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International Baccalaureate (I.B.)

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A brief history

HCPS’ International Baccalaureate program began in 1995 with a small group of trailblazers at George Moody Middle School and Henrico High School. It grew quickly in popularity, which resulted in the expansion of seats available at the original sites and eventually to two additional middle schools (Fairfield and Tuckahoe) and one more high school (J.R. Tucker) in 2010. The expansion nearly doubled the number of students in HCPS I.B. programs, which now serve more than 1,800 students each year.

HCPS currently offers three I.B. programs with admittance through an application process each fall: the I.B. Middle Years Program, the I.B. Diploma Program, and our newest addition, the I.B. Career-related Program at Henrico High School.

Students and teachers in I.B. programs are part of a global community of learners united by a powerful mission to create a better world through high quality, international education. At the same time, I.B. students can also meet the state’s accelerated/advanced qualifications and build a foundation to further their future goals in education and beyond. Program principles and instructional practices are designed to benefit all students.

The I.B. mission statement

International Baccalaureate programs aim to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programs encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

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I.B. programs foster knowledge, skills and attributes similar to those outlined in HCPS’ Henrico Learner Profile. The two share the goal of educating students who make a difference in the world.

I.B. program highlights

  • Student-centered
  • Nurtures the whole child
  • Students learn how to learn
  • Rigorous and challenging
  • Students make real-world connections
  • Students develop flexible thinking that prepares them to evaluate information critically and apply knowledge in complex, unfamiliar situations
  • Fosters principled action and service in the community
  • Beneficial for all learners
IB Middle Years Graphic

The I.B. Middle Years Program

The I.B. Middle Years Program is a five-year program for students in grades 6-10 and is strategically designed for adolescents’ needs, tapping into their sense of wonder and curiosity through inquiry-based units. By exploring globally significant ideas and issues in their eight subject areas, students increase their understanding of the world. They are empowered to own their learning and take risks and explore new ideas and innovative strategies.

Program features

  • A five-year program for students in grades 6-10
  • Eight subject areas
  • IBMYP service as action
  • The IBMYP personal project
  • Grades 6-8 offered at Fairfield, George Moody and Tuckahoe middle schools
  • Grades 9-10 offered at Henrico and J.R. Tucker high schools
  • Prepares learners for future education in the I.B. programs

The I.B. Diploma Program

The I.B. Diploma Program is a two-year program designed for 17-19 year olds, offering them the depth and independence of college level studies while I.B.-structured support is still in place for high school. Every student takes a full set of Diploma Program courses in sciences, math, language and literature, language acquisition, individuals and societies, and the arts, most of which are a two-year sequence.

Each course includes internally developed assessments in accordance with I.B.’s requirements, as well as a series of end of course I.B.-designed external examinations. Students’ performance over the two years and on the exams determine their achievement of the internationally recognized I.B. Diploma.

I.B. Diploma Program students are sought after by higher institutions because of their initiative and commitment to rigorous learning, their research and communication skills, their well-rounded experiences, and support for their communities.

Program Features

  • Two-year program for students in grades 11 and 12
  • Six subject areas
  • DP Core: Theory of Knowledge, Creativity/Service/Action and the Extended Essay
  • Internal assessments and external examinations
  • Internationally recognized IB Diploma
  • Offered at Henrico and J.R. Tucker high schools
  • Graduates ready for college and beyond
IB Diploma Program
IB Career-related Program

The I.B. Career-related Program

I.B.’s newest curriculum — the Career-related Program — is developed specifically for students who want to engage in career-related learning while gaining transferable and lifelong skills. It combines the rigor of the Diploma Program with students’ interests in an I.B.-approved career-related study.

Students in the Career-related Program undertake a minimum of two I.B. Diploma Program courses, which provide the theoretical underpinning and academic rigor of the program. The career-related study further supports the program’s academic strength and provides practical, real-world approaches to learning. The core of the Career-related Program helps them to develop skills required for lifelong learning through four components: approaches to learning; community service; language development; and the culminating reflective project.

Program Features

  • Two-year program for 11th and 12th graders
  • Two+ I.B. Diploma classes
  • Two-year career-related study
  • The Career-related Program Core: approaches to learning; community service; language development; and the Reflective Project
  • Students graduate with industry certification and I.B. Diploma certificates
  • Offered at Henrico High School
  • Graduates are college- and career-ready