FAQ about IB at MVHS


    What does IB stand for?
    IB stands for International Baccalaureate. [The word baccalaureate has several definitions and is used in various ways. In France, baccalauréat refers to the culmination of a student’s studies at the lycée (high school). In some places, the term is used to refer to any program of studies leading to a diploma or degree.] Generally speaking, the International Baccalaureate Program can be considered a rigorous, comprehensive, university-preparatory program of studies with a global perspective.


    Why is it sometimes spelled “programme” instead of “program”?
    Because IB is an international program, sometimes certain words are not presented according to the American spelling convention. It really is as simple as that.


    Is this a study-abroad program?
    No. The word “international” in the name of the program indicates that the program is available globally and that there is a focus on international-mindedness; however, the IB DP is not a program for students wishing to spend a semester or year studying abroad.


    Which is better: IB, CGS, or AP?
    All of these are excellent SCPS Signature Programs and all of them do an exceptional job of preparing students for university study – they are all good, but different. So, the real question isn’t which is better but, “Which is right for me/my child?” Factors that influence the answer to this question include the student’s unique personal goals, preferences, and areas of interest/ability. Parents of highly-motivated and high-achieving middle school students should be sure to attend the SCPS Signature Program Night hosted each October, as well as any informational nights hosted by the Commonwealth Governors School or IB. In addition, parents will want to read through the CGS website and the SCPS APPX information page.


    How many IB classes should I take?
    The right number of IB classes depends on the student’s personal goals. In general, college-bound students should enroll in the most challenging classes in which they can earn A’s and B’s. To earn an IB Diploma, a student must take six IB courses during the junior and senior years. The IB program at MVHS also allows students to choose one or more IB classes and to combine the IB classes with courses from other offerings to create a 4-year sequence that is tailored to the individual student’s interests and abilities.


    Will I be able to take elective classes outside the IB program?
    Absolutely. Especially with the hybrid block schedule featured at MVHS, there is room in even the full IB Diploma Program for electives outside of IB.


    Will I be able to participate in sports or other extra-curricular activities while doing the program?
    It’s true that IB students tend to be very busy with their studies, but just about all IB students also pursue extra-curricular activities and participate in sports in addition to their academics. IB Students are typically very much involved and active in many facets of school life, from athletics to student government and clubs. Students in the full IB Diploma Program are required to complete CAS activities, which means they are expected to participate in extracurricular activities.


    Will I earn college credit for an IB course?
    Whether or not a student earns college credit for an IB course depends on two factors: (a) the IB policy at the college/university, and (b) how well the student performs on the IB assessments in the class.


    Can I enroll in an IB course but not take the exam?
    Students enrolled in IB courses are expected to take the corresponding IB exams.


    How much homework should I expect?
    In general, students in IB courses should anticipate homework in each class each evening. At times, that homework may be fairly quick and simple. At other times, the homework may be related to a large, ongoing, complex project or paper. Students find that they spend a varying amount of time on homework each night – depending on the student’s work habits and the type(s) of assignments. All IB and anticipated IB students are encouraged to keep a calendar of assignments, quizzes, and tests and are well-advised to plan ahead and use time wisely.


    More questions?
    Contact the IB Coordinator at MVHS, Theresa Gaddy gaddytm@staffordschools.net.

Last Modified on August 2, 2021