Five CPS schools to host new IB classes

October 18, 2012 2:28:04 PM PDT
Five schools will host new International Baccalaureate (IB) Programmes in Chicago's school district starting in Fall 2013.

The education programs will be started at Bronzeville, Farragut, Kennedy, Schurz, and Juarez High Schools, according to CPS. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and new CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett announced the IB programs Thursday.

"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."

CPS says the new programs will be presented to the Chicago Board of Education for final approval. The programs are part of the city and CPS's plans to open ten new IB programs in city high schools in Fall 2013. Final authorization, CPS says, is set for 2015.

According to CPS, five of the ten new programs will be "wall-to-wall IB schools" to be 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 another high school that has not been announced yet.

In a press release sent Thursday, CPS said that students who take part in IB programs have "extremely strong qualifications for college, making them very competitive for college admissions." The press release cited a March report from the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research that found that students in CPS IB programs are 40 percent more likely to attend a four-year college and that they stay in college "at higher rates than similar students in honors programs and selective enrollment high schools," pointing to a college retention rate of nearly 90 percent for IB Diploma Programme students.

Students in the programs take seven courses and gain experience with languages, social students, experimental sciences, and mathematics, CPS said in the release. Goals of the programs include boosting students' international awareness and confidence in a language other than English.

The CPS Office of Communications says the application process has begun for next year's programs.

More information on the CPS website

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