International Baccalaureate

Rainier Beach IB students Emani Royster and Ifrah Abshir with IB Global Director Dr. Siva Kumari and RBHS IB Coordinator Colin Pierce.

What is IB?

The IB Diploma Program is highly regarded as an integrated, college prep high school curriculum for 11th and 12th grade students. The IB mission is to promote international understanding and responsible world citizenship through high academic standards. It is agoal to develop students who are lifelong learners who think critically. There are over 1300 IB high school programs around the world in over 110 countries.

Participants in IB become part of an international group of students taking similar courses and based on clear academic standards. Experienced examiners from other countries as well as their Rainier Beach teachers evaluate student work including science experiments, recorded oral examinations, and projects

The IB Curriculum

The IB Program provides an integrated and proven approach to college preparation. Students learn critical thinking skills, how to compare and contrast information, to manage their time,to work independently and with others, to draw connections from their knowledge of a variety of fields, and consider global perspectives.

IB History teacher Evan Tomchick with RBHS juniors at UW library for research

Levels of Participation

At the highest level of participation, students complete IB courses and exams in six subject areas over two years. Additionally they complete a college level essay independently, conduct a service learning project, and complete an interdisciplinary course called the Theory of Knowledge. If the meet the standard, they can earn a diploma from IB in addition to their Seattle Public Schools diploma.

Alternatively, students can challenge themselves with one,two, as many as six IB courses and exams. Currently, over 95% of our juniors are taking at least one IB course. These students are challenging themselves and improving their college readiness.


The media has been paying a lot of attention to our IB Program.Read all about it below:

Can more rigorous academics help Rainier Beach?
– Seattle Times, April 2012

The New Rainier Beach High School
– Seattle Times, September 2013

Debating IB and other Big Questions at Rainier Beach High
– Seattle Times, January 2014

Guest: Improvement at schools like Rainier Beach requires sustained funding
– Seattle Times, February 2014

Warts-and-all: merging an elite program with a high-needs school
– Seattle Times, May 2014

Rainier Beach High works to make elite IB program serve all students
– KPLU Radio, April 2013

How One Seattle School Will Use Millions In Turnaround Grant Money
– KPLU Radio, May 2014

'This Is A Silly Hat': On First Day, High School Seniors Discuss Pursuit Of A Diploma
– KPLU Radio, September 2014

Prestigious program aims to clean up Seattle school's image
– King 5 TV, August 2013

Reinventing Rainier Beach
–Nathan Hale Sentinel, May 2013

And even a mention in an excellent article about our basketball team:

On Rainier Beach
– The Classical Blog


Colin Pierce
IB Diploma Program Coordinator

Additional Links


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