The Board of Education meeting has begun. Interested viewers can watch online at philasd.org/live, on Comcast Channel 52 and on Verizon Fios Channel 20.
(11th and 12th grades) Students may be full diploma candidates or take individual courses. Full diploma candidates take exams in all six subject areas (three at higher level and three at standard level), participate in Creativity, Activity, and Service (C.A.S.) hours of their choosing, write an extended essay of 4000 words, and complete the Theory of Knowledge course. All accepted IB DP students have a designated guidance counselor, Dr. Soda. Students who take individual certificates take the exam in those subject areas. Students not part of the IB Program require the approval of the IB Coordinator (Aviva Snyder in Room 144) and the specific teacher to take IB courses.
IB classes are college-preparatory classes that carry the same weight, rigor, and potential for college credit as AP classes. Their focus is interdisciplinary, international, and metacognitive; students are encouraged to see the connections between subjects and to consider where knowledge comes from. Students who complete the IB Diploma Program successfully achieve an internationally-recognized distinction and frequently have enough credits to begin college as sophomores. Students interested in the IB Diploma Program should see Mrs. Snyder in Room 144.
This is a two-year intensive pre-university course designed to study language and literature through classic and contemporary world masterpieces. Students will develop critical thinking abilities through discussion of, and writing about, various literary works. This rigorous course of study, aimed at highly motivated students, includes external and internal assessments. During the second year of the course, there will be additional readings and more detailed papers in response to the literature. Students will receive more in-depth preparation for internal assessments and the IB Higher Level English exam (given in May of the senior year). Prerequisite: Acceptance into the IB Diploma Program.
This is a comprehensive two-year course designed to cover key American and world history topics. IB History HL puts a premium on developing the skills of critical thinking, and on developing an understanding of multiple interpretations of history. Teachers explicitly teach thinking and research skills such as comprehension, text analysis, transfer, and use of primary sources. There are six key concepts that have particular prominence throughout the DP history course: change, continuity, causation, consequence, significance and perspectives. Specifically, the junior year focuses on a broad array of topics ranging from European exploration and conquest to the United States’ Civil War. In the senior year, students embark on an in-depth comparative case study of the Civil Rights Movement in both the United States and apartheid-era
South Africa; and a range of 20th Century wars and subsequent independence movements. Prerequisite: Acceptance into the IB Diploma Program
This is a one-year course that caters to students with varied backgrounds and abilities. It is designed to build confidence and encourage an appreciation of mathematics in students who do not anticipate a need for mathematics in their future studies. Students embarking on this course need to be equipped with fundamental skills and a rudimentary knowledge of basic processes. Prerequisite: Algebra 2, which can be completed online or at CCP. Additionally, IB Diploma students who did not double up sophomore year can take Algebra 2 during their junior year and IB Math Studies in their senior year.
This is a one-year course that is focused on the study of elementary functions, basics of calculus, vector geometry, matrices, probability and statistics, and other advanced topics along with an appreciation of the international dimensions of mathematics and the multiplicity of its cultural and historical perspectives. Mathematics SL is a demanding course due to the broad range of mathematical topics. Students will receive more in-depth preparation for internal assessments and the IB Mathematics SL exam (given in May of the junior year). IB Math SL includes material similar to that in Precalculus Honors through Calculus. Prerequisite: High grades in both Algebra 2 and Geometry.
This is a two-year course that is focused on the study of elementary functions, basics of calculus, vector geometry, matrices, probability and statistics, and other advanced topics along with an appreciation of the international dimensions of mathematics and the multiplicity of its cultural and historical perspectives. Mathematics HL is a demanding course due to the broad range of mathematical topics. Students will receive more in-depth preparation for internal assessments and the IB Mathematics HL exam (given in May of the senior year). IB Math HL includes material similar to that in Precalculus Honors through AP Calculus BC. Prerequisite: High grades in both Algebra 2 Honors and Geometry Honors.
B Biology SL is a one-year course; it can also serve as the first year of the IB Biology HL course. Biology SL covers a range of topics including cells, biochemistry, genetics, human physiology, ecology, and evolution. In addition to studying these topics in depth, students will also learn about cultural, historical, and philosophical issues pertaining to biology. Assessment includes the IB Biology SL exam at the end of the year and completion of a student-designed experiment. Prerequisite: “B” or better in Biology and Chemistry. Exam may be required. Instructor’s permission required.
IB Biology HL expands on the material from IB Biology SL; biochemistry, genetics, and evolution are studied in more detail, and the additional topics of animal physiology, plant physiology, and neurobiology and behavior. In addition to studying these topics in depth, students will also learn about cultural, historical, and philosophical issues pertaining to biology. Assessment includes the IB Biology HL exam at the end of the year and completion of a student-designed experiment. Prerequisite: IB Biology HL Year 1.
Students will study the science and social aspects of environmental and ecological issues such as food production, biodiversity, soil, atmosphere, and climate. We will examine public policy and law, ethics and societal changes as they relate to environmental challenges. ESS includes practical work, experimenting directly with environmental phenomena, examining real-world data, and contact with public officials and scientists who are involved in the field. There will also be opportunities for social action and the expression of legitimate concerns. Students will be expected to draw upon previous experiences with science and social science so they can actively participate in the class. The overall intention is to assist the student to become comprehensively aware of the issues involved and the science behind solutions to environmental challenges. Students will be required to design and carry out an independent research project. This course is an alternative (not a successor) to the regular Environmental Science: you may only take one or the other, not both. Prerequisites: “B” or better in Biology and Physics. Exam may be required. Instructor’s permission required.
IB Chemistry HL is taught over two years during junior and senior year. IB Chemistry is an experimental science that combines academic study with the acquisition of practical and investigational skills. Chemical principles underpin both the physical environment in which we live and all biological systems. Chemistry is often a prerequisite for many other courses in higher education, such as medicine, biological science and environmental science. Both theory and practical work should be undertaken by all students as they complement one another naturally, both in school and in the wider scientific community. The IB chemistry course allows students to develop a wide range of practical skills and to increase facility in the use of mathematics. It also allows students to develop interpersonal and information technology skills, which are essential to life in the 21st century. By studying chemistry students should become aware of how scientists work and communicate with each other. While the scientific method may take on a wide variety of forms, it is the emphasis on a practical approach through experimental work that characterizes the subject. Teachers provide students with opportunities to develop manipulative skills, design investigations, collect data, analyze results and evaluate and communicate their findings. Prerequisite: B or better in both Biology and Physics. Exam may be required. Instructor’s permission required.
Physics is the most fundamental of the experimental sciences as it seeks to explain the universe itself, from the very smallest particles to the vast distances between galaxies. Despite the exciting and extraordinary development of ideas throughout the history of physics, observations remain essential to the very core of the subject. Models are developed to try to understand observations, and these themselves can become theories that attempt to explain the observations. Besides helping us better understand the natural world, physics gives us the ability to alter our environments. This raises the issue of the impact of physics on society, the moral and ethical dilemmas, and the social, economic and environmental implications of the work of physicists. By studying physics students should become aware of how scientists work and communicate with each other. While the scientific method may take on a wide variety of forms, it is the emphasis on a practical approach through experimental work that characterizes the subject. Teachers provide students with opportunities to develop manipulative skills, design investigations, collect data, analyse results and evaluate and communicate their findings. Prerequisite: B or better in Physics. Exam may be required. Instructor’s permission required.
These IB level courses are designed to prepare the highly motivated language learner for their internal and external assessments in their senior year as to enable them to freely communicate in the target language in any given situation.
We offer Spanish, French, Italian, Latin*, and Mandarin (Chinese Language) IB classes.
Students will deeply delve into grammar and are expected to master complex tenses and concepts. Students will utilize and be assessed in the four domains of the language. They will familiarize themselves with the IB rubrics and gain comfort in speaking and writing in context.
Emphasis will be placed on higher ordered thinking and will be treated as a bilingual class where topics such as literature, history, culture and current events will be studied in the target language by using authentic materials and relevant literature. Students are expected to perfect their prior language skills at home (with guided help from the instructor), assuming that they have basically mastered the level 3 material.
February and March of senior year, the students will upload their written Internal Assessments and record their oral commentaries to be sent to the determined country to be graded. Later, in May, the students will complete the written portion of IB assessment.
* As Latin is a written language, there is not an oral component of the Internal Assessment. However, they will be required to analyze and translate predetermined works.
** Additionally, we offer all 5 languages at the Ab Initio level, which is for students with less experience and/or confidence in their chosen language. This pairs up with regular language 3 and 4 in the junior and senior year, respectively.
Philosophy is a systematic critical inquiry into profound, fascinating and challenging questions such as: What is it to be human? Do we have free will? What do we mean when we say something is right or wrong? These abstract questions arise out of our everyday experiences, and philosophical tools such as critical and systematic thinking, careful analysis, and construction of arguments provide the means of addressing such questions. The practice of philosophy deepens and clarifies our understanding of these questions, as well as our ability to formulate possible responses. IB Philosophy examines the core theme “Being human,” with a focus on political philosophy. We will explore classic philosophical texts and utilize artifacts from popular culture, specifically films and literature, in order to interrogate the extraordinary nature of “being human” in a political world. Prerequisite: Instructor approval required.
This is a one-year course in psychology. It is an intensive study of the subject incorporating three major perspectives: the biological, socio-cultural, and cognitive perspectives. Having acquired a thorough understanding of these approaches, the student will then apply this knowledge to acquire an understanding of dysfunctional behaviors from the point of view of each of these perspectives. The student will also learn the experimental method as used in psychological research so that they can successfully complete projects that are based on classic research in the field. Students are required to take an exam in May of the year in which the course is taken. Prerequisite: Instructor approval required.
The course aims to develop an awareness of how research findings can be applied to better understand human behavior. Students learn to employ cultural, ethical, and gender evaluations throughout their study of psychology to ultimately better understand the biological, cognitive and sociocultural influences on behavior. IB Psychology HL is intended to build upon prior higher-level psychology classes. Prerequisite: IB Psychology SL/HL1 or AP Psychology. Instructor approval required.
This is a two-year course which offers students extensive involvement in the study of art history, theory and criticism and relates this to their own studio work. This course is for students who are seeking to receive either an IB certificate or a diploma. This course of study is offered to students who choose to concentrate on research and develop art journals that record their research of historical and contemporary art forms. A multicultural and interdisciplinary approach to the study of art is emphasized and related production of art helps to highlight the role of visual arts to people from around the world. During the second year of the course, students will prepare specifically for their exhibition. There will be more emphasis on independent research, exploration and development. Students are required to complete their IB HL Visual Arts work, including the Comparative Study, the Process Portfolio and the Exhibition work. Prerequisite: Instructor approval required.
The Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course is central to the educational philosophy of the International Baccalaureate. It challenges students and their teachers to reflect critically on diverse ways of knowing and areas of knowledge and to consider the role which knowledge plays in a global society. It encourages students to become aware of themselves as thinkers, to become aware of the complexity of knowledge, and to recognize the need to act responsibly in an increasingly interconnected world. Assessment is based on a journal, in-class essays, research assignments, reading assignments and participation. Some assignments are prepared for internal and external assessment and are completed for a portion of the IB score. Students are required to take a full year of the course that begins the second half of the junior year and continues the first half of senior year. TOK is a required course for all diploma candidates.
An important component of the IB Diploma Program is creativity, action and service. To fulfill this requirement, students must take part in artistic activities (creativity); sports, expeditions or local or international projects (action); or community or social service projects (service). Participation in CAS raises students’ awareness of community needs and gives them an opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom to address those needs. It also gives them confidence in their ability to bring about change. All IB students are expected to record their activities and hours of service. The culminating exercise will be an evaluation of personal experiences.
*Administrators will have final approval for the placement of all students interested in IB courses and the IB Diploma program.