IB Information Night Audio & Notes

These are notes recorded by Wesley Fryer of the IB Information Night for grade 9-10 and grade 11-12 students at Classen School of Advanced Studies on November 18, 2014. An audio recording of this presentation is available for download or to play in your browser below. The entire presentation, which was in 2 parts, is 1 hour, 49 minutes long.

A multi-page handout for this evening was distributed and will be made available as a PDF document / download here soon. Also, Mrs. James has a PowerPoint we will link here as well.

First speaker: Amanda James, Assistant Principal of ClassenSAS
– IB is a great way to prepare students for college success
– Our goal is to prepare students to be effective and engaged global citizens
– IB is far more preparation (breadth of knowledge) than AP
– have six core areas of knowledge
– IB wants students to be interpreters of knowledge, not just recipients
– TOK = Theory of Knowledge, this course gives students an advantage over others, focuses on students learning to analyze, think and question
– EE is a research paper like a thesis, students spend a year and a half working on this, it is on a topic of the student’s choice
– Action – Service – Creativity: students serve the community
– focus is on “giving back” to the community

Know your students may struggle with the IB program
– encourage your students to persevere
– we are building a legacy here at Classen
– we have people calling from different states who want their children to come to school here
– our reputation as a school will suffer if lots of our students drop out before earning / achieving their IB diploma

PowerPoint presentation from Mrs. James is available, contact information for teachers is available

Mrs. Terri Schuelein is the IB counselor

Christy Brown, IB mathematics
– have 2 tracks currently
– depends if Algebra I starts in 7th or 8th grade
– if start in 7th, students are 2 years advanced, take Calculus in 11th grade and IB Math Studies in 12th
– IB test covers 4 years of math, students also do a mathematical research paper
– Mathematical Standards level: are tested on Alg 2, PreCalc, Calc, and Statistics
– also have paper 1 and 2 test

Karissa Porter, French teacher
– for foreign language, students really have control over how difficult 11th and 12th grade years are
– with more preparation early, those years can be much easier for students

Trina Brown, Spanish teacher and Foreign Language department chair
– students can pass through foreign language until 11th grade, but at that point they are expected to be able to independently handle everything which was presented previously to them
– IB language program is 2 year program
– not just about grammer and vocab, it’s about being able to express yourself on a variety of concepts
– students must write 400 word essay in class
– 250 word essay when they sit for the IB exam
– We have an internal IB assessment, students choose from 3 photographs and “on the spot” respond to those, they have to be prepared to discuss topics
– IB test has 2 papers on reading articles and answering questions about them
– reading, writing and speaking is what the IB language is about: much of it is also impromptu

Jim Warner
– Social Studies teacher
– IB Psychology teacher isn’t here tonight
– exam is broken into several sectuions, including internal assessment
– for papers students can choose the topic from a range of choices within the curriculum
– 1st paper is similar in format to what the AP uses
– senior year paper focused on European History themes
– IB tests are called paper 1, paper 2 and paper 3: these are actually parts of the same exam
– 1 hour document-based essay, write 45 minute essays for paper 2, then 3 questions out of 25 possible questions for exam 3

Carolyn Bish
– prepare students for SL and HL chemistry
– I start with students as 10th graders and work with them through 12th grade
– my students also do an experimental research paper, up to 10 pages long, is part of what they are scored on for IB
– doesn’t matter if they test standard level
– they will have 3 papers: 1st is multiple choice, 2nd is free response paper analyzing someone else’s experiment and data, 3rd paper is shorter
– integrating the different areas of chemistry is a big focus of the IB program
– Chemistry is the topic students all think is the most difficult, this year in 10th grade students will decide if they want to continue on with
– any of our state schools give 10 hours of chemistry credit for a score of 3 on the HL exam
– some of the topics covered in our course are higher level than the typical AP chemistry course
– this year I am preparing our 11th graders for the AP Chemistry exam

Alexander Lau
– teaches biology
– very challenging, there will be tears, there will be times you don’t think it’s possible
– but it IS possible!
– if you put the time and energy in, and stick with it, it is possible!
– why do we want an IB diploma? State legislature of Texas gives all IB graduates 24 hours of credit across the board (Colorado too possibly)
– we have had some students get 35 hours of college credit in Texas colleges previously as ClassenSAS grads, and those were students who did NOT have 30’s on their ACTs
– we are trying to get students ready for freshman and sophomore college classes
– Of the sciences, we have 4 quarters: Internal assessment (lab), lots of our students get 6 and 7 points (full points) on those lab exams
– everybody can have a bad day, but at the end of your senior year as you take those exams
– that is why we help students do so well on the first part of the exam
– follow the advice of your teachers who have been here and helped students for many years be successful in the IB program
– trust our guidelines
– plan it out, don’t procrastinate

