Uplift Education earned 16 International Baccalaureate authorizations over the course of the 2017-18 school year, including five Primary Years Programmes, two Middle Years Programmes, and nine Diploma Programmes. With nearly 19,000 scholars across 40 schools, these newest authorizations elevate Uplift to one the nation’s Top Five IB Districts in number of programmes served, according to the International Baccalaureate.
“This initiative has been years in the making for Uplift Education,” said Rich Harrison, Uplift’s Chief Academic Officer. “Our plans have been strategic, intentional and focused on a core belief that bringing IB to the communities we serve is about more than what’s taught in the classroom. It’s about equity and access. Students at every level deserve access to IB’s holistic approach to building well-rounded students equipped to think critically and connect in the global marketplace.”
Over the past several years, Uplift has been working toward and earning authorizations for all eligible schools based on the knowledge that IB programmes provide the strongest preparation for a four-year college degree. All students, particularly those from high-needs areas, will benefit from the “whole-student” approach to IB learning that not only prepares them academically, but also focuses on social and emotional learning, connections to local communities, and promotes global awareness and thinking.
One differentiating factor that sets Uplift apart from other schools and districts both locally and nationwide is the implementation of “IB for All.” While many IB schools reserve the final two years of the IB experience, the Diploma Programme, for only top performing students, all 11th and 12th graders in Uplift schools will have the opportunity to participate.
“We’ve always held the belief that all children can benefit from a rigorous, high-quality education, and our approach to IB is no different,” said Yasmin Bhatia, Uplift’s Chief Executive Officer. “For years, we’ve been graduating high school classes which have earned 100% college acceptance, and three years ago we set our sights on a big goal of 70% college graduation within six years for our alumni. We’re confident that IB and, especially the Diploma Programme, are the best academic preparation for a four-year college degree.”
In 2008, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded a study by McKinsey & Company that revealed IB’s unique benefits for underserved students.
The study concluded that, “The Diploma Programme stands out among other high school curricula available today in the U.S. public education system because it offers a rigorous, aligned, integrated instructional system that is both appropriate and valuable for students of average skill proficiency, and transformative for minority and low-income, i.e., ‘high-needs’, students”. (Understanding and Closing the IB Diploma Gap for High Needs Students in the United States, McKinsey & Company, September 2008).
“The International Baccalaureate congratulates Uplift for embracing IB programs that challenge students to excel and provide them with opportunities for both personal and academic achievement. Uplift has shown how it seamlessly aligns as a public charter school network to the International Baccalaureate framework. We applaud Uplift for joining other IB World Schools in advancing an inclusive approach that recognizes all students can achieve at a global standard when provided a quality educational environment,” said David Weiss, Head of U.S. Public Schools for the International Baccalaureate.
Uplift North Hills Preparatory in Irving, Texas, was one of the first high schools in the state to be authorized to offer the Diploma Programme. The school is regularly ranked on both the Washington Post and U.S. News and World Reports best list of best high schools.
International Baccalaureate Continuum Schools K-12th Grades
(Authorized in the Primary Years Programme, Middle Years Programme, and Diploma Programme)
Uplift North Hills Preparatory*—Irving, Texas
Uplift Infinity Preparatory—Irving, Texas
Uplift Summit International Preparatory—Arlington, Texas
Uplift Peak Preparatory—Dallas, Texas
Uplift Williams Preparatory—Dallas, Texas
Uplift Hampton Preparatory—Dallas, Texas
Uplift Heights Preparatory—Dallas, Texas
Uplift Luna Preparatory—Dallas, Texas
Uplift Mighty Preparatory—Fort Worth, Texas
Uplift Grand Preparatory—Grand Prairie, Texas
*IB Continuum World School authorized since 2010
Primary Years Programme Schools Offering K-5th Grades
(These primary schools will feed into an Uplift Middle Years Programme and Diploma Programme)
Uplift Pinnacle Preparatory- Dallas, TX
Uplift Triumph Preparatory- Dallas, TX
Uplift Meridian Preparatory- Fort Worth, TX
The authorization process to become an IB World School is challenging and intensive. After schools submit their initial application for candidacy, it may take between one to three years to become fully authorized. New Uplift schools will begin their application based on the decision of school leadership.