While kids are playing on the beach this summer with nary a thought of school, there are others laying a foundation for Incline Village’s educational future.

Teachers are being trained, money is being raised and the groundwork is being laid for an International Baccalaureate program for kindergarten through 12th grade students in Incline Village.

The International Baccalaureate Program is an internationally recognized curriculum that offers 11th and 12th grade students an opportunity to earn the highly-acclaimed IB diploma. To earn the IB diploma, students complete and test in six IB subjects; write an extended essay of independent research guided by a faculty mentor, complete 150 hours of creative, action, and service activities; and participate in a critical thinking course called Theory of Knowledge.

The IB diploma is the crowning goal of the program, but when IB is implemented at all grade levels, the IB program creates a relevant, engaging, challenging and significant educational framework for all children.

Why is Incline Village working toward an IB program? This past spring, a group of community members met frequently to assess education in our community. While it was agreed that Incline is offering a high quality education (Incline High School has been one of Newsweek Magazine’s Top High Schools for the past five years), there has been a decline in enrollment as families move out of the area due to the increased cost of resort living.

Having an IB program in place, especially one that goes from kindergarten on up, will attract families with highly-motivated students to move to our community, adding another feather to Incline’s cap. In Nevada, there are only three high schools, two middle schools and one elementary school with IB programs. In California, those numbers are 84, 22 and 13 respectively. An IB program will set Incline Village education apart.

Organizers of the IB program hope to initiate the Diploma Programme, which is an Advanced Placement-like system for grades 11-12 by the 2011-12 school year, with full implementation for all grades by the 2012-13 school year.

There’s something for parents to think about when watching their children at the beach.