Students in grades 11 & 12 are still part of our IB World School community and are encouraged to strive to exemplify the Learner Profile traits. They also have the opportunity to participate in the IB Diploma Program if they choose, and if they have met the criteria for becoming an IB Diploma candidate. CAS (Creativity, Action, & Service) are required components of the Diploma Program.
As a school, we have made a commitment to emphasizing community and service and to encouraging our students to be active participants in both community building and community service. Being an active part of a community allows a student to learn not just at school, but in all other areas of life, as well.
Founded in 1968, the IB Diploma Program is a two-year academically rigorous university preparation program for the junior and senior years of high school. The program aims to develop critical thinking and research skills and international-mindedness: an ability to respect those different from oneself, and a desire to make a difference in the world. (Click here for a link to the DP General Regulations.)
Students who love to learn and are curious, who want to develop the skills to be successful in college, and who either have or want to develop time-management and collaborative skills are excellent candidates for the Diploma Program. The IB Diploma Program is well recognized and respected by universities in the United States and abroad.
The IB Diploma Program is intended to be just that - a balanced and complete program designed to embrace an interdisciplinary, international, and action-oriented philosophy. It consists of the following components:
1.) Students take IB courses in six core areas of study: Group 1: language A1 (English 11 and 12), Group 2: a second language (Language B French or Spanish), Group 3: individuals and societies (History of the Americas 11 and 12), Group 4: experimental sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics), Group 5: mathematics (either Mathematics HL or SL or Math Studies 11 and 12), and Group 6: the Arts (Music SL, Theatre SL or Visual Art SL or HL). Students not interested in taking art may take Computer Science SL or an additional experimental science (Biology, Chemistry, or Physics). These courses meet and exceed HCDE's and Tennessee's standards and fulfill credit requirements.
IB DP courses are either Higher Level (240 teaching hours) or Standard Level (150 teaching hours). HL courses are all two year courses; SL courses may be one or two year courses, depending on the course (however, no more than two SL courses may be taken as 1 year courses). At SMMHS, we offer both our HL and SL courses as two year courses.
2.) Students participate in a two-year Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course. TOK is a philosophy-based course that focuses on how knowledge is acquired in different disciplines. This course serves to form connections between and among the six core courses the students will take.
3.) Students participate in creativity, action, and service through the CAS program. Over the two years, students will participate in and reflect on a variety of activities that are creative, action- and service-oriented, including at least one long-term project. CAS activities are tied to learning outcomes and a CAS plan individually developed by each student.
4.) Students write a 4000 word (maximum) Extended Essay (EE), a mini-thesis on the topic of their choice. Working closely with a mentor, students will conduct research and compose an essay for submission to the IBO. This essay gives students experience in writing college level papers.
All IB DP courses culminate in examinations that are scored by an external examiner. A passing grade in an IB course is determined by a combination of internal (in-class) assessments scored by the teacher and moderated by IB or externally scored by IB, and external examinations taken at the end of the of the two year course of study. Examination results are released in July. The IB Diploma is granted to those students who successfully complete all components. IB examination scores do not impact a student's earning of a Hamilton County diploma.