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Sequoia's IB Diploma Programme (IBDP)

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What is the IBDP?

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What is the IBDP?

The Diploma Programme (DP) is a curriculum framework designed by the International Baccalaureate (IB) for students in the last two years of high school. Diploma Programme students take six IB courses (three at standard level and three at higher level) over two years and complete three additional requirements: the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course, the Extended Essay (an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper), and the CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) Program. In addition to these requirements, students must earn a minimum of 24 points out of a possible 45 points on the final assessments which are externally marked and moderated by the IB, in order to receive an IB Diploma. 
Why DP?
Frequently Asked Questions about the IBDP:
What kind of student is a good candidate for the DP?
The DP is a rigorous course of study for motivated students. That said, prior academic success is less an indicator of ability to earn the diploma than are a student’s determination to do his or her best, willingness to be organized in order to complete the work while leading a full, balanced life, and a strong commitment to learning in and beyond the classroom.
Do DP students have time for anything beyond academics?
Absolutely. Most successful Diploma Programme students lead very full lives. They are often members of athletic teams and involved in a wide range of activities. Time management and organization are key skills the IB develops in students.
Is the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) considered a “gifted” program?
The IB does not control how schools designate their Diploma Programme. In some instances, schools choose to designate the programme as selective enrollment via application or as a magnet programme. In other cases, the programme is open to any student.
Sequoia High School is an IB for All School:
  • All Sequoia students are encouraged to take at least one IB class before they graduate as part of Sequoia's general IB Programme.
  • Sequoia is committed to offering ICAP/pre-IB courses that reflect Sequoia's larger diverse student population, preparing 9th and 10th graders for success as either a DP Course student or an IBDP student in 11th and 12th grade.
  • Sequoia strives for the IBDP to be open, welcoming and accessible for all, valuing the perspectives and experiences of all our students. There are no entry exams, applications, or required grades to participate in Sequoia's IBDP. As long as students have passed the pre-requisite classes in 9th and 10th grades and are excited to participate in the requisite classes and programs in 11th and 12th grades, they are welcome to join the IBDP! Students declare their intention to participate in the IBDP at the end of sophomore year.
Do DP teachers receive special training?
All DP teachers receive professional development in the IB’s approaches to teaching and approaches to learning from certified IB workshop leaders. This is a requirement for IB World Schools implementing the DP.
Does Sequoia's participation in the IB programme mean Sequoia will not teach local or national standards?
The IB is committed to making sure that students in IB programmes meet and exceed local or national standards. With the implementation of any IB programme, schools are required to examine their curriculum carefully to ensure that there is alignment with local, state or national standards. More information on the IB and the Common Core is available at
What’s the difference between the diploma (IBDP) and certificates (DP Course)?
Not all students choose to take the full course load leading to an IB Diploma (IBDP). Instead, some students take a few DP courses in areas where they have a particular interest or strength, similar to honours and Advanced Placement classes. Certificates are awarded on a course-by-course basis to students who choose to participate in Sequoia's DP Course option. Students who satisfactorily complete a DP course earn a certificate and may be eligible for university credit.
How does the IB DP differ from other university-preparatory programs such as Advanced Placement and Cambridge?
The IB DP is a two-year comprehensive curriculum with a culminating set of externally graded final exams. IB, Advanced Placement (AP) and other college-preparatory curriculums like Cambridge are all university preparatory, academically rigorous programmes. There are important differences, however, in the content and exams. The DP is a cohesive and comprehensive programme, not a collection of individual courses as is the case with Advanced Placement. The most important distinguishing factor is the core of the Diploma Programme (CAS, TOK and extended essay).
Can you give a specific example of how the DP prepared students for college?
A 2012 study by the Consortium for Chicago School Research found that Diploma Programme students who graduated from 12 Chicago public schools were more likely to attend college, attend a selective college and persist in college for 2 years than a matched comparison group.
Additional studies on programme impact are available here.
How can I learn more about the IB Programme and the IBDP?
• Visit the IB website.
• Attend your Sequoia student's grade-level College & IB Meeting in the fall. Find the date and time under Upcoming Events listed here.
• Speak with Sequoia's DP coordinator.
• Speak with your child’s classroom teachers.
~ International Baccalaureate. (n.d.). What is the Diploma Programme? [Report].