ICSV is one of the few Christian schools around the world that offers the IB Diploma Programme (DP). As such, we are a forward thinking school that truly embraces the international aspect of our community. After many years of research and preparation, the School Board approved the implementation of the IB DP for the 2015-2016 school year. Our IB program has received full recognition as an IB World School and approval by the BMBF in Austria. Our name is now included on the ENIC-NARIC list that provides information to institutions of higher education about Austrian schools with IB programs.
Here is what one researcher has to say about the IB DP.
According to Gunther (2004-2005), “The IB Diploma Programme (DP) offers a curricular framework for the last two years of high school. Many recognize the DP as the crème de la crème of college preparatory programs for highly motivated students. The balance of academic rigor, community service, appropriate breadth and depth of curricula, and an integrated global perspective are enticing to … Christian educators as they strive to develop globally minded Christians. A growing body of quantitative studies suggests that the DP improves GPAs throughout the college tenure of IB diploma students (Kolb 2004).”
Under the direction of IB Coordinator, Lisa Schra, a cohort of juniors has been working on their first year of this two-year program. The IB teachers have all attended special training and have worked hard in preparing for these new courses. Over the next couple of weeks, the students are taking mock IB exams in order to assess their progress. IB teachers have been asked to inform us of areas where we need to better prepare our students for this rigorous course of study. Creating courses that will serve to prepare all students who desire to tackle the IB program will be an initiative in the upcoming years.
One area that the school has already considered is our math and science offerings at the middle school level. Beginning next year, all seventh-grade students will be able to take Pre-Algebra, so that they are on track to complete Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Geometry by the end of their sophomore year. In addition, all eighth graders will take Physical Science for high school credit, so that they can complete Biology and Chemistry prior to taking advanced science courses as upper classmen.
A word of thanks goes out to Lisa Schra, Isadora Laury, Cynde Morgan, Robert Dax, and to all the staff and faculty who have helped to make IB DP a reality for our high school students. One of ICSV’s academic goals reads:
To attain and maintain academic distinction in the scholastic program, striving for quality and improvement, rejecting mediocrity, and modeling and insisting on the highest standards of excellence.
The IB Diploma Programme is one tool that we are using to meet this goal.
Gunther, K (2004-2005) CSE Volume 8 Number 2, Christian Schools and the IB Curriculum, pp. 22-24.