International Baccalaureate 

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The International Baccalaureate (IB) provides a pathway to an internationally recognized diploma. For more than 35 years, the IB Program has been developing a network of more than 2700 schools in 138 countries. 

It 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 programs of international education and rigorous assessment. These programs encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate, and lifelong learners. 

The International Baccalaureate includes the following three programs:

Primary Years Programme (ages 3-12)
The PYP is an interdisciplinary, inquiry-based approach to instruction for students in the early grades. 

Central to their education, students explore these six questions across traditional academic subjects:

  • Who we are?
  • Where are we in time and place?
  • How do we express ourselves?
  • How does the world work?
  • How do we organize ourselves?
  • How do we share the planet?

Through a Program of Inquiry (POI) based on these themes, students engage with broad concepts across traditional disciplines by developing important skills and knowledge while conducting research. In fifth grade, students are expected to complete an exhibition that reflects an area of interest using an inquiry-based process.

H.D. Cooke Elementary School, Shepherd Elementary School and Thomson Elementary School are authorized IB World Schools. Turner Elementary School is an IB Candidate School seeking Primary Years Programme authorization.

Middle Years Programme (ages 11-16)
The MYP is an interdisciplinary, inquiry-based approach to instruction for students in Grades 6-10. 

Students explore the following areas across the traditional disciplines:

  • Approaches to learning
  • Environment
  • Human ingenuity
  • Health and social education
  • Community and service

These areas of interaction provide students an opportunity to engage in research, the study of a second language, and the application of critical thinking skills as they develop as learners. 

Students who complete the three-year MYP  are better prepared for challenging course work in high school. Students are also expected to complete a research-based personal project on a subject of interest.

Deal Middle School is an authorized IB World School. Eastern Senior High School, Eliot-Hine Middle School and Jefferson Middle School are Partnership IB Candidate Schools seeking Middle Years Programme authorization.

Diploma Programme (ages 16-19)
The IB Diploma is a rigorous and demanding two-year pre-university program that meets the needs of highly motivated students in grades 11 and 12. 

To earn an IB diploma, students must complete the following:

  • Take courses and pass examinations in six academic subjects.
  • Participate in the Theory of Knowledge course that investigates learning and knowing throughout the traditional disciplines.
  • Participate in 150 hours of Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS)
  • Conduct original research and write an extended essay of 4,000 words.

Students who successfully complete this program are awarded a DC Public Schools diploma as well as the internationally recognized IB Diploma. 

Benjamin Banneker High School and Eastern Senior High School are IB World Schools that offer the IB Diploma Programme.

To learn more, visit

Inside DCPS Highlights.


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