Credit: Sagine Morency

Recently, Harlem’s Young Diplomats Magnet Academy achieved IB status. IB or International Baccalaureate, a non-profit educational foundation motivated by its mission, focuses on the student. It has four programs for pre-university age intervals. The Academy participates in the Primary Years Programme, or IB-PYP which fixates on 3 to 12 year olds. The certification makes it the first IB program implemented in a public school.

This prestigious ranking did not come easily, or cheaply. Principal Denise Desjardin shared the details with DNAinfo New York.

Requirements include the staff and school itself to acquire certifications. For example, each of the school’s 25 teachers had to take a $600 online program. Some options even call for teachers to travel internationally.

These actions go towards shaping children into the IB-PYP profile student. Those students fit the characteristics of inquirers, thinkers, communicators, risk-takers, knowledgeable, principled, caring, open-minded, balanced, and reflective.

How did P.S. 242 manage to pay the fees for these tasks? Harlem Children’s Zone, a nonprofit organization, has decided to take on the $7,500 annual fee needed for the school’s IB authorization.

Mothers like Kay Hutchinson cannot contain their pride in the school’s new certification. “It gets the school recognition,” says Hutchinson, 40. “It lets you know that it is a good school.”

Hutchinson said her 9-year-old son shares in her excitement because he school, “especially math, he wants to be an engineer or the president.” He’s in fourth grade.

The Harvest Feast held on November 21st plans to include a celebration of the school’s success and further inform parents about their new journey.

“We are the pioneers of the public school system,” Desjardin told DNAinfo. “We’re very happy that we were able to accomplish it.”


Admission for the 2015-2016 school year starts in February.

For more information, visit the school’s website:

http://www.ps242.com/