TOK teacher (no introduction)
– Juniors start with TOK (theories of knowledge)
– now juniors are doing their own internal assessments, this is a class presentation which is tape recorded and later submitted
– students will be starting on their 4000 word extended essay, students return to that their Senior year because it must be completed by December
– Those topics don’t even come out until September of the senior year
– students are working hard on two essays right now
– why are all the deadlines at the same time? We don’t try to make students’ lives hard!
– we have deadlines from IB, so we back ours up so we have time to give feedback to students
– this year is first year: you can’t have a failing grade on extended essay or theory of knowledge and get the IB diploma (doesn’t matter how many points you get!)
– August of Junior year: CAS starts (tracking community service hours)

Mrs Terri Schuelein
– high school IB counselor
– job is to help students through IB and make sure students get an OKCPS diploma
– very important: 7 hours taken with IB classes the junior and senior year
– 1 year PE, 2 years of fine arts, 1 year of computers are OKCPS requirements
– all the rest are IB requirements

Now hearing from a current IB senior: Eli Jergenson
you have 6 subject areas
– native language, foreign language, history, science, mathematics, and another of your choosing (psychology or ____)
– also have a paper to write and tests to take for each one, which are in 3 parts
– standard level and higher level courses are offered
– 3 other supplemental things: extended essay (4000 words), TOK paper done fall of senior year and TOK presentation done during spring of junior year
– students usually do 3 at standards level, and do 3 at higher level
– some students do 4 at higher level if they are crazy, no one does 5 or should
– students are required to take at least 3 HL exams
– each exam is scored from 1 to 7, total of all 6 exam scores must be 24 or higher (really you should hit 28)
– although the program is challenging and difficult it is NOT impossible
– each step for each course is laid out in turn
– you may have several deadlines that hit at once, but some students give some leeway (like moving some test dates or paper deadlines)
– I wish people had stressed with me to stay on top of all assignments (example was in psychology, with outlines due each week – I got behind a little and that was tough)
– must be consistent with your work getting ready for exams
– averages for your SLs must be at a 4, that is a reason to NOT do more HLs

Mary, a former IB student, is now sharing
– graduated in IB program from ClassenSAS in 2006, when to college in San Antonio and decided to finish at OU where got a business degree in economics
– been working as senior business consultant with Grant Thornton here in OKC for past 3 years
– what I got out of the IB program besides college credit?
– such a rigorous program with a limited number of students, a little delight in bonding and getting close to classmates
– you make great friends here who are incredibly smart, they don’t always think the same way you do, this really enriches your experience in this comprehensive program
– I have more friends from IB at ClassenSAS than I do from OU who I keep in touch with
– IB really teaches you how to think about things
– I had some internships in college, each day I was asked to do creative problem solving working with new startup companies
– having background of how to think about things really opened up those opportunities for me
– because of the global perspective of IB, and foreign language, it really broadens your perspective
– it felt very natural to be being with diverse smart people at Classen moving into college courses, I was disappointed there that not everyone had the experiences I did in high school
– I started with about a year of college credit with IB and AP, can double up with both
– I did get some scholarships as well
– on the whole I was much more prepared for college, IB teaches a lot of autonomy for your work: deadlines and expectations
– knowing how to prepare myself to meet expectations
– college was not as challenging for me as it was for others because of my excellent preparation at ClassenSAS
– lots of my college classes, like ClassenSAS, involved discussion
– doing so many papers at ClassenSAS is so beneficial, because there are SO many papers for you to write in college
– key to develop those writing skills in high school!

students must HL English, and if you choose psychology as your 6th area you must HL it
– normal pattern is HL history, HL English, and either HL science or the elective

Jump from SL to HL in science or math is much bigger than it is in history

Curriculum for SL in English is totally different, that is why we just offer HL for English

In September of Senior year students select their HLs and SLs, must notify by end of October if they want to change
– students ARE choosing their 6 areas when they pick their courses starting their junior year

Lots of options for 6th IB: another language, psychology, philosophy, another science, art, music, theater

Higher level psychology does an experiment

CAS hours start in August of junior year
– is a list on the bulletin board for what counts
– should be balanced between creativity, action and service
– someone must sign off on them
– hours can also count for Honor Society and Key Club
– tutoring, volunteering at hospitals, food drives, any time spending time and energy and not getting paid for it (except homework!)
– sports can count for ‘action’

Rowing can count for CAS but not as a PE credit
– PE must be taken between 9th and 12th grade

Now shifting to testing and fee discussion, focusing for 11th and 12th grade IB students
– Mrs James is almost finished with May calendar for IB students
– is a fee associated with IB tests and application fee
– school covers application fee, and half of each test fees ($110 each, you have to pay $55 for all 6 tests, that is $330. Don’t have to pay for TOK)
– fees due before Christmas break, other half before February
– deadline for this year not set yet
– application fee is $120 per student, covered by OKCPS

IB Pledge form will be shared with freshmen and parents next year

TOK and extended essay: After Feb 1 we have sent in all the materials that will count!
– this means students can focus on other requirements!

