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What is the history of International Baccalaureate?

Founded by educators in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1968, International Baccalaureate was created to provide a consistent, high-quality educational program for international families. Over the years, its applicability and value for students of all backgrounds have led to adoption by schools all over the world. Only schools that have been thoroughly vetted by the International Baccalaureate Organization can earn official designation as International Baccalaureate World Schools.

Currently, there are 2,600 International Baccalaureate World Schools in 134 countries. There are 20 International Baccalaureate World Schools in the state of Ohio, and only three in Northeast Ohio. Shaker will be one of the first school systems in the state to implement the International Baccalaureate program at every grade level.

Why is International Baccalaureate a good fit for St. Edward High School?

IB is St. Edward High School and St. Edward High School is IB. The mission of IB and the IB Learner Profile are closely aligned with the philosophy of St. Edward High School. Both organizations value relationships, excellence, faith, and servant leadership as well as the value of becoming a lifelong learner. 

How does the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme differ from Advanced Placement?

They differ from course to course, but are always highly regarded, typically providing study in much greater depth, and expecting assimilation of information and, especially, an ability to apply that information. (For more information, you may click "AP vs. IB" here to download the publication from which is in .pdf format.) The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme requires students to develop proficiency in six areas: native language, a second language, social studies, the sciences, mathematics, and the arts. The creativity, action, service component requires students to learn actively through the experience of performing real-world tasks. It can be taken concurrently with AP courses. Read more from U.S. News & World Report.

What courses do IB students take?

Students who choose the IB Diploma Programme complete 6 courses focused on Language and Literature (English), Language Acquisition (foreign language), Mathematics, Sciences, Individuals and Societies (social studies), and the Arts.

Students must also complete an extended essay, an in-depth research project relating to one of the six courses they take; Theory of Knowledge, a seventh academic course that ties together the other academic disciplines and serves as a capstone class; and Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) hours, which require involvement in athletics, clubs and volunteerism.


What is the Extended Essay?


The Extended Essay is a 4,000 word piece of original research conducted by each IB Diploma candidate. It is completed between second semester of junior year and first semester of senior year. The student researches and writes on a topic of his/her choosing, and has an Extended Essay Advisor, as well as a Faculty Coach to help with the essay. 


What is Theory of Knowledge?


Theory of Knowledge, or TOK, is a seminar-type course that explores the linkages between subject areas (courses). It is part existential, philosophical, psychological and metaphysical. It, also, is taken between second semester junior year and first semester senior year. Students submit a presentation-tape and reflective paper, in order to successfully complete the course.


What is CAS?


CAS stands for Creativity-Action-Service. In order to successfully complete the IB Diploma Program, each student must have documented 150 hours of after-school activities (during junior & senior year) that are evenly split among creative, action, and service oriented endeavors. Every student has a CAS Advisor, and reflects on learnings from the endeavors. (During pre-IB (grades 9 & 10) 50 hours must also be completed.)


What is the average amount of time one should expect to spend on homework each night in pre-IB and IB? How should we study? 

From one to four hours per night: your study style is your own, but it is advisable to exercise good time-management skills.    

How many IB exams are there, and when do students take them?

A student will take six IB exams, including one literature course, one foreign language, one social science, one experimental science, one math, and one arts course. The arts course can be replaced by a second social science, a second experimental science, or a third language. Of the six exams, three are taken at the standard level (after a minimum of 150 teaching hours), and three taken at the higher level (after a minimum of 240 teaching hours). 

IB students are expected to take their examinations at the conclusion of the 2 year Diploma Program. However, the IBO permits students to take one or two standard level examinations at the end of junior year, upon the recommendation of the school's IB Coordinator. Higher level exams can only be taken at the end of the senior year.

How do we decide which SL and HL courses to take?

Read the information provided on the website regarding courses and curriculum, consider your strengths and weaknesses, confer with your teachers and councilor, IB upperclassmen, parents, your diploma coordinator, and consider your college & career options.   


Is it beneficial to take an SL examination in the junior year?


If one is looking for an elective space in grade 12 and/or a 'testing experience', it is beneficial. On the other hand, instruction may be too condensed to cover the material, thereby effecting a higher exam score. It is truly an individual - student by student - decision. 

Do all students who attempt the IB Program earn the IB Diploma?


No. Approximately 85% of the SEHS IB seniors earn IB Diplomas. The IB Program sounds like a lot off extra work. What are the advantages of enrolling in the IB Program?

Students with IB Diplomas, who now attend universities, report that their involvement with IB has given them the tools needed to succeed at university and to make the most of their post-secondary education. In particular, students comment on their sense of preparedness, their self-confidence, their research skills, their ability to manage their time, and their willingness to be actively engaged in their own learning. Even more importantly, they have developed a sense of the world around them, their responsibility to it, and the skills with which to embrace the complexities of life. The IBO often employs a variety of phrases to describe these traits and abilities: "learning how to learn," "life-long learners," "critical and compassionate thinkers," and, "informed participants in local and world affairs."

Can my son take IB classes without enrolling in the IB Diploma Programme?

Yes. Students may enroll in certain IB courses without being in the IB Diploma Programme. Upon completion of the two-year course, the student will be awarded an IB Certificate in that subject area.

Can an IB exam be taken without having taken the course?


No. Part of the student's final grade comes from work done in the classroom also known as internal assessments or IAs.

Is there an extra cost for my son to participate in the IB Programme?

Although there is no additional cost in tuition for your son to be an IB student, registration and tests fees will be incurred by the family when their son sits for his IB exams. Typically, registration and test fees are charged at the beginning of the senior year. However, fees can be assessed as early as the junior year if a student takes a standard level, one year IB class requiring him to sit for the exam at the end of grade 11.


Can students with special needs participate in an IB program?


The IBO has established policies for accommodating students with special needs and St. Edward High School has its own special needs policy.

Who should enroll in the IB Diploma Programme and how will DP students be supported? 

Any student is eligible for the program. We welcome any student who wishes to challenge himself with a rigorous academic program that will prepare the student for lifelong learning. St. Edward High School has specific expectations for students pursuing the diploma and supports to help students achieve their goal of earning the diploma. Read more at What Makes a DP Learner?


Built from questions and answers from the Global IB community, specifically:;

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