What is the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program?

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Every year, as I talk to parents about high school options, I observe that most people are unfamiliar with the International Baccalaureate program.  CPS offers several strong IB options for your child to consider.

Please read a few basic points about IB below.  In addition, be sure to speak with these high school reps at NNM’s high school fairs:

  • Michael Beyer: NNM Parent and Principal of Ogden International HS
  • David Gregg: IB Coordinator at Senn HS
  • Ms. Mary Tookey: IB Coordinator at Lincoln Park HS
  • Later this month, Beacon Academy, Lycee Francais and the British School, all of whom offer an IB program, will be at our private school fair.

There are over 4000 schools world-wide that have IB programs.  It was started in 1968 at the International School of Geneva as a high-level standard curriculum for children of diplomats and international business people.  It was established to provide a challenging & comprehensive global education that would enable students to understand the complexities of our world and provide them with skills for taking responsible action for the future.  IB is rooted in the belief that people who hope to make a more just and peaceful world need an education that crosses disciplinary, cultural, national and geographical boundaries. It is not tied to any one nation’s standards or curriculum.

  • IB has an emphasis on writing – not just on the exams themselves, but through the extended essay, a long, college-style research paper

  • IB can be a nice dovetail with Montessori experience, especially in terms of the project-based learning and opportunities for independent studies.

  • The Theory of Knowledge class teaches students meta-cognitive skills about how we learn and how knowledge is constructed.

  • Where AP classes tend to be “siloed” deep-dives into content, the IB takes a more integrated, cross-curricular  approach.
  • Students can elect to earn an IB diploma, which is recognized by colleges around the world and worth college credit.


Posted in 12-14 - Chris Ambroso, uncategorized