• FAQs

    What is the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO)?

    The International Baccalaureate Organization designs an approach to education that is used across the globe in over 129 countries and in over 2400 schools. They have a hard-earned reputation for quality, high standards and leadership. They promote intercultural understanding and respect, not as an alternative to a sense of cultural and national identity, but as an essential part of life in the 21st century.

    Their aim is to: Develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.

    How will International Baccalaureate 6-12* "Prepare my Child for the World"?

    Our mission is to accept a diverse group of motivated students with specific interests in the area of world languages and culture and ensure they receive a rigorous interdisciplinary secondary education that will prepare them for college or university.

    In addition to challenging classes firmly grounded in the pedagogy of the IBO (see sidebar opposite page) IB 6-12 builds on students strengths and interests—and helps them determine how they can contribute to their community through yearly community service at all grade levels. Students gain intercultural understanding of diverse communities around the world through events, speakers and activities, and gain skills that help them compete globally as citizens of an ever changing world. In 11th and 12th grade, students are able to gain as much as a year’s worth of college credit-not only in the core academic areas but also including credits in the arts and computer sciences-while continuing to master a second language.

    When was the programme first available in Pittsburgh?

    The Diploma Programme (grades 11-12) portion of the IB has existed in the Pittsburgh Public Schools since the early 1980’s. Beginning in 2004, grades 6-10 became a Middle Years Candidate Programme. Since that time we have developed and implemented the MYP across the middle grades. These two complimentary programs offer a 6-12 IB experience.

    I have heard that there are certificates, college credit and unique academic opportunties at this school.  Can you explain those in more detail?

    Yes, there are very distinct academic opportunities at this school that allow for children to gain as much as a years worth of college credit in 11th and 12th grade.  For specific information on how this works, click here.

    My child has never taken a foreign language before.  Can they still attend this school?

    Possibly.  Limited spaces are available in 6th and 9th grade for children without previous language experience. 
    How can I arrange for my child to shadow at this school to see if it is the right fit?

    If you are interested in your child spending a day at the school to see if it the right fit for them, contact the school diretly at 412-622-5980.

    What will the official name of this school be?

    The official name is the Barack Obama Academy of International Studies.  


    What will be the transportation provided at this school?

    6-8 graders who live more than 1.5 miles from the school site (the Reizenstein facility in Shadyside) will receive yellow buses.  9-12 graders who live more than 2 miles from the school are typically given a Port Authority bus pass, but in some instances yellow buses are provided.  You will receive information about your bus route in August through a mailing from the District.  To learn more about transportation in Pittsburgh Public Schools, please click here.

    Will there still be activity buses after school for both middle grades and high school students?

    Yes, the buses that have traditionally been provided for students who are taking part in sports after school will still be available.  This varies by season and sport. 


    Will there be clubs and sports at this school?  If so--at what grades?

    Yes, there will be a full compliment of sports and clubs/activities at this school for both middle grades students (6-8) and high school grade students (9-12). 


    How do you plan to house two separate schools (Pittsburgh IB 6-12 and Pittsburgh Schenley) within this facility for the next two years?

    At its height, the Reizenstin facility held over 1700 students.  Next year between the two schools on site, there will be about 1150 children.  The Pittsburgh Schenley students will be houses on the upper left area of the school, with their own office space and administration.  Pittsburgh Obama 6-10 will be housed in the remainder of the building, also with its own administration and office space.


    Why a combined program?

    Much the way that a K-8 provides for more consistency for students, and fewer transitions, a 6-12 offers the same level of support. Additionally, it provides for the Middle Years Programme (grades 6-10) to be implemented in one location. Finally, we are providing an opportunity for students who are prepared to advance to higher level courses in their language, math or in the arts, to do so.

    How will students thrive at International Baccalaureate 6-12?

    Students work daily in their course work, community service and interactions with one another to become:
    • Inquirers
    • Knowledgeable
    • Thinkers
    • Caring
    • Communicators
    • Risk-takers
    • Principled
    • Balanced
    • Open-Minded
    • Reflective