Thanks to a citywide expansion of International Baccalaureate (IB) Programmes, Chicago Public Schools now boasts the largest IB network of any school district in the country.
Announced today by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, this investment in high-quality education will add the IB Middle-Years Programme (MYP) to Agassiz, Ebinger, Moos and Seward elementary schools and will expand the already existing IB Programme at Peirce Elementary to include grades Pre-K-5.
“As we’ve seen time and time again, when you set the bar high, Chicago’s students rise to meet the challenge,” said Mayor Emanuel. “With these new IB campuses, 1,500 more children will have access to a proven model for education that expands their horizons and will help them become the great thinkers and leaders of tomorrow.”
With their intensive writing focus and emphasis on global studies, IB Programmes provide a rigorous academic model that encourages students to explore new ideas and cultures while challenging them to become creative, critical and reflective thinkers. Research has shown that CPS’ IB students are 40 percent more likely to attend a four-year college and have a college retention rate of nearly 90 percent.
“IB Programmes open doors, not only for college and career success, but for creating global-minded citizens,” said Nancy Mendez, principal of Peirce Elementary. “We consider ourselves a model for IB, so we are thrilled to be able to offer it to all of our students beginning this fall.”
Peirce will be adding the Primary-Years Programme (PYP) to its existing IB curriculum, while Agassiz, Ebinger, Moos and Seward will be launching the IB Middle-Years Programme and acting as feeder schools to four of the District’s seven Wall-to-Wall IB High Schools. This expansion ensures that each of these high schools has at least two partner elementary schools, building a sustainable and consistent pathway to success.
“For students who attend an MYP feeder school, it is an incredible benefit to continue their journey at a wall-to-wall IB high school,” said Morgan Mudron, the IB Coordinator at Morgan Park High School. “Students are able to complete their studies in a culminating personal project, then matriculate into the IB Diploma Programme, taking university-level coursework and better positioning themselves for the college admissions and scholarship process.”
Students who participate in high school IB Programmes have the opportunity to earn an international diploma recognized by top universities around the world. Enrollment in these programs is up 66 percent, which means that thousands more students have been provided with academic investments like updated art, science and library facilities and are being taught by CPS teachers who are experts in the IB model.
“CPS is committed to providing a wide range of academic enrichment opportunities that provide students access to the instruction and tools that are required for 21st-Century success,” said CEO Byrd-Bennett. “The addition of these programs is designed to provide high-quality options that will put students in every area of the city on a path to graduate 100 percent college ready and 100 percent college bound.”