International Baccalaureate (IB) Board of Governors Joins Montgomery County Schools’ Superintendent to Celebrate International Education Week with Visits to IB School

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Renowned International Education Organization’s Governance Body Meets with Students, Teachers from Rockville High’s IB Diploma Program, College Gardens’ Primary Years Program

Governing leaders of International Baccalaureate (IB) – who are gathered in the U.S. this week from around the world – joined Montgomery County (Md.) Public Schools Superintendent Joshua Starr today to celebrate International Education Week with visits to two county schools that offer the prestigious IB academic programs.

Members of the IB Board of Governors and IB Director General Jeffrey Beard boarded a school bus and made stops at College Gardens Elementary School in Rockville, which offers both the IB Primary Years Program and a Chinese immersion program, and at Rockville High School, which offers the IB Diploma Program and is piloting the new IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC) program.

“We are delighted to be celebrating International Education Week at our Americas headquarters, and to engage IB students and teachers in their school environments,” said IB Director General Beard. “Our Board of Governors always appreciates the opportunity to witness the impact that our programs are having on students of all ages and backgrounds.”

IB education is growing rapidly worldwide, having experienced an 11 percent surge in the number of schools with IB programs during the past academic year. Some of the fastest growth is occurring in the U.S., which now features 281 schools offering the IB Primary Years Program (for students aged 3 to 12); 445 schools offering the IB Middle Years Program (for students aged 11 to 16); and more than 750 schools offering the IB Diploma Program (for students aged 16 to 19). Founded in 1968, IB now has school programs in 141 countries and recently reached a historic milestone, with the establishment of its 4,000 program, worldwide.

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) – one of the nation’s largest and most successful school districts – operates 14 IB programs, including eight at the high school level, five Middle Years programs, and the Primary Years Program at College Gardens. Rockville High School is one of two MCPS schools piloting the new IB Career-related Certificate program (IBCC), in addition to the Diploma Program.

“Montgomery County Public Schools is committed to offering our students a wide array of learning opportunities that prepare them for college and careers,” said Superintendent Starr. “IB programs provide our students access to rigorous academics, while helping them develop the emotional and social skills they need to succeed in a global society.”

A recent study by the Education Policy Improvement Center confirmed that the IB Diploma Program is highly aligned with U.S. college readiness standards. The study indicates that the majority of IB Diploma Program students enroll directly into a four-year higher education institution (67% of domestic, and 84% of international students) and that the majority of those graduates enroll in “somewhat selective” or “more selective” institutions (64% of domestic, and 79% of international students). It also indicated that there is a positive association between students’ scores on an IB exam and grades in the first college courses in that subject.

The IB opened its Americas headquarters, in Bethesda, Md., in 2010, after an international site search. The opening of an office in Bethesda was a key component of the organization’s plan to expand its capacity and increase the presence of IB education in schools throughout North, Central and South Americas. Staffing at the IB Americas Global Centre is expected to grow to an estimated 200 employees in the next few years as the organization prepares to support an estimated 2.5 million students and 10,000 IB programs worldwide by 2020.

About the International Baccalaureate
Founded in 1968, the IB works with 3,001 schools in 139 countries to offer and develop its three challenging programs to more than 837,000 students ranging in ages 3 to 19. The IB encourages students to be active learners, well-rounded individuals and engaged world citizens. It also serves in an educational advisory capacity to other educational organizations. To learn more about the IB, please visit: http://www.ibo.org

About Montgomery County Public Schools (Md.)
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is the 16th largest school system in the nation, with 146,500 students. MCPS is one of the most successful large school districts in the country and has been recognized for its academic and operational excellence. In 2010, MCPS became just the sixth school district in the nation to receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the highest presidential award an organization can receive. MCPS was also a finalist for the 2010 Broad Prize for Urban Education, which recognizes large districts that are improving student achievement and narrowing the achievement gap.

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