CHICAGO — More students at three elementary schools will get a chance to participate in the International Baccalaureate program in the fall, giving them an opportunity to get a jump on high school through the academically rigorous program, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Saturday.
Byrne and Kinzie elementary schools in Garfield Ridge as well as Lavizzo Elementary School in Roseland will add International Baccalaureate classes, the mayor's office announced.
The expansion is part of Emanuel's efforts to make good on his promise to ensure that 50 percent of students in Chicago Public Schools earn college or career credit before their high school graduations, according to a statement from school district officials.
“We are committed to investing in our neighborhood schools through IB to give 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,” Emanuel said in the statement.
Byrne and Kinzie elementary schools feed into Kennedy High School. In December, the mayor and CPS officials announced that it would add International Baccalaureate classes in the fall.
In May, city leaders announced that Byrne Elementary School — which school officials described as "bursting at the seams" — would be expanded for the 2017-18 school year.
The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme will be offered to all of the nearly 600 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders at the elementary schools, according to the statement from CPS officials.
The new 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, according to a statement from CPS officials.
Since 2011, the number of Chicago students enrolled in International Baccalaureate classes has quadrupled, the mayor's office said.
Those students have a 100 percent graduation rate, and 81 percent enroll in college, a much high rate than their peers nationally and citywide, officials said.
The International Baccalaureate program offers what CPS describes as "a challenging and academically advanced curriculum" for accomplished and highly motivated students.
Emanuel has expanded CPS' International Baccalaureate program to give parents of high-achieving students another option besides the extremely competitive selective-enrollment high schools.
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