International Baccalaureate

Home to Iowa’s Only International Baccalaureate Programmes

In 2008, Des Moines Public Schools became the first and only school district in Iowa to offer the world-renowned International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme as another approach to learning for students.

In just a few years, the IB program in Des Moines has grown to include ten schools serving more than 4,500 students.

The school district is currently home to ten IB World Schools:

IB is a school-wide program providing a framework for teaching and learning that engages students in guided inquiry centered on universal concepts. Guided inquiry emphasizes students’ natural curiosity and provides them with an opportunity to ask questions and seek answers in a collaborative classroom where students and teachers work together to explore the curriculum. At the middle school level, IB students experience the district curriculum enhanced with rigorous international standards across eight subject areas.

After three years of working to implement the IB Programme, a team of experts visits each school to observe progress and provide recommendations for further growth. Following those visits, officials at the IB Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland decide whether or not the schools should be declared IB World Schools.

The following documents provide additional information about the IB Programme:

In addition, to learn more about the differences between the Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs offered at Des Moines Public Schools, be sure to download and read Comparison of AP and IB.

International Baccalaureate

Olivia Howe

Address: 1912 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50321
P: 515-242-7316 | E: