IB program earns positive appraisal


IB history students work to compile primary and secondary sources for a self produced “textbook.” Instead of traditional course book, students put together photos, scholarly articles, and other evidence pertaining to slavery and its lasting effects on America.

Josephine Rozzelle, Senior Reporter

Following a three­-year application process, Convent and Stuart Hall high schools have begun their first year as International Baccalaureate World Schools, with the new program already garnering positive responses from IB students.

“I’m definitely happy with the program,” junior Olivia Matthes said. “The classes are interesting and engaging.”

Students enrolled in the Diploma Programme take two-­year long courses that provide time for more depth and thought into the topics students are studying.

“I like the long­-term, two­-year effect of the program,” Matthes said. “You can just get on a study course of what you’re learning and carry it out.”

The rigor of the IB path may be a welcomed characteristic. Many students appreciate the new challenge and learning style behind the program.

“I like the fact that it’s a two-­year program because I know that will keep me focused for the next two years,” junior Katie Thomis said. “The information that I’m learning now I am going to need at the end of my senior year, so it really motivates me to pay attention.”

A combined thirty juniors from the two schools opted to participate in the program, reaching the administration’s goal for the first year.

“Students feel challenged but appropriately challenged,” Devin DeMartini Cooke, IB Diploma Programme Coordinator, said. “The Diploma Programme is definitely a higher level of thinking. It asks a little bit more of them but it is relevant and exciting work.”

Students are also required to log creativity, activity and service hours to receive the IB diploma. Creativity hours involve extra curriculars such as participating in the school play and activity hours are gained by physical activity such as playing a sport.

“I like logging hours because it’s motivating me to do those things,” junior Mary Crawford said. “Because of having to log hours, I have started to go to the gym and I try to do more service.” The Diploma Programme also offers a new style of thought within the classroom, according to Thomis.

“My classes are tough but they’ve got me thinking in a new way,” Thomis said. “It’s not just memorizing, you really have to think about the information you’re learning, which is cool but hard at the same time.”

Crawford agrees.

“I like that the program is very much analysis based,” Crawford said. “You are given facts, but then you go and make your own conclusions about them.”

The international aspect of IB was one of the reasons Matthes decided to participate in the diploma program.

“I expected it to be only internationally focused in humanities classes,” Crawford said, “We’ve actually been talking about applications of biology and math around the world.”
Students are pleased with their decision to take part in the Diploma Programme, according to DeMartini Cooke.

“I am happy that students are enjoying what they are doing because that is really important for the success of the program,” DeMartini Cooke said. “You want to enjoy what you’re learning and it’s going to make it that much easier for you to gain new knowledge and have interesting conversations.”