International Education comes to the Northwest Suburbs

In a press release issued today, Holy Family Catholic Academy (Inverness) has been named the first suburban elementary school in Illinois to become authorized as an International Baccalaureate World School--Primary Years Programme (IB). HFCA joins only 15 other schools in Illinois to be awarded this distinction.

This announcement completes HFCA's multi-year IB candidacy and follows the school being named the first middle school in the state to become STEM certified by AdvancED as well as the distinction of receiving a 2017 US Department of Education Blue Ribbon Award for exemplary learning and teaching. States Principal Kate O'Brien, "We are delighted to become an IB World School. Our authorization as an IB school together with our STEM certification and Blue Ribbon award is a testament to our staff's steadfast commitment to continually improving our curriculum and instruction." Led by Assistant Principal Laura Clark and IB Coordinator Colleen Biere, HFCA aligned and enhanced their already nationally recognized curriculum to meet the IB framework.

Principal O'Brien added, "HFCA is committed to offering our students a more future-focused education which will instill in them the skills, knowledge, and outlook to succeed in the 21st century, both in their local communities and in the wider world. At the same time, our teachers will have the opportunity to be a part of an international network of experts leading the field of education.

HFCA's mission is aligned with the IB mission which focuses on developing global citizens and extending learning well beyond the classroom. This unique and data driven approach to learning means both students and teachers are genuinely engaged with the curriculum and benefit from being a part of an unparalleled global network which spans 147 different countries. Students will be able to participate in international conferences and educators can work with their peers internationally to ensure that IB remains at the cutting edge of international education.

Drew Deutsch, Director, IB America, International Baccalaureate says, "The IB is recognized across the world for its innovative approach to education. We strongly believe that it is important to place an equal focus on academics and other, transferable skills, in order to best prepare students for success in high school and beyond."

"This is an exciting time for Holy Family Catholic Academy and more importantly, for the students who will benefit from an IB education."

About Holy Family Catholic Academy:

Holy Family Academy was founded in 2002 as the first new Catholic elementary school in the northwest suburbs in over 35 years. HFCA offers students a unique learning environment that empowers them to become thinkers and leaders grounded in faith. We prepare our students for their future, helping them learn to adapt to and excel in an increasingly global community. Our students develop skills and character to challenge the status quo and stand up to make a positive difference in our world. For further information, please visit

About the International Baccalaureate:

Founded in 1968 the International Baccalaureate (IB) is a non-profit foundation, which offers four high quality and challenging educational programmes for a worldwide community of schools. For 50 years, IB programmes have gained a reputation for their rigour and high academic standards, for preparing students for life in a globalized 21st century, and for helping to develop citizens who will create a better, more peaceful world. Currently, more than 1.3 million IB students attend over 4,500 schools in 147 countries. To learn more, please visit

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