The International Baccalaureate at Desert Academy

“Desert Academy is a rigorously academic school, but that doesn’t mean I sacrifice anything. Teachers are supportive and understanding, and Desert has allowed me to develop passions in and out of the classroom.” -Ki Cooley-Winters (Class of 2018, Columbia University)

Celebrate 50 years of the IB


International Baccalaureate Mission Statement

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.

Desert Academy is an IB World School. The International Baccalaureate organization (IB) was founded in 1968. Since then, it has become what is considered the “gold standard” for primary and secondary education across the globe. According to IB, there were 6,395 programmes being offered worldwide, across 4,783 schools in 152 countries on December 5, 2017. Between 2012 and 2017, the number of IB programmes offered worldwide grew by 39.3%. It is one of the fastest growing programs in America, that now has more than 1,800 IB World Schools.

“In our minds, there is no more challenging curriculum than the IB curriculum. Not only does it prepare students for a demanding college program, but the IB curriculum also instills in students a love of learning and an understanding of the truly interdisciplinary nature of education. Instead of working on each subject in a vacuum, IB students are shown how each of their classes connects both with the other classes and with the world around them…” — Thyra L. Briggs, Dean of Enrollment, Sarah Lawrence College

VIDEO LINK: PBS Newshour: How the IBs approach to global education changed over five decades

The IB education offered at Desert Academy empowers young people for a lifetime of learning, both independently and in collaboration with others. It prepares them to engage with complex global challenges through a dynamic educational experience framed by inquiry, planning, action and reflection.

At Desert Academy we offer the IB Middle Years Program (MYP) from grade 6 through grade 10 and the IB Diploma Program (DP) for 11 and 12 grade.


"The International Baccalaureate® (IB) programmes encourage both personal and academic achievement, challenging students to excel in their studies and in their personal development. "(IB)

In order to teach IB programmes, schools must be authorized by the International Baccalaureate organization. Desert Academy received authorization for the IB Diploma Programme in 2008  and for the IB Middle Years Programme in 2011.

The IB Middle Years Program curriculum offers a rigorous and challenging  framework of academic study and life-skills appropriate for 11 to 16 year olds. Emphasis is placed on developing critical and creative thinking skills, which are going to be highly valued in the future. The program also focuses on Approaches to Learning (ATL) skills. Throughout the program, students develop skills that have relevance across the curriculum that help them “learn how to learn”.                         

The IB Diploma Program is an internationally recognized, pre-university course of study which leads to external examinations. The two-year programme has earned a reputation for rigorous assessment which equips students with the skills and attitudes necessary for success in higher education and employment.

At the core of the IB programs is its mission statement and learner profile. Sir Ken Robinson about the IB: "The IB strikes me as a really powerful example of how to raise standards and encourage people to dig deep into their personal resources with international verification but also in a way that encourages personal creativity, self-sufficiency, and initiative in a way that a lot of the other standardized systems simply do not."


“IB is well known to us for excellent preparations. Success in an IB programme correlates well with success at Harvard. We are always pleased to see the credentials of the IB Diploma Programme on the transcript.” — Marilyn McGrath Lewis, Director of Undergraduate Admission, Harvard University

IB learner profile.

The IB learner profile represents 10 attributes valued by all IB World Schools. It is the profile of an international learner. At Desert Academy, we all strive to develop and embody each of the attributes. They are a cornerstone of who we are.
The 10 attributes are:
●    Inquirers
●    Knowledgeable
●    Thinkers
●    Communicators
●    Principled
●    Open-minded
●    Caring
●    Risk-takers
●    Balanced
●    Reflective

IB Learner Profile

The International Baccalaureate programs
●    Encourage international-mindedness in IB students, starting with a foundation in their own language and culture.
●    Encourage a positive attitude to learning by challenging students to solve problems, show creativity and resourcefulness, and participate actively in their communities.
●    Reflect real life by providing a framework that allows students to see the connections among the subjects themselves, and between the subjects and real issues.
●    Support the development of communication skills to encourage inquiry, understanding, language acquisition, and to allow students reflection and expression.
●    Emphasize, through the learner profile, the development of the whole student - physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically.

"To IB, or not to IB, that’s not even a question.” - James Reich (Philosophy, English)