Community Service CREDIT: Graduation requirement
All students are expected to complete an annual Community/Service Learning activity in order to be promoted into the next academic year. Students substantially benefit from the learning and character development, which are the main aims of this program. Students in grades 9 and 10, alongside teachers and non-profit organizations, volunteer their time and services in the community and gain service credits; the activities vary depending on the needs of the organization. Credits are awarded based on evaluation by an on-site supervisor. Students in grades 11 and 12 work on group projects aimed to meet an identified, genuine, community need. Students initiate, plan, do, and reflect on their community projects, and publicly present/demonstrate their projects and experience to a broader audience.
Open to grade(s): 9, 10, 11,12
Counseling CREDIT: Graduation requirement
Grades 9 and 10: The program provides support through group classes and individual advising in order to promote personal, social, and academic development. The classes address the needs of the students with structured activities as part of a comprehensive school counseling curriculum (team building, academic course planning, education autobiography drafting, summer school applications, PSAT testing). At the end of year 2, students are equipped to make autonomous choices about their academic track for the upcoming two years, as well as extracurricular and service learning commitments. Grades 11 and 12: This comprehensive university admissions counseling program guides students through all relevant application procedures required for studies abroad (credential and holistic systems). Students meet on a weekly basis in the Counseling classes and work closely with their grade-level academic counselor on defining their individual post-HS graduation plans. The workshop-style classes guide students through the university application process, wherein they learn how to create a CV and/or resume, compose a personal statement/motivation letter, understand entry requirements for different pathways, gather relevant documentation, shortlist and research universities of choice, and apply for summer programs/internships and universities and colleges.
Open to grade(s): 9, 10, 11,12
Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS)
CAS is organized around three strands: creativity (exploring and extending ideas leading to an original or interpretive product or performance), activity (physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle) and service (collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic need). Typically, a student’s CAS programme combines planned/unplanned singular and ongoing experiences. All are valuable and may lead to personal development. However, a meaningful CAS programme must be more than just a series of unplanned/singular experiences. Students must be involved in at least one CAS project during the programme. The CAS programme formally begins at the start of the DP and continues regularly for at least 18 months with a reasonable balance between creativity, activity and service. All CAS students are expected to maintain and complete a CAS portfolio as evidence of their engagement with CAS.
Open to grade(s): 11,12
Theory of Knowledge (TOK) CREDIT: 1.5
Theory of Knowledge is a 3-semester core subject required for all IB Diploma candidates. TOK is a course about critical thinking and inquiring into the process of knowing. It provides an opportunity for students to reflect on the nature of knowledge, to make connections between areas of knowledge and to become aware of their own perspectives and those of the various groups whose knowledge they share. As part of the course assessment, students complete one presentation in class and write one essay from a prescribed list of six titles released by the IBO. TOK contributes to the overall diploma score through the award of points in conjunction with the extended essay. A maximum of three points are awarded according to a student’s combined performance in both TOK and the extended essay.
Pre-requisite(s): a diagnostic test Open to grade(s): 11,12
Extended Essay (EE)
The Extended Essay is a required, externally assessed piece of independent research required for all IB Diploma Programme candidates. Students undertake research on a chosen topic and present it as a formal piece of academic writing of up to 4,000 words. It is intended to promote high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery and creativity while engaging students in personal research. Students are guided through the process of research and writing by an assigned supervisor (a teacher in the school). All students undertake three mandatory reflection sessions with their supervisor, including a short interview, or viva voce, following the completion of the extended essay. Extended essay topics may be chosen from a list of approved DP subjects, normally one of the student’s six chosen subjects for the IB diploma or the world studies option. The extended essay contributes to the student’s overall score for the diploma through the award of points in conjunction with theory of knowledge. A maximum of three points are awarded according to a student’s combined performance in both the extended essay and theory of knowledge.
Open to grade(s): 11,12
Foundation in Research Course (FiRC) provides an opportunity for students to pursue advanced research on a topic of their choice as a viable project for presentation, and, potentially, for publication and competition. Students in this course will be introduced to the literature review, research, APA/MLA writing style, qualitative research methods, the scientific method, statistics, discipline specific types of investigations, and a variety of laboratory techniques. The research proposal and/or experimental design developed by the student with direction from their mentor will be implemented to gather and evaluate data. The data will be used to develop a quantitative or qualitative research paper for presentation to NOVA faculty (defense committee). Students will be assessed on oral presentations, research proposals/literature reviews/annotated bibliography, mentor contacts, and written reports.
Open to grade(s): 11,12