Northwest adopts new IB enrollment policies for 2013-2014

Northwest adopts new IB enrollment policies for 2013-2014

In order to create a larger sense of commitment from students enrolling in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, a new enrollment policy has been adopted for the rigorous curriculum. Northwest will be the only school in the Shawnee Mission School District to implement the policy.

Any student enrolling in the full IB diploma program is expected to honor their commitment to the two year program and remain in all of their classes until they take the IB exam May of their senior year. This policy was adopted due to concerns about faculty staffing and budget cuts.

“I don’t agree with the new rules, especially having to take a requirement of more than one IB class because AP doesn’t require that,” junior IB diploma candidate Chloe Adams said.

After the first semester of the program, students may only drop one or more IB diploma course if they are unable to improve low grades or struggling with personal issues such as illness or family issues. Aside from issues such as those stated above, students will not be able to drop any of their diploma courses. If the student does drops one or two courses, they will be removed from the entire program. Students may request an appeal of their removal by contacting next year’s IB coordinator Janine Deines, who will conduct a meeting with the student, student’s parents and counselor to discuss the issue.

Certificate candidates, on the other hand, will now be required to take at least two IB courses and remain in both. Shawnee Mission North and East only have full IB diploma programs and do not provide IB certificates.

“I think it’s a good idea. It becomes more of a challenge than one class. It forces people to experience IB to a higher level,” said senior IB certificate student Mitch Nolan.

Like diploma candidates, certificate candidates can only drop for low grades and personal issues.

In order to be a full diploma candidate, each student must successfully complete six examinations, one from each of the areas listed below. Students must also choose 3-4 high level (HL) tests and 2-3 standard level (SL) tests. In their junior year, students may take up to two SL examinations.
To be a certificate candidate, starting 2013-2014, students will have to enroll and stay in at least two IB courses.
Choice of classes:
  • Language A: English SL or HL
  • Language B: French SL/HL, Latin SL/HL, German SL/HL, or Spanish SL/HL
  • Chemistry SL/HL, Physics SL/HL  or Biology SL
  • History of the Americas: History SL or HL
  • Mathematics: Math Studies SL, Mathematics SL or Math: Series & Differential Equations HL
  • Sixth Subject (elective): Music SL/HL, Visual Art SL/HL, second experimental science, second world language, Psychology SL / HL, Dance SL/HL.
The Theory of Knowledge course
The Theory of Knowledge course (T.O.K.) is a seminar course organized around concepts of knowledge taught in the six IB core subjects. Oral discussion, defense of ideas, and critical thinking are key components of the course. The T.O.K. course explores questions of philosophy and the origins of knowledge. T.O.K. is offered during seminar for diploma candidates only.