Three elementary schools that feed into Sandy Springs’ Riverwood International Charter School have received International Baccalaureate certification, making Riverwood the first Fulton cluster to be completely certified.

Heards Ferry, High Point and Lake Forest elementary schools have been certified by the elite education organization, the Fulton County School System announced Sept. 14.

Riverwood International Charter School was certified in 1999 and Ridgeview Charter School in 2009, the district said in a press release.
IB certification is a long process that includes consultations and verification visits from the international organization. Becoming an IB school allows it to be part of global of network of schools that focus on the personal development of students and academic rigor, according to the website.

Schools pay thousands in fees to apply and annual fees each year to be a member. There are also fees associated with the special tests administered to students, according to the website.

Lib Roberts, High Point’s certification coordinator, said in the press release that the certification is expected to increase student performance and provide more opportunities for students after graduation.

“The greatest benefit will be that entire generations of students will begin to see the world as a more connected place where people with varied heritages and cultures are able to celebrate and embrace our human commonalities rather than our differences,” Roberts said in the release.