An IB Overview

International Baccalaureate (IB) Mission Statement

The IB aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end the organization works with schools, governments,and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment. These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate, and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

What is IB?

IB is one of the fastest-growing and most prestigious educational methods in the United States and is taught worldwide. There are more than 900,000 IB students in over 140 countries.This highly esteemed approach to learning, which began in 1968, is recognized for its rigor, high quality and global emphasis. An IB education requires students to learn on a deeper level, make connections to the world around them and ask questions. Students gain the skills, knowledge, concepts and attitudes to become critical and creative thinkers. IB students learn a second language, participate in community service and gain an understanding of cultures around the world.

What are the three IB programs?

Primary Years Programme (PYP): Kindergarten through 6th grade (South Ridge)
Middle Years Programme (MYP): 7th-10th grade (Mesa Middle School)
Diploma Program (DP): 11th-12th grade (Douglas County High School)

The PYP and MYP are designed for all students, regardless of ability. The DP, started in 1968, is for motivated students in grades 11 and 12 who plan to attend college after high school. DP coursework leads to an IB diploma that is widely recognized by the world's leading universities.

How do the three IB programs work together?

All three IB programs promote the education of the whole person (learner profile) by emphasizing intellectual, personal, emotional and social growth through languages, humanities, sciences, mathematics, and the arts. Faculty at South Ridge Elementary, Rock Ridge Elementary, Mesa Middle School and Douglas County High School work together to offer a seamless IB education to students through high school.

What are the advantages of an IB curriculum?

A 2006 Time Magazine article notes, "Today's economy demands not only a high-level competence in the traditional academic disciplines but also what might be called 21st century skills. Here's what they are: knowing more about the world, thinking outside the box, becoming smarter about new sources of information, developing good people skills." IB students are being prepared for these demands. IB connects classrooms to the world outside so that students gain an international perspective for an ever-changing world. Students develop time management, problem-solving, research, and organizational skills that stay with them long after their IB experience.

What are the results for students who participate in an IB program?

IB has been endorsed by federal officials as a rigorous academic program that research shows helps students excel in statewide tests. Data also show that rigorous coursework is a predictor of later success. A national study found that students who enrolled in IB courses were more prepared for college, earned higher first-year GPAs in college, and had a higher college graduation rate. This was true for all ethnic groups and socio-economic levels.

To schedule a tour of South Ridge and learn more about our IB program, contact Marne Katsanis at or 303-387-5075. For more information on the IB program itself, visit the International Baccalaureate Organization's Website.

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