2019-20 Bodine High School Year-End Report

Co-founded in 1981 by the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia and the School District of Philadelphia, Bodine High School for International Affairs is a small special-admission school that features a humanities-centered college preparatory program and offers the International Baccalaureate diploma. By providing a regularly scheduled, on-site liaison, the Council works closely with Bodine’s approximately 630 predominately low-income students to augment the school’s international curriculum.

Bodine High School for International Affairs was named a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education in 2009, honored as a Vanguard School by the Philadelphia School District in 2010, and is home to the Ruth B. Hayre Teacher of the Year award for three consecutive years (2008-2010). More recently, in 2012, U.S. News and World Report ranked Bodine High School among the top fifty high schools in Pennsylvania.

The class of 2020 posted a 99% graduation rate, with most students matriculating at two- and four- year colleges and universities, technical/vocational certificate programs, or the military.  University of Pennsylvania, Swarthmore College, Drexel University, Temple University, Saint Joseph’s University, various Penn State campuses,  University of Pittsburgh, Morgan State University, and East Stroudsburg University are among the schools to which Bodine students were accepted. The Class of 2020 includes one student who received a “full-ride” to attend the University of Pennsylvania through the QuestBridge scholarship program and four “full-rides” to Drexel University through the Liberty Scholars program.

Global Affairs Programming at Bodine High School for International Affairs
Council liaison Kasey Trapp this year has facilitated the following programming at Bodine:

Council Speaker Events and Simulation Programs
Throughout the school year, almost 200 Bodine students and faculty joined the World Affairs Council at the various Council-sponsored speaker events and in the Council’s annual global simulation programs. Outstanding Bodine student delegates were recognized for their work with awards at both simulation programs. 

The Council also hosted a speaker program at Bodine this past academic year, made possible through a grant from the World Affairs Councils of America and Korea Economic Institute. The speaker program, entitled “Korea: Politics, Culture, and K-Pop,” was planned as part of the activities during Bodine’s Sister Cities Exchange Program with Michuhol Foreign Languages School from Incheon, South Korea.

Sister Cities High School Exchange Program 
After an absence of about five years, the Council implemented the Sister Cities High School Exchange Program. The exchange with Michuhol Foreign Languages High School from Incheon, South Korea (one of Philadelphia’s official sister cities), was organized and facilitated by the Council’s Liaison in partnership with Citizens Diplomacy International. Ten Bodine students hosted a delegation of South Korean students for one week in October 2019, during which students not only attended classes together, but also participated in field trips around Philadelphia, a full-day trip to Washington, D.C., and attended an official welcome reception at City Hall with Councilman Oh. Participating Bodine students also attended an intensive, research-focused travel seminar in the months leading up to the planned trip to Incheon, for which they earned 0.25 credit for on their transcripts. The exchange program will resume in Spring 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, when ten Bodine students will stay with Michuhol host families, attend school, and participate in a variety of activities. For now, Bodine students will be participating in a virtual exchange with Michuhol students during Summer 2020

Italian as a Foreign Language 
Bodine High School, in partnership with the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia and the Consulate General of Italy in Philadelphia, added Italian to the Foreign Language Courses offered to students (who must take four years of a foreign language to graduate) with the addition of a new Italian teacher funded by the Consulate. The Council is assisting with the continuation of this program for a second year during the 2020-2021 academic year. 

Spring Trip Abroad
Planned for mid-April, the 2020 annual Spring Trip Abroad to the United Arab Emirates was organized and facilitated by the Council’s Liaison to Bodine. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this trip was rescheduled for Spring 2021. Leading up to the anticipated departure date, all participating students attended an intensive, research-focused travel seminar in the months leading up to the trip, for which they earned 0.25 credit for on their transcripts. In its third year, the Joan Russell Travel Scholarship was awarded to two deserving Bodine students to facilitate their spring trip abroad. Both scholarship winners will be traveling with the school on the rescheduled trip in Spring 2021. 

Civic Engagement Initiative 
Senior student leaders, coordinated by the Council’s Liaison and the nonprofit organization  VietLead, worked to register as many of their eligible peers as possible from October 2019 through the May 18 deadline. This year, 70% of eligible students at Bodine were registered to vote. There were many obstacles in reaching out to students and registering them to vote once schools closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the student leaders adapted and found ways to still engage their peers and educate them about the importance of voting and being civically involved in both our city of Philadelphia and our country. For the second year in a row, the school won the Silver Governor’s Civic Engagement Award, an award presented by the Pennsylvania Departments of State and Education that celebrates the efforts of Pennsylvania high school students to educate, engage, and inform their fellow students about how to get involved in the voting process.

Virtual International Day 
Despite being unable to host an in-person International Day at Bodine, the Council created a virtual version of this much anticipated annual year-end event. Over 260 students and faculty attended virtual workshops that covered a wide variety of global cultural topics, some examples including  “An Artist’s Journey from Iraq,” “Afro-Brazilian Percussion,” and “The Development of Chinese Characters.” These workshops were hosted by a variety of organizations from around the Philadelphia area and Bodine students. 

The John Lazarich Leadership Liaison position at Bodine
The John Lazarich Foundation Liaison, Kasey Trapp, facilitated these academic and cultural activities for Bodine students. In addition to coordinating these events and programs, Kasey focused on providing Bodine students with the specific knowledge and skills Bodine students needed to assume leadership roles in the Council’s two region-wide high school simulations, the fall International Student Summit and the spring Model Senate Committee on Foreign Relations program.