International Baccalaureate (IB) was conceived in the late 1960’s in Geneva Switzerland for children of diplomats who knew they would relocate multiple times to various countries and therefore needed to be able to easily transfer to another school where the levels and learning and test scores easily matched up. It has since spread to more than 3,000 schools around the world. IB is a rigorous academic curriculum that can be implemented across all grades. It is void of multiple choice tests and instead embraces in-depth research and writing projects that encourage critical thought. Sometimes the schools replace their AP courses with IB courses, and sometimes (like in Shaker Heights) they complement them. It takes two+ years for a school to be accredited to have an IB program and they are audited every five years to insure they are up to standards. Although interest in IB programs in the US was low until recently, now many schools offer IB programs including these in NE Ohio:
Akron Firestone High School – currently only offered in high school, but hoping to offer it to entire Akron public school system within a year or two. Read more here.
Aurora High School (in Portage County) – public high school in Portage county, offered in high school only as of this writing
Beaumont School (Cleveland Heights) – began offering IB in fall 2014
Cleveland Heights – public school district that offers IB at the elementary & middle schools (eventually at the high school)
Jackson High School – public high school in the city of Massillon (near Canton, OH)
Montessori at University Circle – co-ed private 9-12 high school in the city of Cleveland
Oberlin – public school district in Lorain County, offered from elementary through high school
St. Edward High School – located in Lakewood, private Catholic boys school, 9-12 grade
Shaker Heights – offered system wide, also offer Mandarin Chinese taught beginning in 1st grade and continued through high school
Westlake – in the 2012-13 school they rolled out the initial year of IB at Bassett Elementary, and a proposed roll out in all four elementary schools by the end of the school year or in the 2013-2014 year; in the fall of 2015, Westlake High School intends to roll out the IB in partnership with Rocky River, Berea and Avon Lake high school (HS students from any of those public schools can attend IB classes at Westlake High)
Campus International – K-8 charter school in partnership with Cleveland Municipal School District and downtown Cleveland’s largest 4 year college (Cleveland State University).
A helpful website to explore what IB offers: Ohio IB Schools