The Imagine International Academy of North Texas, a public tuition-free charter school opening this fall in McKinney, has received approval from the International Baccalaureate Organization to become a candidate school* for the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) and Middle Years Programme (MYP). The school is pursuing authorization as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. These are schools that share a common philosophy – a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that the Imagine International Academy of North Texas believes is important for its students. The school is also seeking candidate status for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (DP).
Upon successful completion of the authorization process, the Academy plans to join the ranks of less than ten public tuition-free schools nationwide which offer all three prestigious IB programs for grades K-12 within a single school setting. In Texas, students graduating from high school with the IB Diploma are eligible for a minimum of 24 semester hours of college credit at any public institution of higher education.
As a candidate school, the IB Primary Years Programme may begin to be implemented on a trial basis this fall for students in grades K-5, and the Middle Years Programme for students in grades 6-9. Operated by Imagine Schools, the Academy will serve 950 students in grades K–9 for the 2012-2013 school year. The school will grow a grade each year to become a K-12 school.
“This marks a very important step toward making our vision for this school a reality,” said Ann Carrell, Board President for the Academy, adding that “the research-based best practices embedded in the International Baccalaureate programs of education are consistently known worldwide to prepare students for success in college and beyond.”
Out of the top ten high schools nationally ranked in Newsweek’s 2011 list of “America’s Best High Schools,” five offer the International Baccalaureate program. In 2012, Newsweek ranked nine International Baccalaureate schools among its top twenty best high schools in America, with two local public charter schools from the Dallas-Fort Worth area among them. Both offering the International Baccalaureate continuum of education for grades K-12, Uplift Education North Hills Preparatory School and Westlake Academy ranked #14 and #18 respectively. Since only approximately 3% of high schools in the United States are authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, it is notable that these schools comprise almost half of the top twenty best high schools in America for 2012.
“The rigorous authorization process established by the International Baccalaureate Organization ensures that every school offering any of the three IB programs worldwide maintains the same high standard of quality, regardless of whether offered in a private or public setting,” said Margaret Davis, School Director, adding that “at the conclusion of our candidate phase in approximately 12-18 months, we look forward to receiving full authorization for the PYP and MYP programs.”
The Academy is currently accepting applications for the 2012-2013 school year for placement on waiting lists for all grades.
*Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its three academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), or the Diploma Programme (and in addition the IB Career-related Certificate). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted. For further information about the IB and its programmes, visitwww.ibo.org.
The Imagine International Academy of North Texas is a public tuition-free charter school in McKinney, Texas, operated by Imagine Schools, offering an academically rigorous college preparatory curriculum. The Academy will open in August 2012, serving students in grades K-9, and will add one grade each year to become a K-12 school. For more information, visitwww.imaginenorthtexas.org.