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Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett announced today that five elementary schools across the city will establish new International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes beginning next fall, creating the largest network of IB campuses in the country.
“With these new IB campuses, 1500 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," said Mayor Emanuel. "This expansion will be another important step towards achieving our city’s goal that our students graduate 100 percent college ready and 100 percent college bound. As we’ve seen time and time again, when you set the bar high, Chicago’s students rise to meet the challenge.”
With this IB expansion, all seven wall-to-wall IB high schools will partner with an IB elementary school. Currently, two of the seven IB wall-to-wall high schools have two or more elementary partner schools with IB programmes (Hyde Park and Morgan Park) and four of the seven high schools (Senn, Lincoln Park, Taft, Clemente) have one IB elementary partner school.
“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 CPS CEO Byrd-Bennett. “The addition of these programmes 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.”
IB schools have a track record of academic excellence. With its intensive writing focus, the IB programme provides a rigorous academic model while encouraging students to explore new ideas and cultures to have a high quality, well-rounded education. The programme also gives students the opportunity to earn an international diploma recognized by top universities around the world.
Since last school year, 9th grade enrollment in IB diploma programs is up 66 percent with almost additional 800 students. According to the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research, CPS IB students are 40 percent more likely to attend a four-year college and have a college retention rate of nearly 90 percent.
Schools that seek IB authorization participate in a thorough application process that takes approximately three years to complete.
Elementary schools that will become IB schools include: Louis A. Agassiz Elementary School, Christian Ebinger Elementary School, Bernhard Moos, and William H. Seward Communication Arts Academy Elementary, which will begin the process in School Year 2014-15 to establish IB Middle Years Programmes (MYP). Helen Peirce International Studies Elementary School will become the eighth full IB elementary school in the District, with the adoption of a new Primary Years Programme (PYP) to compliment the Middle Years Programme already in place at the school.
This investment ensures that all seven of the District’s wall-to-wall IB high schools have at least two partner elementary schools, building a sustainable and consistent pathway for success:
• Seward ES (partners with Back of the Yards HS)
• Agassiz ES, Mayer ES, (partner with Lincoln Park HS)
• Ebinger ES, Wildwood (partner with Taft HS)
• Moos ES, De Diego (partner with Clemente HS)
• Peirce ES (partners with Senn HS)
• Carnegie ES, Fiske ES (partner with Hyde Park HS)
• Sutherland ES, Kellogg ES, Clissold ES, Esmond ES, Barnard ES (partner with Morgan Park HS)
IB investments include updated art, science and library facilities, along with IB-specific training for teachers and staff. CPS is committed to helping teachers to acquire the necessary skills, professional development and certification to teach at IB schools throughout the District. Furthermore, each of the five schools will add both an IB coordinator and world language teacher to support the conversion to the new program.
The strategic expansion of IB programmes under Mayor Emanuel and CEO Byrd-Bennett throughout the District is part of an ongoing effort to expand rigorous academic enrichment programs that prepare students for the demands of the 21st century. Schools were considered for IB investments based on the following criteria: building capacity, proximity to a wall-to-wall IB high school, network chief recommendation and current parenter patterns of elementary to high school. Selections were made following discussions with key community stakeholders.
With 36 authorized IB schools, CPS is home to more IB schools than any school district in the country. The District’s IB schools currently serve more than 15,000 students and once the expansion is complete, will reach nearly 16,500 students across the city by School Year 2017 -2018.
CPS currently offers IB programmes at 15 high schools: Amundsen, Bogan, Curie, Hubbard, Hyde Park, Kelly, Lincoln Park, Morgan Park, Ogden International, Prosser, Senn, South Shore International, Steinmetz, Taft, and Washington. Back of the Yards, Bronzeville, Clemente, Farragut, Juarez, Kennedy and Schurz high schools have recently opened and are going through the authorization process. IB programmes are also in place at 21 CPS elementary schools. Additionally, 6 new IB elementary schools are in the first stage of applying for IB authorization.
Chicago Public Schools serves 400,000 students in 658 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.