Lowell becomes 7th MPS IB school

Milwaukee Public Schools’ Lowell Elementary School is officially the 7th MPS school to earn the rigorous International Baccalaureate (IB) World School designation.

The designation is provided only to schools that offer the rigorous, internationally-recognized, college preparatory IB “programmes.”

Lowell received the official announcement this spring and will celebrate it June 10 at 12 p.m. at the school, 4360 S. 20th Street, Milwaukee 53221. Media are invited and welcome to attend.

More than 80% of IB diploma students complete a bachelor’s degree within six years of starting college, according to the IB organization, compared to just 56% of all U.S. students. A 2010 study also found that “the key cognitive strategies emphasized in the Diploma – critical thinking skills, intellectual inquisitiveness and interpretation – were found to be fully aligned with the expectations of university faculty.”

MPS was the first Wisconsin district to offer a complete continuum of IB schools beginning with the Primary Years Programme (PYP) for students ages 3-12, and continuing on to the Middle Years Programme (MYP) for students ages 11-16 and the Diploma Progamme (DP) for students ages 16-19.

The district is home to a number of other IB “firsts” including one of the first IB schools in North America: MPS’ Rufus King International High School, which was IB authorized in 1978. Firsts also include MPS’ Ronald Reagan College Preparatory High School, the first all-IB high school in Wisconsin, and MPS’ Wedgewood Park International School, the first IB Middle Years Programme site in Wisconsin. King and Reagan are consistently ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Washington Post as among the best high schools in the state and nation.

With its seven IB schools, MPS is now home to more than 25% of all the IB “programme” sites in the state.

The addition of Lowell means MPS now offers International Baccalaureate education at:

Two elementary schools:

  • Academy of Accelerated Learning
  • Lowell Elementary School

Two middle schools:

  • Rufus King International Middle School
  • Wedgewood Park International School

Three high schools:

  • Rufus King International High School
  • MacDowell Montessori School
  • Ronald Reagan College Preparatory High School

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