The International Baccalaureate® (IB) is a non-profit educational foundation begun in the late 1960’s, motivated by its mission, focusing on the student. The IB began in 1968 with the Diploma Program (DP). It has since expanded to include a Middle Years Program (MYP) in 1994, and a Primary Years Program (PYP) in 1997. This allows for students aged 3 to 19 to work in the program, helping to develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. There are well over 1,000,000 students around the world experiencing the programs. At the heart the IB is motivated by a mission to create a better world through education and understanding. The IB has a reputation for quality, high standards and for pedagogical leadership.
The mission statement of the IB is well aligned to the mission created by the founders of Meridian School. The IB mission statement is:
The International Baccalaureate 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 programmes of international education and rigorous assessment. These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.
The IB has seen tremendous growth in the past five years, including schools in the United States and Texas. This success is based on a strong focus on quality, access and infrastructure. The IB plans to continue by building upon successes. A recent survey of current IB schools indicated that 93% planned to continue as an IB World School; 90% indicated that they would recommend the program to another school; 88% indicated a high program loyalty rating; 79% were satisfied with the services provided by the IB; and 77% indicated that the program had good value for the cost.
As of 2016, there are currently 193 authorized IB programs within the state of Texas (65 DP, 54 MYP, and 74 PYP), and a large number of schools working in “candidate status,” with Meridian’s MYP included. The Texas IB Schools Organization is a non-profit organization which began in 1997 to support the general improvement of education for students enrolled in IB programs in the state of Texas. As the program grew within the state, in 2000 the TIBS organization formed a governing board of directors. In 2004, Karen Phillips, a former DP Coordinator, was hired as the executive director for the organization, and Meridian’s Head of School, Rick Fernandez, was elected president of the organization. Mr. Fernandez was appointed president of the organization again in 2016. In 2005, the membership voted to include a representative on the board for the Primary Years Program, as three schools in Texas had recently become authorized. Meridian’s Primary Principal, Kelly McBride, was elected as that representative and has served continuously since that date. She served as the organization's president in 2008-2009 and is currently vice president. The TIBS organization continues to provide training and support for teachers within the state, and annually holds one of the largest IB training opportunities in the world.
For more information about the International Baccalaureate, visit the website at: www.ibo.org