October 18, 2012
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett today announced the location of five new International Baccalaureate (IB) Programmes in neighborhood high schools across the District. Starting in fall 2013, Bronzeville, Farragut, Schurz, Kennedy and Juarez High Schools will offer rigorous IB curriculum in addition to their traditional curriculum, as part of a continuing effort to provide high-quality school options for every student in every neighborhood across Chicago.
“I am committed to expanding the options available across the city for a high-quality education for every family and student, and increasing the number of IB programmes available for students across the city is one way that we are providing additional opportunity,” said Mayor Emanuel. “As a parent, I know that every student is different, and parents deserve to have the ability to choose a good school or program that works best for their children.”
The five new IB programmes are part of Mayor Emanuel and CPS’ initiative announced in March to create and open 10 new IB Diploma Programmes in high schools across the city in the fall of 2013, with final authorization set for 2015. The five new programmes that are being announced today will be presented to the Chicago Board of Education for approval.
“As a former teacher and principal, I know the importance of meeting our students’ individual needs by providing them with access to a variety of high-quality school options,” said CEO Byrd-Bennett. “By expanding IB programmes across the city, we’re giving more students access to the kinds of challenging
curricula that not only prepare them for college, but develop their intellectual curiosity, laying the foundation for our children to become active, lifelong learners.”
Half of the 10 new programmes are wall-to-wall IB schools, each located in one of the District’s five regional collaboratives. The five new wall-to-wall schools are located at Senn High School in Edgewater, Back of the Yards High School, Roberto Clemente Community Academy in Humboldt Park, Hyde Park Career Academy in Woodlawn and one more high school that has yet to be announced.
To identify the areas where new schools and programmes would best meet the needs of students and communities, CPS worked with key stakeholders including network Chiefs, principals, Community Action Councils, community groups, faith leaders and parents.
The IB curriculum engages students in a challenging programme of international education and rigorous assessment that has garnered worldwide recognition for its high academic standards. In CPS high schools, pre-IB Diploma students are selected for enrollment using grades, grade 7 ISAT results and attendance at an information session. Students apply to the pre-IB Diploma Programme before their freshman year and those accepted are enrolled into an honors or honors Middle Years Programme (MYP) for grades 9 and 10. After grade 10, qualified students enter the IB Diploma Programme, a comprehensive and challenging college preparatory program for students in grades 11 and 12.
IB students leave high school with extremely strong qualifications for college, making them very competitive for college admissions. According to a March report by the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research, CPS IB Diploma Programme students are 40 percent more likely to attend a four-year college and 50 percent more likely to attend a more selective college, and they persist in college at higher rates than similar students in honors programs and selective enrollment high schools. IB Diploma Programme students’ college retention rate is nearly 90 percent.
IB Diploma Programme students complete seven courses and receive a breadth of experience in languages, social studies, experimental sciences and mathematics. Coursework aims to help students become culturally and internationally aware, open-minded and confident in a language other than English.
“For many children in our community, the choice to include an IB program at Benito Juarez High School is an incredible opportunity,” said Alderman Danny Solis. “I was happy to work with CPS to promote this opportunity to provide more options for our students and parents to access an education that will help support and push our kids to succeed.”
CPS currently offers IB programmes to approximately 3,500 students throughout the city at 14 neighborhood high schools: Amundsen, Bogan, Curie, Hubbard, Hyde Park, Kelly, Lincoln Park, Morgan Park, Ogden, Prosser, Steinmetz, Senn, Taft and Washington. South Shore International College Prep recently opened and is going through the authorization process. Seventeen CPS elementary schools also offer IB programmes; four more programmes are going through the authorization process. About three- quarters of CPS’ IB students are African-American or Latino and live in low-income neighborhoods; the majority are first-generation college students.
Chicago Public Schools serves 402,000 students in 681 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.