Diamond BarHigh School

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IB Program » FAQ


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the IB diploma program?
The diploma program is a rigorous course of study for high school juniors and seniors that is based on several national systems of education. It is administered by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), and all courses are necessarily infused with internationalism. Students earn the IB diploma by concurrently studying six college level academic subjects, writing a 4000 word personal research paper, completing extra-curricular activities, and taking a seminar course in epistemology. (Return to the top of this page)

What is the difference between IB and AP?
Click here to see the official document comparing IB and AP, jointly published by the IBO and the College Board (pdf file).
The AP program is a program that allows students to choose individual courses in which they may get college credit. It is a very good program for students who excel in one or a few areas of study.  The IB diploma program is a coordinated program designed to address the “whole student” not just a few specialty areas. Diploma candidates must pass college level courses in six subjects and complete the three additional activities of the Extended Essay, the CAS project, and the Theory of Knowledge. In addition, some of the IB courses will also provide students with the necessary curriculum to pass AP tests. IB diploma candidates are bilingual artists, athletes, musicians, writers, scientists, and critical thinkers. In addition, IB students give back to the community through service projects. (Return to the top of this page)

What do students in grade eight have to do to enter the DBHS IB prep program?
Any incoming 9th grader wishing to apply for the International Baccalaureate program must meet the following requirements:

  • 3.00 GPA in core academic courses in the 8th grade;
  • Must have completed Algebra I with a grade of A or B prior to the end of the 8th grade;

Students must submit an application to Dena Lordi at DBHS. The application must be accompanied by the student's report card from the first semester of their 8th-grade year and a one-page essay (see application for details).  See the link at www.dbhsib.org for Students in Grade 8. (Return to the top of this page)

What if a student does not complete Algebra by the end of the 8th grade? Can they make it up in the summer?
No. Because the IB mathematics program is very rigorous, the DBHS IB-prep mathematics program moves at a very fast pace. In order to be successful, a student must have finished a high school level algebra course during the regular 7th or 8th grade school year with a grade of B or better. Students who have not completed this mathematics requirement will be denied admission to the DBHS IB-prep program. (Return to the top of this page)

Do eighth grade students have to take a test to enter the DBHS IB prep program?
No (Return to the top of this page)

The eighth grade application requires an essay. How long does it have to be?
The essay has a maximum length of one page. There is no minimum number of words. The purpose of the essay is to show that the student has genuine, informed interest in the IB program. Use a readable, reasonable font-size. Double-spaced print is easier to read. (Return to the top of this page)

Do eighth graders need to secure teacher recommendations for the application?
No (Return to the top of this page)

What can a middle school student do to better prepare for the high school IB program?
Try to complete a year of Chinese, French, Korean, or Spanish at your middle school, and try to complete Geometry by the end of the eighth grade. A year of foreign language and a year of geometry are not required to enter the DBHS IB prep program; however, a student will have more flexibility with his or her schedule if he or she has completed these courses by the end of the eighth grade. (Return to the top of this page)

If a student enters the DBHS IB prep program as a freshman, does he or she have to remain in the program all four years?
No, a student may choose to leave the DBHS IB prep program at any time. We would encourage all students who enter the IB program when they are juniors to stick with it and finish as diploma candidates. (Return to the top of this page)

What are the benefits of earning an IB diploma?
Think of the IB diploma program as the Academic Varsity Team.  IB diploma candidates experience similar benefits to those of DBHS football players.  Varsity football is a journey of rigorous preparation and self-challenge.  It is a journey of long hours of practice and study of strategy to ready a team of individuals to beat the competition.  There is hard work, pain, individual and team failure and success.  There is a lot of joy in the team environment and in making lifelong friends.  There is crazy fun and serious work.  IB diploma candidates enjoy a very similar journey.  And for both football and IB, it is the journey that produces growth and that growth is the major benefit.  Students play football because they really enjoy the physical and mental challenge of athletics and the camaraderie of the team.  They want to be better athletes, and they want to win.  Students become IB students because they really enjoy the mental challenge of rigorous academic work and the camaraderie of a team.  They want to be better learners and they want to know.

In the world today, successful students must be world citizens who are prepared to live and communicate within the global society, to make judgments with international understanding. It is the goal of the IB diploma program to prepare students to be such citizens. Finally, the diploma program represents a comprehensive and rigorous course of study. Diploma candidates will be well prepared to be very successful in any university program they may choose to enter. Please look at the following web site for more information on the IB policy of the university in which you are interested: http://www.ibo.org/diploma/recognition/
(Return to the top of this page)

Is the IB diploma program difficult to complete?
Yes, this is a very tough academic program. It is not for everyone, and certainly all students will receive an excellent education at Diamond High School whether or not they are participating in the IB program. Successful IB students are well rounded. They must display intellectual curiosity and exhibit a strong work ethic in all areas of learning inside and outside of the traditional classroom. (Return to the top of this page)

What courses must IB students take?
IB students must complete the diploma requirements set forth by the IBO. IB students must also complete the graduation requirements instituted by the Walnut Valley UnifiedSchool District. These requirements are described at www.dbhsib.org at the link titled Diploma Requirements. (Return to the top of this page)

What are the IB assessments?
Every IB course has internal and external assessments which are directed by the IBO. Internal assessments vary with each course: portfolios in mathematics, oral exams in foreign language, performance in music are some examples. These internal assessments occur throughout the year and are graded by the classroom teacher. Those grades are moderated by an external examiner from the IBO.

In most cases, the external assessments are exams which are given in the spring, much like AP tests. These exams are graded and moderated by examiners from the IBO. (Return to the top of this page)

Is it possible for IB students to participate in extra-curricular activities?
Yes, we encourage all students at Diamond Bar High School to participate fully in the activities offered at the school. In fact, the IB program requires extra-curricular activities during the students' junior and senior years. We will do everything possible to ensure that IB students have the opportunity to participate in activities such as band and athletics. However, IB courses are very demanding. We recommend that IB students consider their academic commitments before deciding where else they will participate. (Return to the top of this page)

What grades do students have to get to stay in the IB and prep programs?
Students must complete the necessary prerequisites for all courses in the IB course pathways. In addition, to enter the IB program as a junior, students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 in the academic courses from the subject groups English, foreign language, social science, experimental science, and mathematics. (Return to the top of this page)

What are the dates of summer school, and may I only attend part of summer school?
Students enrolled in summer school must plan to attend every day. You can not be absent from summer school and expect to receive credit. Go to www.dbhs.org and check the link for Summer School for information about dates, times, and registration. (Return to the top of this page)

Do you accept foreign students?
We do not have a special program for foreign students. However, all students who live in our residence area with a parent or legal guardian are allowed to attend our school. (Return to the top of this page)

Can a student from another IB school or a foreign school transfer in for one or both years of the IB program?
Yes, as long as you live in our residence area or you secure an inter-district transfer permit. Please first check our website www.dbhsib.org to ensure that we offer the IB courses that you need to take. (Return to the top of this page)

Do you make housing arrangements for foreign students?
No (Return to the top of this page)

Do you fill out the I-20 form for foreign students?
No (Return to the top of this page)