How many kids don’t stay in the IB program
– we do lose kids from 6th grade to 12th
– we do have those numbers but not here tonight

Mr Alexander Lau:
– my 10th year of teaching at ClassenSAS, am a grad of OSSM, I went to medical school
– I see how well rounded our students are at graduation
– What I learned at OSSM about being organized, know strengths and weaknesses, I learned that at OSSM too
– those skills you are not going to get for free at any of these other high schools in Oklahoma
– this is an incredible education
– you are going to not just get the college credits
– you are going to move on to be a big fish at a larger institution, who gets into the honors college at your university
– ACTs and SATs have the kinds of questions we teach here for free
– if you can buy into your students’ education for 2 years, making those sacrifices, we are getting our kids ready for life success / career

From Dr Ashley Davis
– years ago when I taught here and my daughter attended, if a student was failing mid-year they would be kicked out and returned to their home school
– now that doesn’t happen, students are able to skate a little more
– we had over 500 applicants for 100 spots this year
– we don’t want kids to drop out of our program before 11th and 12th grade
– we expect your kids to give their best shot at completing our program, we want them to commit to going through the program

From counselor, Mrs Terri Schuelein
– most colleges are on the common application
– is a big section on that about IB candidate
– Booker T Washington in Tulsa is an IB certificate program, we are a diploma program
– certificate IB programs are more like AP, students pick and choose what they take in IB
– diploma program like ours (we are the only one in Oklahoma) is much more rigorous

This IB program is expensive for OKCPS
– dues to belong to IB are $10K per year (just to use the name IB)
– check is around $55K to get exams in each year
– this is an expensive program for OKCPS
– We are spending $85K per year for IB, that is why it’s important to look at our completion rates, OKCPS board members are understandably looking at this

91% of last year’s ClassenSAS students (2013) got their IB Diplomas
– 48 out of 52 students made it
– that was the highest ever
– first year of the program we had 10 out of 11

we have had more conversations with more international schools than EVER before, executives are coming to OKC from all over
– this is a very positive sign for OKC economy!

Students who are already in an IB or VPA program that is accredited can transfer into ClassenSAS

now we have a 945 student enrollment cap at ClassenSAS
– we would like to expand that!

Key decision points
– foreign languages decided
– math: Algebra I in 7th or 8th grade
– EE (extended essay) as Juniors: 2500 word essay by end of year, to be setup for success as seniors
– if students follow the process, they have their essay by December

OLAP has specific course and GPA requirements
– start talking with students about those requirements as early as 7th grade

Parent question about increasing rigor for grades 7-10, because many students face shock in 11th grade with the increased expectations/rigor of IB requirements

New stresses happen in 11th grade as students enter another developmental phase, and college is seen as much closer
– expectations change

Parent who had student at private high school here in OKC, with another student at ClassenSAS, quality of education at ClassenSAS was/is higher!

We are audited by IB every year, we have to submit different tests with different grades, and informed how we compare/stack up by world standards

From Mary: lots of students who get into college their freshman year don’t take it seriously enough
– they have so much freedom
– many of my peers messed up their GPAs their freshman years
– GPA does matter in college, to get jobs and into grad school
– take what you learn about time management and academic rigor, and don’t just think you can skate by your freshman and sophomore year even if it feels easier based on your IB experience

ACTs and GPAs can get out of state tuition waived
– how far away your student can go is a discussion to have with your children
– is about how much you want to spend on college

Speaker’s advice who came for PTSA presentation
– it’s about best fit
– go visit the schools
– don’t just base on the name
– make sure it’s a ‘fit’ for your child/student

In state of Florida, you have automatic acceptance with an IB diploma

Mrs James has link to all colleges/universities who give credit for IB
– site is updated once per year

In Oklahoma, University of Tulsa gives great IB credit but some others do not
– we (as ClassenSAS) are still working on educating our colleges and universities about the value of the IB diploma, to grant more credit

Taking 8 classes here at ClassenSAS is like taking 24 hours at college, which most colleges don’t allow
– it’s not advisable for 11th and 12th graders at ClassenSAS to have a job
– it’s not impossible though, it can teach more time management
– if there is not a need for the job financially for your family, it’s probably better not to have one if your student is in the IB program
– we have students now who have jobs, row every day, dance for Oklahoma ballet, etc
– many of our students amaze us at what they accomplish, how organized and disciplined they are

ACT: sign up to take it, find a test date that works for you
– they are on Saturday mornings
– take ACT early, probably not 9th grade because you don’t have enough math
– end of 10th grade is good for first run at ACT
– definitely in your junior year
– PSAT taken in October of Junior year, that is the qualifier for National Merit
– We do have fee waivers for ACT and SAT if students qualify for free/reduced lunch

Coasts look more at SAT, Oklahoma schools look almost exclusively at ACT
– some schools are not looking more “holistically” and not looking at those test scores

some full rides are given by colleges based on PSAT scores during the junior year
– some presidential scholarships/fellowships, parents and teachers need to know how important this is!

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