Pride, excitement and congratulations filled the halls yesterday as the Academy for Global Citizenship received a letter we have been looking forward to after a rigorous, four-year process: we are now an authorized by the IBO in Geneva, Switzerland as an International Baccalaureate World School!
The IB approval process took four years and included many trainings, site visits, and rigorous assessments of our academic offerings. To be authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization, a school must be proficient on 125 standards of practice. Everything from the length of school day and the board structure to the contents of the library and parent outreach programs were evaluated.
Founder and Executive Director, Sarah Elizabeth Ippel, calls for “a heartfelt congratulations to our amazing Principal Gillespie who led AGC through a four year authorization process with vision and fortitude!”
What is the International Baccalaureate?
Since 1968, International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) programs have been implemented in 3,297 schools in 141 countries encompassing urban, rural, and suburban settings. Today, there are more than 966,000 students in IBO schools.
IBO offers three programs: Primary Years Programme (Pre-K to 6th grade), Middle Years Programme (6th to 10th grade) and Diploma Programme (11th to 12th grade). The Diploma Programme is the most common application of the IB in the United States and it is often considered an alternative to Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Many, therefore, are not aware of the most incredible facet of the IB program, that each program is designed for all children regardless of their academic achievement. The IBO “curriculum” consists of a framework that prescribes how to teach and how to organize what is taught. The IBO does not prescribe the curricular content, but rather gives individual schools the freedom to write innovative curriculums within a widely successful and supported instructional structure.
IBO schools are located in such diverse settings as rural Kazakhstan, the upper west side of Manhattan, a small Texas town, inner-city Milwaukee, downtown Tokyo, and on the southwest side of Chicago. From the extensive Online Curriculum Centre to outstanding workshops and conferences, the IBO offers an unparalleled network of support and guidance.
Why AGC sought certification in IBO’s Primary Years Programme
AGC wholly believes in the International Baccalaureate’s capacity to support our mission and provide an exemplary education to any student regardless of their socio-economic status, family history, ethnicity, or native language.
IBO Director, Jeffery Beard, articulated this by saying: “…access to those Programs must be widened, partly to counter recent and increasingly ill-founded accusations of elitism, but mostly so that the benefits of an IB education can be experienced by a wider range of students, including more from disadvantaged backgrounds.”
AGC is a unique IB World in this district, as all of the other Chicago schools currently offering the IB PYP are either magnet or private schools. AGC is honored to join these schools in their mission to educate and empower and are proud of our students’ incredible achievements!
Again, special thanks to all that have participated and supported the Academy for Global Citizenship’s authorization process. This is a truly momentous occasion for our school and public education in Chicago.