The world-renowned International Baccalaureate programme has been around for about fifty years now and currently has over 4000 authorized schools in place all over the world. The steady growth in IB programs over the decades reflects the trust that this program has garnered from educators and parents worldwide. The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is blessed to have several schools, both public and private that offer IB curriculum, and Mississauga has a healthy percentage of that number.
If you’re wondering what it takes to get into IB schools in Mississauga, you might be surprised to hear that the most important factor is probably commitment. You’re unlikely to see your child just “fall into” an IB program, but it is the school itself that is judged on its “worthiness” to offer the IB program, rather than the student being judged if he’s worthy to participate in the program, so it’s all about finding the right school.
If your child attends an IB diploma school (the Diploma Programme only applies to what Canadians refer to as eleventh and twelfth grade), there is an IB exam separate from the standard school program that each student must take and pass in order to be recognized as an International Baccalaureate diploma graduate. The IB program is designed to be consistent between schools as much as possible. Of course, every school handles the IB program with its own style, but regardless of the school’s approach, one should find that moving between one IB program and another to be relatively seamless. Families that tend to move a lot can take comfort in the consistency that the IB program brings to their children’s academic studies.
Perhaps one of the most important features of the IB program is the emphasis the IB puts on global awareness, rather than focusing on regional distinctions. IB schools in Mississauga tend to be diverse, value the study and knowledge of a second or third language, and encourage students to think critically. You may find similar emphasis in other schools as well, but these tend to be core values to an IB school.
Some parents are surprised to find that the IB program isn’t just a high school thing. In addition to the Diploma Programme (which one is most likely to find in a Mississauga public school setting) International Baccalaureate also offers a Primary Years Programme (PYP) which focuses on young children up to the sixth grade, and a Middle Years Programme (MYP) that centres on grades seven through ten/eleven (high school programs are a little harder to pin down by grade since high school credits are more important than grade level.) The PYP and MYP programs are designed to instill the values and habits most important to the IB curriculum. There is more flexibility within the PYP and MYP programs of each school than in the Diploma Program (DP), but the PYP and MYP programs are still significantly different than what you might expect from a typical Mississauga elementary school or junior high school.
One of the top reasons why parents seek out the IB program is because IB diploma graduates are recognized as being in a special status by university and college admissions personnel. There are literally thousands of post-secondary institutions that offer advanced standing, course credit, scholarships, and other admissions-related benefits to IB graduates.
If you’re searching for a school in Mississauga with the IB program because of the post-secondary benefits, the diverse, global curriculum or the consistency among IB schools worldwide, you will find a healthy assortment of IB schools right here in Mississauga. Just keep in mind, that most of the schools offer only the Diploma Program for those near the end of their high school regimen. The Primary Years and Middle Years Programmes are important IB components for the grades leading up to the Diploma Programme.