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“The International Baccalaureate has proved to be such an enriching experience and overall an amazing program. The classes are extremely interesting and help me broaden my horizons. In only the first few weeks of school, this program has shown me the importance of friendship and collaboration and that I can achieve anything I set my mind to.” (Brooke P. ‘23, Valedictorian of the Class of 2023, attending University of Michigan)
After earning the designation as an IB World School in 2020, Sacred Heart Academy became the first and only private school in the Greater Buffalo area to offer the International Baccalaureate Program. We welcomed our first cohort of juniors into the two-year program in September of 2021. Recognized as the gold standard of high school curricula, the IB Diploma Program is a comprehensive program designed to be responsive to the individual needs and interests of the students. IB seeks to give students the intellectual, social, personal and emotional skills necessary to succeed in a globalized world. Throughout the six core courses in the IB program, students are able to pursue their own passions while working collaboratively and cooperatively with their peers and with others around the world.
In addition to the standard curriculum, students participate in a two-year course called the Theory of Knowledge (TOK), where they examine what it means to know. The themes of TOK are woven throughout all of the IB coursework, encouraging students to think broadly, beyond the boundaries of their communities, and grapple with questions fundamental to the human spirit. This global perspective is at the core of the IB mission and completely aligns with SHA’s mission and vision of empowering young women with excellence in education that prepares them to make a positive impact on the world.
Additionally, each diploma candidate must devote time and reflection to Creativity, Activity and Service as well as complete a 4,000-word research paper on a topic of her choosing. The breadth and depth of this well-established curriculum is rigorous and intense, but prepares students exceptionally well for the rigor and independence of university life and beyond. As the IB cohort progresses through the program, their bonds of sisterhood and the learning community within the learning community are strengthened.
“I felt challenged by the rigor of the program, and inspired to work harder than I ever have. I am grateful for the opportunity to have learned alongside students in other countries, and become a globally minded person.” (Kele E. ‘23, attending University of Virginia)