June 14, 2017

Mayor Emanuel and CPS Announce Expansion of IB Programme at Agassiz Elementary School

Elementary School Will Expand High-Quality IB Programming to Prepare Students for High School
Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools leadership today announced the expansion of the IB Programme for students in pre-K through 5th grade, an extension of existing programming at Agassiz Elementary School. The extended curriculum —which focuses on science, mathematics, language acquisition, language and literature, individuals and societies, physical and health education, art and design — will be implemented during the next three years to allow teachers to be trained to teach the material.

"The expansion at Agassiz is another important step in giving our families confidence today that their child will receive the high-quality education that will help them to excel in high school and college tomorrow,” said Mayor Emanuel. “As we've seen time and time again, when you set the bar high, Chicago's students rise to meet the challenge."

CPS will begin implementation of the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) next school year. Agassiz students in grades pre-kindergarten through eighth grade will now be offered IB programming, thus creating an easy transition to the high school IB programmes. Implementation will occur over a three-year period, during which primary teachers will be trained to offer IB courses, new coursework will be integrated and the school will go through a full IB authorization process. The IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) at Agassiz recently received authorization.

“CPS students are making tremendous gains across the system, and one of the key reasons for their success has been investments in proven academic programming that prepares them earlier and earlier with a rigorous foundation,” said CPS Chief Executive Officer Forrest Claypool. “We’ll continue to make sound strategic investments so that we can continue this remarkable academic progress.

In January 2017, CPS announced the addition of IB programming at Byrne, Kinzie and Lavizzo Elementary Schools. The expansion of IB into elementary schools across Chicago will create a continuum of IB enabling students to more easily matriculate into the proven IB pathway for high school. With these investments, CPS will expose more students to IB before they reach high school and give more students the confidence to take on academically challenging courses of study.

“IB at the elementary level has helped us better prepare students for a successful transition to high school and a bright academic future,” said CPS Chief Education Officer Dr. Janice K. Jackson. ”I am proud of the commitment CPS and the City of Chicago have made to expanding access to rigorous IB programming that allows our students to realize their potential.”

As participation in IB has grown, so too has student success. Recently finalized data also shows that students in IB programmes have rates of graduation (96.2 percent), college enrollment (81 percent), and college persistence (71.6 percent) that far exceed state and national averages.

Feeder schools like Agassiz will prepare students for IB coursework in high school, helping move the District closer to Mayor Emanuel’s goal of having 50 percent of graduating seniors earning college and career credit by 2019. Last year, more than 40 percent of CPS graduates earned one or more college or career credentials through IB or another rigorous program in CPS, up from 30 percent of students earning credits just two years ago.

CPS is home to the nation’s largest IB network, with 53 schools (22 high schools and 31 elementary schools) currently serving 16,000+ students enrolled in IB coursework citywide. Next school year, that total will grow to 56 schools when the three new IB feeder schools begin implementing IB coursework.

Chicago Public Schools serves 381,000 students in 652 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.

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