Skip Navigation

Preschool through Middle School
Tour ::: Calendar ::: Hot Lunch

International Baccalaureate Programme

What is an IB education?


If we are to have peace on earth... our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective." - Martin Luther King Jr.



Wauwatosa Catholic School was the first authorized Catholic International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme school in the State of Wisconsin.

The International Baccalaurreate (IB) continuum of international education for 3 to 19 year olds is unique because of its academic and personal rigor. We challenge students to excel in their studies and in their personal growth. We aim to inspire a quest for learning throughout life that is marked by enthusiasm and empathy.The IB aspires to help schools develop well-rounded students with character who respond to challenges with optimism and an open mind, are confident in their own identities, make ethical decisions, join with others in celebrating our common humanity and are prepared to apply what they learn in real-world, complex and unpredictable situations.

The IB offers high-quality programmes of international education that share a powerful vision. IB education:

  • focuses on learners - the IB's student centered programmes promote healthy relationships, ethical responsibility and personal challenge
  • develops effective approaches to teaching and learning - the IB programmes help students to develop attitudes and skills they need for both academic and personal success
  • works within global contexts - IB programmes increase understanding of languages and cultures, and explore globally significant ideas and issues
  • explores significant context - IB programmes offer a curriculum that is broad and balanced, conceptual and connected.

IB learners strive to become inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced, and reflective. These attributes represent a broad range of human capacities and responsibilities that go beyond intellectual development and academic success.

Why the IB is different

The IB aims to do more than other curricula by developing inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who are motivated to succeed. The IB encourages students to think critically and challenge what they are told. The IB is independent of governments and national systems, and therefore able to incorporate best practice from a range of international frameworks and curricula. The IB encourages students to consider both their local and international environment. In order to teach IB programmes, schools must be authorized. Every school authorized to offer IB programmes is known as an IB World School.

The IB teaching style

Education in IB World Schools:

  • centers on learners
  • develops effective approaches to teaching and learning
  • works within global contexts, helping students understand different languages and cultures
  • explores significant content, developing disciplinary and interdisciplinary understanding that meets rigorous standards

An IB education aims to transform students and schools as they learn, through dynamic cycles of inquiry, action and reflection. Teachers enable and support students as they develop the approaches to learning - for both academic and personal success. IB programmes aim to help students explore and construct their own personal and cultural identities. Teaching and learning in the IB celebrates the many ways people work together to construct meaning and make sense of the world. An IB education empowers young people for a lifetime of learning, independently and in collaboration with others.