peaceful means of dispute resolution.
Form personal and academic goals for success.
  4. Use skills of time management.
  5. Appreciate a climate of diversity and internationalism

C. Civic Expectations

  1. Participate in a democratic society of responsible and caring citizens.
  2. Gain skills necessary to thrive in a dynamic, technological world.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of environmental conservation




School Information


High School of Commerce
415 State Street
Springfield, MA 01105

(413) 787-7220

Mr. Charles Grandson

School Website:

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