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International Baccalaureate « West Ottawa Public Schools

International Baccalaureate

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Welcome to the International Baccalaureate Program at West Ottawa Public Schools!

West Ottawa High School and Great Lakes Elementary schools are each proud to officially be recognized as International Baccalaureate (IB) World Schools. Lakewood Elementary and North Holland Elementary schools are honored to be IB candidate schools. At the elementary level the IB program is referred to as the Primary Years Program or PYP.

The International Baccalaureate program is an approach to teaching and learning that engages students actively, while encouraging them to think deeply, and take action in their own lives. Through the program, students become internationally-minded thinkers and inquirers, who ask questions and seek answers with a global perspective.

The IB program fosters a love for learning by nurturing student’s natural curiosity. The curriculum is a rigorous, inquiry-based program that empowers students to take action to create a better, more peaceful world.

The Learner Profile:

IB learners strive to be…

  • Caring- Be Kind, considerate and sensitive to other people’s needs. Show empathy.
  • Thinkers – Use thinking skills to make good choices and solve problems.
  • Risk-Takers – Try new things. Believe in yourself and learn from your mistakes.
  • Knowledgeable – Learn about yourself and your world.
  • Balanced – Find the balance between work and play. Use time wisely.
  • Open-Minded – Try to understand others. Experience new things.
  • Communicators – Share thoughts and feelings clearly with others. Use other languages.
  • Principled – Try to do what is right. Be responsible for yourself and respectful of others.
  • Reflective – Think about what is said, done and learned.
  • Inquirers – Be curious about new things. Ask questions and look for information independently.

The Action Cycle:

IB learners are encouraged to take action. This helps our students to develop skills like cooperation, creative thinking, problem solving, conflict resolution, and critical thinking.

Locations: West Ottawa High School and Great Lakes Elementary School

For more information about the program at Great Lakes Elementary School, please contact David Stefanich – Principal.
Fore more information about the program at West Ottawa High School, please contact Todd Tulgestke - Principal.

About International Baccalaureate:

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) is a non-profit educational foundation, motivated by its mission, focused on the student.

They offer three programmes for students aged 3 to 19 help develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world.

Founded in 1968, IB currently works with 3,410 schools in 141 countries to develop and offer three challenging programmes to over 1,022,000 students aged 3 to 19 years.


For more information, please contact West Ottawa Public School’s International Baccalaureate Diploma Program Coordinator, Corban K. Van Dam.
Phone: (616) 738-6818
Office Hours:
• M-W-F: 12:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
• T-Th: 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.