Home / Top News / Alto International School Receives Accreditation for the Prestigious International Baccalaureate Diploma and Announces New Head of School

Alto International School Receives Accreditation for the Prestigious International Baccalaureate Diploma and Announces New Head of School

MENLO PARK, Calif., Feb. 13, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Alto International School is delighted to announce that it received accreditation for the International Baccalaureate Diploma for grades 11 and 12 beginning with the 2018-19 academic year. This is a significant milestone in the history of Alto as it is now the only school in the Bay Area offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) continuum from preschool through high school. At this auspicious time Alto will also welcome a new Head of School, Michael Chapman. Mr. Chapman is an experienced school leader who previously headed schools in the United Kingdom, Austria, and Colombia. He will join Alto in July 2018.

The International Baccalaureate distinguishes itself as a program with unique academic rigor and an emphasis on students’ personal development. This challenging educational program is offered by a worldwide community of schools striving to create a better, more peaceful world. An IB education is recognized and highly regarded by universities in the United States and around the world. “Highly selective institutions like Stanford perceive IB students as strongly prepared, capable, ready to take on the challenges of the curriculum that we offer. Our schools tend to have a higher expectation for students coming in just because the nature of our student bodies are highly prepared and the IB students are among those who are ready to tackle whatever it is we can offer them in the very beginning,” said Debra Von Bargen, Former Assistant Dean of Admission at Stanford University in a videotaped interview.

Current Head of School, Sally Thorogood is stepping down for family reasons but will continue as Elementary School Principal, a role she held at Alto for six years. Alto Board Chair John Furlan said, “We are proud and excited about this accreditation, and thank Sally and her team for this accomplishment. At this important time Michael will join to help us write the next chapter of the school. He has led and shaped many successful IB schools during his career, and we are looking forward to welcoming him this summer.”

Mr. Chapman was most recently Head of School at the distinguished Colegio Anglo Colombiano in Bogota, Colombia. The Anglo, an IB World School with almost 2,000 students, is one of the most successful schools in Latin America. Prior to working in Colombia, Michael was a school leader in Austria at the St. Gilgen International School for five years. Before that he was Head of School in the UK for 20 years, where he was awarded the title of “National Leader of Education,” the highest school leadership accreditation in the UK obtained only by the top 1.5% of school leaders with a proven outstanding track record.  

Alto International School started its journey to become an IB World School in 2007 when it received the Primary Years Program accreditation for preschool and elementary school. Subsequently, the school implemented the Middle Years Program for grades 6 to 10 in 2013. By receiving the accreditation for the Diploma Program for grades 11 and 12, Alto becomes the only school in the Bay Area that offers the complete IB Program to students, preschool to high school. Sally Thorogood, outgoing Head of School explained, ”It is a credit to Alto’s staff and members of the school community that the IB Organization has recognized the quality of work undertaken to achieve this accreditation. The Board took a bold strategic decision several years ago to expand the IB program offered at Alto to include the Diploma Program, and I am delighted that this vision has now been realized.” She added, “We are excited for the students who will benefit from studying for the IB Diploma. Diploma students are recognized as being exceptionally well-prepared to succeed in top colleges and universities in the United States and around the world. Their experience and skills distinguish them as potential leaders and significant contributors in a global context.”

About Alto International School
Alto International School is an independent school in Menlo Park, CA serving 250 students from preschool through high school and representing more than 40 nationalities. Alto’s mission is to provide an outstanding international, multilingual education focused on inquiry-based learning with the goal of fostering confident, creative and responsible learners and global thinkers. Alto is an International Baccalaureate World School, accredited by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). It is the only Bay Area school offering the IB from preschool through high school. For more information, go to https://altoschool.org/  Media contact: Andrea Boren, [email protected], 650-644-1700 

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