As part of our commitment to offer our scholars a rigorous, world-class education, five IDEA campuses offer a two-year International Baccalaureate program designed to prepare students in college and beyond.

The IB World Schools at IDEA include Donna, Frontier, McAllen, and Brownsville in the Rio Grande Valley and IDEA South Flores in San Antonio.

Students may choose from two options including the IB course candidate or IB diploma candidate. Each affords scholars the ability to earn college credit at the university of their choice with passing scores of 4 or higher in any IB course. Students earning the IB diploma qualify for at least 24 credit hours at a Texas public university with the opportunity to earn numerous merit-based scholarships.

We are so pleased to announce that two schools reached the IB diploma goal of 25 percent of scholars earning their diploma program. Congratulations to IDEA College Preparatory McAllen, who actually had 42 percent of the class of 2020 earn the IB diploma, and IDEA South Flores College Preparatory with 29 percent of students earning the IB diploma. This means students passed six or more IB exams with a 4 or higher.

In addition, all five schools surpassed the 30 percent IB medallion scholar goal, including IDEA College Prep McAllen with 79 percent, IDEA College Prep Donna, with 54 percent, IDEA South Flores with 54 percent, IDEA Brownsville with 44 percent, and IDEA Frontier with 40 percent.

Medallion scholars passed three or more IB courses with a 4 or higher, therefore earning college credit.

The success of our IB scholars would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of numerous IB teachers and coordinators. Some of our top performing IB teachers this year deserve some special recognition. Evelyn Lara, the IB English Literature teacher from IDEA Frontier with an 82 percent passing rate.

All of our IB Spanish teachers who collectively had over 95 precent of students passing at our five IB World Schools. Ulises Manzano, the IB Spanish Language and Literature teacher at IDEA Donna with a 90 percent passing rate and two of his students earning an IB Bilingual Diploma. Christopher Stubbs, the IB History of the Americas teacher at IDEA McAllen with a 51 percent passing rate. Amanda Wallace-Wittenbell, the IB History of the Americas teacher at IDEA South Flores with a 51 percent passing rate. Mariaolga Floyd, the IB Biology teacher at IDEA Brownsville with a 63 percent passing rate. Carlene Huard, the IB Math teacher at IDEA South Flores with a 52 percent passing rate. And Caleb Swaringen, the IB TOK teacher at IDEA McAllen with a 100 percent passing rate.

Congratulations, Caleb. And congratulations to all our IB scholars and our dedicated team and family. And the students for their work for ensuring that they were prepared for success in college and in life.

Congratulations and let’s make it a great week.

Editor’s Note: The above commentary was penned by JoAnn Gama, co-founder and CEO of IDEA Public Schools. The commentary first appeared in an organizational update video. The commentary appears in The Rio Grande Guardian with the permission of the author.

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