What is IB?


The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma program is a comprehensive and rigorous two-year curriculum, for juniors and seniors, leading to examinations, for students aged between sixteen and nineteen. Based on the pattern of no single country, it is a deliberate compromise between the specialization required in some national systems and the breadth preferred in others. The general objectives of the IB are to provide students with a balanced education, to facilitate geographic and cultural mobility, and to promote international understanding through a shared academic experience. In the thirty years since its founding, the IB Diploma has become a symbol of academic learning, both in terms of the mastery of subject content and in the development of the skills and discipline necessary for success in a competitive world.

The IB curriculum at Douglas County High School consists of six subject groups:

  • LANGUAGE A - (English) including the study of selections from World Literature
  • LANGUAGE B - (second language) French and Spanish
  • INDIVIDUALS AND SOCIETY - European History, Psychology and Philosophy
  • EXPERIMENTAL SCIENCES - Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Environmental Systems & Societies
  • MATHEMATICS - Math Studies, Math Methods, and High Level Mathematics
  • SIXTH SUBJECT - Music, Art, Theater, Business Management, Computer Technology or chose from Group 3 or 4

All IB Diploma candidates are required to take one subject from each of the groups. At least three and not more than four of the six subjects are taken at the Higher Level, the others at Standard Level. Each examined subject is graded on a scale of 1 (minimum) to 7 (maximum). The awarding of the diploma requires a minimum of 24 points and the satisfactory completion of three additional requirements:

The Extended Essay of 4,000 words, which provides the experience of the independent research paper;

A course entitled Theory of Knowledge (TOK), which analyzes the knowledge acquired within and beyond the classroom; and

Participation in a weekly commitment of creativity, activity and service oriented experiences (CAS).

Bonus points may be awarded for an exceptional essay or performance on Theory of Knowledge.

Students successfully completing the IB program will receive two diplomas: one from the IB and one from Douglas County High School.

Douglas County High School also provides the completion of the Middle Years program for grades 9-10.

Approximately 75-80% of Diploma candidates earn the Diploma. The student who does not satisfy the requirements of the full program is awarded certificates for examinations completed. Only schools officially approved by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) are authorized to offer the curriculum and to have students take examinations. More than 4,000 schools so far have chosen to teach International Baccalaureate® (IB) programs, with their unique academic rigor and their emphasis on students’ personal development. Those schools employ over 70,000 educators, teaching more than one million students worldwide.

The International Baccalaureate is based in Geneva, Switzerland, with administrative offices in London, New York, Buenos Aires, and Singapore. The Examinations Office, located in Cardiff, Wales, in the United Kingdom, oversees two examination sessions per year. The May session serves the large majority of candidates; schools in the Southern Hemisphere subscribe to a smaller November session. Approximately 2000 individual examiners worldwide participate in assessment of student work.

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