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Falls Church City Public Schools earns IB Certification for all grades

Falls Church City Public Schools earns IB Certification for all grades. (ABC7)

For more than 30 years high school students in Falls Church City Public Schools have been exposed to the International Baccalaureate program.

"IB is a concept-based curriculum from an independent organization that has established teaching and learning methods based in research," Carey Pollack, a science teacher at George Mason High School explained.

"There's a lot of critical thinking in it and you're not just doing rote memorization," said Bhaskar Singhvi, a 17-year-old senior.

Now the school system has a new IB status.

Jeanne Seabridge, Director of Teaching, Learning and Achievement for Falls Church City Public Schools told ABC7 News "We are the first division in the state of Virginia to become a K-12 IB World School division."

After being evaluated on teaching and other factors, the IB organization recently granted certification for the middle school grades. Falls Church City is now IB certified from primary to middle to high school.

Administrators say the rigorous program improves education by building certain characteristics. Seabridge described them as, "Caring, knowledgeable, being an inquirer, being that kind of kid that knows what's going on around the world is able to think deep."

Ciara Curtin, a 9th-grader at George Mason, articulated the significance of the newly achieved certification.

"It's a very big deal if you end up receiving the IB diploma. Going through all those courses, writing all those papers, delving into all those topics can really be challenging but also really interesting for the future in life after high school," she said.

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