Middle and elementary schools next for International Baccalaureate program

I am excited to share our progress with expanding the prestigious International Baccalaureate (IB) program in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District.

The program offers students a balanced, global education, facilitates geographic and cultural mobility and promotes international understanding. It takes significant effort to gain approval for this rigorous program, with the better part of three years and hundreds of hours of training, planning and preparation.

Ygnacio Valley High School is our first school to be awarded the IB Diploma Program (DP). It’s now in its second year, with the first IB students graduating this year.

The diploma program is made up of six subject groups and the DP core: Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) and the extended essay. Through this program, students reflect on the nature of knowledge, complete independent research and undertake a project that involves community service.

A couple of years ago, we began the application process for Oak Grove Middle School and it is now considered a candidate school – the next step toward full authorization – for the IB Middle Years Program. This past year, we began the application process for Sequoia and Monte Gardens elementary schools to establish the IB Primary Years Program.

We are pleased with the opportunities these programs offer our students and believe the IB programs promote greater equity and access for our students to an engaging, globally inclusive college preparatory experience, especially for students who haven’t believed that they could be college-bound.

Nellie Meyer is Superintendent of Schools for MDUSD. Email ­questions or comments to meyern@mdusd.org