Posted on January 28, 2021 · Posted in Academic News, General, News, Press Release

(Burbank, Illinois) – St. Laurence High School announced it has received official authorization as an International Baccalaureate World School. The announcement comes after an extensive candidacy phase that lasted nearly two years and involved several different evaluations of the school’s curriculum, teachers, facilities and more.

St. Laurence joins just 37 high schools in Illinois that offer the IB Diploma Program (DP), only 3 of which are Catholic schools. Additionally, St. Laurence is the only Catholic school in Chicago’s southland area to offer the IB Diploma Program, displaying leadership in academics among local schools.

Beginning August 2021, St. Laurence will offer courses that align with the DP, which aims to do more than other curricula by developing inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who are motivated to succeed. IB strives to develop students who will build a better world through intercultural understanding and respect.

The DP provides many benefits for those who are enrolled. DP students become more attractive candidates to colleges in the admissions process because they are choosing the most rigorous academic path available. On top of that, DP students enroll in and graduate from four-year institutions at much higher rates than the national average. They also may receive credit or advanced standing by scoring well on IB exams. Additionally, students learn to do coursework that models a college experience in development of thinking, communication, self management, social, and research skills while still in high school, which can make the transition to college easier.

Becoming an IB World School fits in seamlessly with St. Laurence’s transition to a STEM curriculum rooted in project-based learning. Current STL students are inquisitive, open-minded risk-takers who also possess strong communication skills as a result of the current curriculum, all attributes that lend well to IB. The school will continue to offer AP courses as options for its students in addition to IB.

“We are so excited to officially be named an IB World School,” said Director of Strategic Development and International Baccalaureate Coordinator Pete Lotus, who oversaw the entire application process. “This program will allow us to continue challenging our students with one of the most rigorous curriculums in secondary education, while also preparing them for college and life. It is a truly unique academic experience that students will not be able to find at any other Catholic high school in the area.”

With an emphasis on challenging the status quo in education, St. Laurence has made consistent strides in academics that have reaped major benefits for their students in recent years. Last year, 25 seniors were named Illinois State Scholars – the most in over 30 years. The Class of 2020 earned over $30 million in college scholarships, with students attending prestigious universities such as Notre Dame, Northwestern, the University of Illinois and more.