International Baccalaureate

Judy Harrison — Coordinator


The Firestone High School International Baccalaureate Program's ultimate subject is humanity: the worlds, the works and the acts of human beings. It is, therefore, first an education in what we are and have been, and in the worlds we inhabit and have created - the worlds of thought and art, the social and physical worlds. It is, further, an education in the means of exploring those worlds and of creating new ones. Beyond this, it is an education that is evaluative, not merely factual and descriptive; it emphasizes the necessity of critical judgment, of respect for the finest in human achievement, together with the belief that a sense of the finest carries with it a capacity and even an imperative to live and act according to its demands.

The International Baccalaureate Program is designed to meet the highest standards required of any high school student in the world. Successful completion of the program earns the student a diploma recognized for university admission throughout the world and for course credit and advanced placement at leading colleges and universities in the United States (e.g., Stanford, Princeton, Columbia, Harvard, University of Michigan, Miami University, Ohio State University, etc.) The greatest value, however, lies in the program\'s intrinsic worth as a challenge and as a symbol of the greater achievement to which some students and teachers aspire.  The IB Program is a system of syllabuses setting forth the objectives in each course and examinations based on the concept that general education at the upper secondary level should encompass the development of all the main powers of the mind through which persons interpret, modify, and enjoy the environment. The intent is that students learn how to analyze and reach considered conclusions about people, their languages and literature, their ways in society and the scientific forces in their environment.

Embracing the last two years of secondary education, the curriculum of the program incorporates standards that assume a high level of achievement during prior years. The subjects are arranged according to six areas: Language A, Language B, Individuals and Societies, Experimental Sciences, Mathematics, and an Elective Area. The IB Diploma candidate must also take a unique course, the Theory of Knowledge, meet the CAS community service requirement and write an extended essay.

The six areas and the subjects which are taught in the IB Program at Firestone High School are as follows:

1.      Language A

·         Native Language

2.      Language B (Spoken Foreign Language)

·         French

·         Spanish

3.      Individuals and Societies (Social Studies)

·         History of the Americas

4.      Experimental Sciences

·         Biology

·         Chemistry

·         Physics

5.      Mathematics (Integrated Approach)

·         Year 1

·         Year 2

6.      Elective Area (Drawn from)

·         Arts

·         ITGS

·         Second Science

·         Third Language

Additional Requirements:

  •   Extended Essay of Independent Project in one of the subjects, including a 4,000 word extended essay. This is an in-depth study of a limited topic within a subject. It provides an opportunity to engage in independent research at an introductory level. Preparation and writing time should be about 40 hours.
  • The Theory of Knowledge Course of 100 hours extended over two years including the nature of scientific proof, the social sciences, the nature of values, and the essence of truth. In fact, the Theory of Knowledge is the seventh college level course needed to meet the Diploma requirements.
  •  A Creative, Active, Service Project (CAS) actively pursued at least 3 to 4 hours a week or the equivalent over the two years in either a balanced range of different activities or in a single project. Evaluation by the school and self-evaluation by the student will be an ongoing process throughout the two-year diploma period.

In selecting the six subjects, the candidate must decide on three to be studied at the higher level and three at the subsidiary level. Currently, Language A, History, Chemistry and Biology are offered at the higher level at Firestone.  Individuals with an international educational background may take their native language as a Language A and English as a language A or B. For further details, contact the IB Coordinator.

Written examinations are given to a fixed schedule in May. Beginning in early August, transcripts of the candidate\'s performance in the IB program are distributed to universities as requested and to the students.

A student unable to fulfill the requirements of the Diploma can receive, upon graduation from the school, a certificate for IB examinations successfully taken. The certificate with qualifying grades is also given consideration by universities for possible individual course credit.