Hudson K-8 School has gained authorization to offer the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program, bringing the rigorous, internationally recognized college preparatory system to the Westside school. Hudson is the first school in the Long Beach Unified School District, and one of only 10 schools in California, to earn the primary years authorization from the IB organization. Implementation begins immediately with all 700 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Along with providing rigorous academics, IB helps students to understand and appreciate people from other countries and cultures. At Hudson, the program includes Spanish classes for all students. Like Advanced Placement courses, IB high school courses are rigorous college preparatory classes. IB high school courses are honored at the best universities throughout the world as indicative of outstanding academic training. Hudson’s new program will help to prepare students for rigorous middle school and high school work. The authorization at Hudson came after an intensive three-year application and review. “We were thrilled to receive the notification,” Hudson Principal Wendy Claflin said. “This program gives meaning to the term ‘world class education.’ It’s a great opportunity for our students and staff.” Before authorizing the program, IB officials analyze the school’s existing resources and visit the school to monitor a trial IB program. Teachers and the principal receive IB-coordinated training before and after the IB authorization. Long Beach first began offering IB in 1992 at Jordan High School, where students can earn the International Diploma, a designation that is recognized by the world’s leading universities. The International Baccalaureate Organization was established in the 1960s to provide curriculum for children of ambassadors worldwide so they might receive uniform, high-quality preparation for college. IB has since grown and has been offered at selected public and private schools throughout the world. Earlier this school year, the Long Beach Unified School District also earned a $2.9 million U.S. Department of Education Magnet School Grant that will help to implement IB programs at Dooley Elementary School and Lindsey Middle School. Hudson, a California Distinguished School, is now working to obtain IB authorization for students in sixth through eighth grades by next year. Visit www.ibo.org to learn more.