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Issued: June 10th, 2013
For immediate release

Southlands Elementary becomes 1,000th IB World School to deliver Primary Years Programme

VANCOUVER, BC – Today, representatives from the International Baccalaureate (IB), joined local dignitaries at Southlands Elementary school in Vancouver BC, Canada, to celebrate its authorization as the 1000th IB World School to deliver the IB Primary Years Programme. (PYP)

Southlands Elementary, located in Pacific Spirit Park has taught students from the Musqueam First Nation since 1952, and is renowned for its rich cultural diversity and for developing students who demonstrate an enthusiasm for learning, social responsibility and global citizenship.

The mission of the PYP is built on inquiry, respect, cooperation and the recognition of self-worth. Southlands Elementary exemplifies the IB’s own mission and values. Roughly 19 percent of the Southlands’ students come from the First Nations community and reside in the Musqueam lands and nearly half of Southlands’ 255 students have a first language other than English.

Drew Deutsch, IB Regional Director for the Americas, was delighted to see the 1000th IB PYP School celebrated in the Americas region.

“Southland’s Elementary shows the positive transformation that IB programmes can have on a school, its students, and the communities they live in. Part of the IB’s mission is to expand the benefits of an IB education to students, regardless of circumstance. Southlands Elementary is wonderful example of the IB’s mission in practice.”

Helen Barrett, Head of PYP Development based in The Netherlands travelled to Vancouver to mark this special and momentous occasion.

“I was happy to note that a school so aligned to the ideals of the PYP should become the 1,000th IB World School to offer the programme.

“I believe that the holistic and transformative nature of the PYP is a perfect match for this remarkable school. Together we can empower children with the skills to engage and lead their own journey of learning, preparing them for success in education and beyond.”

Patti Bacchus, the Chair of the Vancouver School Board welcomed the new school status.

“The Vancouver School Board is proud to offer a wide range of engaging and inclusive programs at schools across the district. The IB program at Southlands is yet another great addition to the diversity of programming offered in our district.”

About the Primary Years Programme (PYP)

The Primary Years Programme, designed for students aged 3 to 12, focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside. The PYP is flexible enough to accommodate the demands of most national or local curriculums and provides the best preparation for students to engage in the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP).

About the International Baccalaureate

Founded in 1968, the International Baccalaureate (IB) is a not-for profit foundation, which offers four high quality and challenging educational programmes for a worldwide community of schools. For 45 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. The Primary Years Programme (PYP), operating since 1997, is offered in 976 schools worldwide. Currently, more than 1 million IB students attend nearly 3,500 schools in 144 countries. To learn more, visit

For further information, please contact:

Janneke Versteeg
Sr. Communications and Marketing Manager at the International Baccalaureate
+31 6 39015374
Kurt Heinrich
Public Relations Manager
Vancouver School Board
1580 West Broadway |
p: 604-713-5074 | c: 778-228-1610 | e: