- Provide rigorous and broad-based curricula and assessments
- Maintain high academic standards common to schools worldwide
- Allow students to develop individual talents
- Foster critical and compassionate thinkers
- Open the window between the classroom and the outside world
- Foster a lifelong interest in learning as well as becoming an informed and responsible citizen
- Promote international understanding and a respect for the variety of cultures
- Facilitate university entrance around the world
Fresno High School is pleased to be offering an International Baccalaureate Program as an option for highly motivated and capable juniors and seniors. The IB program encourages young adults to be informed, tolerant and global as they attain a broad-based liberal arts background. The IB program is being used in schools around the world to prepare students for post-secondary success at any university internationally. Students that master all components of IB will graduate with two diplomas, one from Fresno High School and one from the IB.
So respected and recognized is the IB program, students completing it and passing all their exit exams receive sophomore status when entering many colleges. If that school is Stanford, please "pass go." You have just saved $31,000 on your freshman year.
In the meantime, understand that IB students participate as much, if not more than other students in extracurricular activities. IB students play sports, join clubs, hold student body offices, participate in band and chorus, perform in school plays, serve on newspaper and yearbook staffs, perform community service, attend proms, and hang out with friends, just like everybody else.
Also note that even though IB is a magnet program, its students are not isolated from the rest of the student body. Neither is the IB exclusive of regular Fresno High freshmen through seniors. We are all part of the special diversity of Fresno’s first high school. IB students are exposed to other students outside of IB in their electives, sports and other extracurricular activities. What is unique is that IB students have the added benefit of being in a group of similarly motivated students who develop a close bond over their high school careers.
The IB diploma requires the student to take specified classes and participate in other extracurricular activities, which adds up to a demanding academic regimen: The IB program requires courses in six major areas of study. At Fresno High School, the following choices are offered in the six major study areas:
- Language A: English
- Language B: French, German, Latin, or Spanish
- Individuals and Societies: History of the Americas (junior year), Twentieth Century Topics (senior year)
- Experimental Sciences: Biology, Chemistry, or Physics
- Mathematics: Mathematics SL (Trig, Stats, Calculus) or Math Studies (Trig, Stats, pre-Calculus)
- Electives: Film, Music, Psychology, Theater Arts, Visual Arts
To obtain the International Baccalaureate Diploma, candidates must:
- Successfully complete one course from each of the study areas listed under "What classes do I need to take?". The courses are one or two years in length and tests are taken in a combination of higher level and standard level of degrees of difficulty.
- Take the Theory of Knowledge course that explores the relationship between the various disciplines and encompasses the development of philosophy, civilization, and culture. Papers and oral work are required.
- Prepare and submit an extended essay of 4,000 words, working with one advisor.
- Complete a CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) program. This program requires students to spend 150 hours spread over the junior and senior years on extra curricular activities, portions of which must involve service to the school or community.
- All academic courses in the IB program are rigorously tested. Student success is determined by an extensive procedure involving written, oral, and aural work. A portion of the assessment is internal with samples mailed to assigned assessors around the world in April. The final examinations are taken in May, which are graded by international examiners. Students from all IB countries around the world are held accountable for the same level of achievement.
As an integrated program of study, the IB has many strengths: it enhances critical thinking, making connections across the curriculum; it has an international focus; it requires detailed and extensive assignments of oral and written skills; it places a high premium on extensive writing and research; and it asks students to serve their communities, engage in physical activities, and pursue artistic expressions. In addition, the IB Program emphasizes well roundedness and responsibilities of honorable leadership and compassion for others in our global community .The diversity of the Fresno High School student body is recognized as one of our strongest assets and is appropriately complemented by the mission of the IB Program. These features make the IB course of study one of the most challenging and comprehensive available for students in the eleventh and twelfth grades of high school.
Our IB classes replaced most of our Advanced Placement courses when we realized as a faculty that IB students' preparation exceeds the work that many schools do to prepare students to succeed on the AP examinations. While some schools teach the material focused primarily on the examinations, our laboratories, out of class essays, presentations, and other class assignments will go far beyond this focus.
Required IB assessments take place during the course of study, not just at the end, and the course of study must be planned with attention to the student's relative strengths and weaknesses, as well as to the enrichments available through the AP courses we offer. Theory of Knowledge, Extended Essay, and Creative, Action, and Service hours formalize the sort of work that we have promoted for years. Therefore, we see this program to further assert the superior preparation our students receive and thus to distinguish our school and showcase the abilities of our students.
Schools with IB programs show improvement in all student scores and increased interests in other challenging programs within the school by students who do not select the IB Program. Some IB coordinators also report that college admissions increase within the non-IB population. Our faculty has been favorably impressed by staff IB training and has come away with the sense that the IB program challenges students with critical thinking exercises and prepared writing.
Theory of Knowledge (ToK) class: The Theory of Knowledge class binds together the IB curriculum by exploring the relationships between the various branches of learning. It covers the development of philosophy, civilization and culture. It is a one-year class.
The 4,000-word essay is an extended essay done with the help of a mentor at Fresno High School on a subject chosen by the student. Subject matter and exact arrangements are very flexible, but once completed and turned in, the essay will be graded by experts in that field as assigned by the IB. This must be completed by April of the senior year.
CAS program: The CAS program is to get the student involved in his or her school and community. There are three components to the CAS program:
Creating, designing, planning, and/or participating in activities.
Sports, expeditions, or carrying out projects
Social service, tutoring aiding and organizing, assisting the elderly and needy
An IB Full Diploma senior will have a challenging schedule. Some juniors and most seniors involved in IB will have 4, 5, or even 6 IB classes. A schedule for a full IB candidate who hasn't taken any IB tests as a junior may look like this:
- Period 1- Biology SL (This is the advanced course. Students will have taken a basic course in Biology as freshmen.)
- Period 2- Mathematics SL (Calculus)
- Period 3- English 4 HL
- Period 4- Twentieth Century Topics (History)
- Period 5- Spanish 4 IB
- Period 6- Psychology IB
- Period 7- Theory of Knowledge
This student will take 6 tests, all in May of the senior year, one in each of the subjects. A full IB student can be expected to pay over $650 for the complete program. There is assistance on the fees for students who qualify and students will be given the opportunity to do fund raisers.
- Pre-IB English 1 (GATE)
- French, German, Latin, or Spanish
- 1 semester of Sociology + 1 semester of elective
- Pre-IB Biology
- Pre-IB Algebra 1, Geometry, or Algebra 2
- (Art, Music, Drama, JROTC, etc. if 7 classes are taken)
Our goal at Fresno High started with our IB ninth graders in 2002-2003. The profile of a potentially successful student is: a good reader, a risk taker, diligent but not too serious, goal-oriented, in the program because they want to be, capable of trying to find their friends in the program or bringing them with them.
Eighth-grade students are encouraged to apply in the fall of the year. Whether they are Fresno High area students or transfer students, we are requesting a Magnet Transfer Application to be turned in to us or to the District Transfer Office. You can fill out a Magnet Transfer Application online, click here.
The IB program is open to all students who are willing to work at an advanced level.
Laura Spongberg is the IB coordinator at Fresno High School. Her office is in the library and the office phone number and e-mail address are 457-2793 and email@example.com.
We are really excited about our future and want to thank the parents and community who have fought so hard to get this program to our Fresno High School community.