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International Baccalaureate Q&A

January 9, 2009
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Q&A Session with CHS IB Coordinator Jeb Puryear

When will the final approval of the IB programme be received by Coppell High School?
Final approval is due to the district by mid-January. We have received positive feedback and do not expect any issues.

How many students do you anticipate enrolling in the IB programme?
I have put together approximately 110 proposed schedules. I would anticipate about 75 students will actually enroll for the upcoming year.

Have the teaching positions been finalized?
Nothing is final yet, but the following teachers will have the required training to teach IB: Mr. Bybee, Mr. Vergien, Ms. Alexander, Ms. Martin, Mr. Montana, Mr. Puryear, Mr. Melville, Ms. Whiting, Mr. Brock, Mr. Dutton, Ms. Kosh and Mr. VanderSchee.

What should middle school students consider when selecting courses for next year if they are interested in the IB programme when they get to CHS?
Take high school Spanish I and Pre-AP Algebra I in middle school. If possible, getting your technology credit would also be good. However, there are many paths to get to the IB program as you’ll see in next year’s course guide.

What should incoming freshmen consider when selecting courses for next year if they are interested in IB?
Try and get as many mandatory courses outside of the 4X4 requirement (4 classes of English, math, science and social studies) done by the end of sophomore year (e.g., a tech credit & PE). Also, if possible, try and get 3 credits of science by the end of sophomore year.

What is the major difference between IB & AP?
In a course, AP teaches a little bit about a great number of topics. IB covers less topics but goes much more in-depth on each topic.

How does the workload of IB compare to the work load of AP?
Total workload of IB is comparable to the workload of AP on a day to day basis. Each student’s schedule is unique and will determine their own workload.

What would you say to GT students about their ability to be successful in IB?
GT kids can do this! It is much more about academic interest and motivation than about volume of work. It is more about “how and why” than about the “who and what.” Students can tailor their academic interests in IB. Because there are different levels (higher and standard) each student can decide which courses to take at which levels.

What makes a student successful in the IB programme?
Success in the IB program will be much more determined by individual’s academic interest and motivation than by pre-requisite content knowledge or courses taken.

150 service hours seems like a huge number. How can students who are involved in activities outside school meet those requirements?
Students have 22 months (sophomore graduation to spring of senior year) to get their service hours done. Many of those activities can count towards the creativity, action and service requirements (e.g., team sports, theatre, dance.)

The extended essay of 4000 words is also daunting to some. What would you tell students?
Again, students have 22 months to write the essay. There are many checkpoints along the way to ensure students are on the right track.

Do students get a report card? How does GPA get calculated?
Students receive report cards at the same time as the rest of the school. Their GPA and class rank are determined the same way as their non-IB peers. Some schools (Texas Tech for example) grant automatic entrance into their Honors College to IB diploma recipients in lieu of a top 10% class rank!

When must CHS students make a final decision about the IB programme?
All CHS course selections (including IB selections) are due in the spring. Because this is a two year programme that begins during the summer prior to junior year, there are no transfers into the programme after the spring.

How can people learn more about IB at CHS?
Go to the district page under curriculum and assessments for an overview as well as http://www.ibo.org. You can contact me for dates and times of informational meetings and to discuss your student’s potential interest in IB at CHS.

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