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International Baccalaureate Program

Clarke County High School offers the International Baccalaureate [IB] Diploma Program, which is recognized worldwide for its academic rigor and emphasis on developing capable, well-rounded high school graduates. IB courses are among the most challenging classes offered at CCHS. They are open to any student who is academically oriented and who possesses a strong work ethic. The IB program provides an excellent preparation for college and for citizenship as a lifelong learner in our 21st century world.

The usual path to the IB diploma begins in middle school, where students should have completed at least Algebra I and the first year of a world language by the end of 8th grade. They then enroll in honors classes in 9th and 10th grades as preparation for the IB Diploma Program as juniors and seniors. The IB diploma is earned by successfully meeting the following requirements during the two years of the program, usually 11th and 12th grades:

  • Complete IB coursework and pass exams in the six IB subject areas [English, World Language, Social Studies, Laboratory Science, Mathematics, and Arts/Electives]. Three or four of these subjects must be taken at Higher Level [HL], a more intense and in-depth study; the remaining two or three courses must be taken at Standard Level [SL], a slightly less intense and in-depth study. Most IB classes, whether HL or SL, are two-year courses.

  • Complete the two-year Theory of Knowledge course [TOK], which aims to make connections, comparisons, and contrasts among all the different subject areas the students are studying.

  • Write a 4000-word Extended Essay, a research paper on a topic chosen by the student. [This project is monitored in the TOK class.]

  • Complete 150 hours of extracurricular activities following the IB Creativity, Action, and Service [CAS] guidelines. [This project is also monitored in TOK.]

Colleges and universities, especially the more selective ones, want to see that their applicants have taken the most challenging academic program that their high school offers. Therefore, we strongly encourage academically-oriented students to enroll in the full IB Diploma Program. Successful candidates will earn an internationally recognized IB diploma in addition to their Virginia Advanced Studies diploma.