International Baccalaureate

  • International Baccalaureate Programmes are offered at the following District schools:
    • Fullerton Union High School
    • Sonora High School
    • Sunny Hills High School
    • Troy High School
    For detailed information about the International Baccalaureate Program at each school please contact the school directly by clicking on the short cut link to District schools on our home page.

    Information below was obtained from the International Baccalaureate website:

    The International Baccalaureate (IB) offers high quality programmes of international education to a worldwide community of schools.

    There are three programmes for students aged 3 to 19 help develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn, and work in a rapidly globalizing world. There are more than 706,000 IB students at 2,597 schools in 134 countries.

    IB develops and offers three programmes of international education for students aged 3 to 19, working in close cooperation with IB World Schools. The three programmes span the years from kindergarten to pre-university. The programmes can be offered individually or as a continuum. The Primary Years Programme for pupils aged 3 to 12 focuses on the development of the whole child in the classroom and in the world outside.

    The Middle Years Programme for pupils aged 11 to 16 provides a framework of academic challenge and life skills, achieved through embracing and transcending traditional school subjects.

    The Diploma Programme for students aged 16 to 19 is a demanding two-year curriculum leading to final examinations and a qualification that is welcomed by leading universities around the world.

    The IB offers a continuum of high-quality education that encourages international-mindedness and a positive attitude to learning. The programmes are available through 2,597 IB World Schools in 134 countries.

    IB offers a continuum of education, consisting of three individual programmes that span the years from kindergarten to a pre-university diploma. While they are traditionally known for the Diploma Programme, IB World Schools increasingly offer all three programmes.

    IB is proud of their reputation for high-quality education sustained for over 35 years. The curriculum represents the best from many different countries rather than the exported national system of any one. The challenging Diploma Programme assessment is recognized by the world's leading universities. They maintain high standards by actively training and supporting teachers, and by authorizing and evaluating IB World Schools.

    IB encourages international-mindedness in IB students. To do this, they believe that students must first develop an understanding of their own cultural and national identity. All IB students learn a second language and the skills to live and work with others internationally - essential for life in the 21st century.

    IB encourages a positive attitude to learning by encouraging students to ask challenging questions, to critically reflect, to develop research skills, and to learn how to learn. They encourage community service because they believe that there is more to learning than academic studies alone.

    They ensure that programmes are accessible to students in a wide variety of schools - national, international, public and private—in 134 countries. These IB World Schools form a worldwide community in which there is no such thing as a “typical” school (more than 50 percent of IB students are in state-funded schools). IB World Schools cooperate in curriculum development, student assessment and the governance of the IB, making this a unique international collaboration.

    The IB charges fees for its services — specifically for student assessment, teacher training and publications. Each IB World School pays an annual fee. In addition, donors and governments provide funding that supports special projects and initiatives.

    The Diploma Programme is a challenging two-year programme of international education for students aged 16 to 19.

    The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is a challenging two-year curriculum, primarily aimed at students aged 16 to 19. It leads to a qualification that is widely recognized by the world’s leading universities.

    Students learn more than a collection of facts. The Diploma Programme prepares students for university and encourages them to:
    • ask challenging questions;
    • learn how to learn;
    • develop a strong sense of their own identity and culture; and
    • develop the ability to communicate with and understand people from other countries and cultures.


    Schools teach the programme in English, French and/or Spanish.

    The curriculum contains six subject groups together with a core made up of three separate parts.

    Students study six subjects selected from the subject groups. Normally three subjects are studied at higher level (courses representing 240 teaching hours), and the remaining three subjects are studied at standard level (courses representing 150 teaching hours).

    All three parts of the core—extended essay, theory of knowledge and creativity, action, service—are compulsory and are central to the philosophy of the Diploma Programme.

    The three core requirements are:
    • extended essay;
    • theory of knowledge; and 
    • creativity, action, service.


    All Diploma Programme students must engage in these three activities.

    Extended essay: The extended essay has a prescribed limit of 4,000 words. It offers the opportunity to investigate a topic of individual interest, and acquaints students with the independent research and writing skills expected at university.

    Theory of Knowledge (TOK): The interdisciplinary TOK course is designed to provide coherence by exploring the nature of knowledge across disciplines, encouraging an appreciation of other cultural perspectives.

    Creativity, action, service (CAS): Participation in the school’s CAS programme encourages students to be involved in artistic pursuits, sports and community service work, thus fostering students’ awareness and appreciation of life outside the academic arena.

    At the end of the two-year programme, students are assessed both internally and externally in ways that measure individual performance against stated objectives for each subject.

    Internal assessment: In nearly all subjects at least some of the assessment is carried out internally by teachers, who mark individual pieces of work produced as part of a course of study. Examples include oral exercises in language subjects, projects, student portfolios, class presentations, practical laboratory work, mathematical investigations and artistic performances.

    External assessment: Some assessment tasks are conducted and overseen by teachers without the restrictions of examination conditions, but are then marked externally by examiners. Examples include world literature assignments for language A1, written tasks for language A2, essays for theory of knowledge and extended essays.

    Because of the greater degree of objectivity and reliability provided by the standard examination environment, externally marked examinations form the greatest share of the assessment for each subject.

    The grading system is criterion based (results are determined by performance against set standards, not by each student’s position in the overall rank order); validity, reliability and fairness are the watchwords of the Diploma Programme’s assessment strategy.

    Students completing all required components of the IB program receive the IB diploma in conjunction with receiving the traditional graduation diploma and the end of their senior year.
Last Modified on January 24, 2023