Update for IB Students and Parents

Delivery of IB Material Remotely

IB Courses Offered to At-Home Learners

Good afternoon PHS students and families,

Earlier this week the Smore newsletter focused on balancing apex for at-home learners. Today’s newsletter is focused on at-home learners participating in IB classes.

Palmer High School is proud of its International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. The IB Diploma Program is a college preparatory program for high school juniors and seniors, but we’ve seen it benefit every student who takes it, including students who leave high school ready to join the work force, the military, or a college or university. Last year’s diploma candidates include a student who starts at Oregon State University as a college sophomore, a student attending the United States Air Force Academy, and a student who accepted a full-ride scholarship to the University of Notre Dame.

This school year comes with many unknowns, and so we’re particularly impressed with our students who have chosen to take IB courses, even without knowing what the full structure of the year will look like. Over the last two weeks, the I.B. program has looked at how it can best offer its courses to students this year. Guidance from the district office, along with input from teachers of our IB courses, has all been put into the following statements about what IB courses at Palmer High will look like this year—at least for now.

  • The availability of IB courses for at-home learners depends on two things: the nature of the course itself and the availability and experience of the teacher offering it. Courses with new instructors and courses with lab-based components that students cannot make up at home will not be offered to at-home learners.
  • IB courses that are available to at-home learners will not all look the same. Some teachers will be streaming their classes live via Zoom, some will record their classes and post videos later, and some will just post instructions and activities online in Google Classroom for students to work on.
  • All students, whether they are learning in person or at home, may set up extra time to work with their teachers on Friday via Zoom or an in-person appointment. Students should contact their individual teachers to determine the best format and time to work together during office hours.
  • While all PHS instructors will do their best to support at-home learners, it’s important to realize that the experience won’t be the same. The best opportunities for learning will happen in the classroom, and it’s possible that taking an IB course from home may result in lower than average IB exam scores. Students who plan to take IB exams this May should be aware of this.
  • At-home learners who wish to take an IB course that is not offered have several options:
    1. students are welcome to come into PHS for just one period of the day to take the on-campus-only class they need.
    2. students can take IB courses through Pamoja (pamojaeducation.com), a company that offers online IB courses. It’s important to note that these courses are paid for the by students and their families, not Palmer High, and that for most classes, a two-year commitment to the course is required.
    3. students can try to take these courses next year. Some of our courses will rotate in and out of availability (next year we’ll pull ESS, Chemistry 1 and Biology 2 and offer Physics 1, Chemistry 2, Biology 1, and Music) but the rest will all still be available. If students are trying to complete the IB Diploma Program, they should contact our IB coordinator (nichelle.henry@matsuk12.us) to discuss scheduling options and to make sure they’re on track for next year.

Regardless of how many or what kind of IB classes students are taking, they should join the PHS IB Google Classroom. The join code is: 5m6l5mi This Google Classroom will be one of the best ways for students to stay in touch with the program and be kept up to date on announcements and deadlines.

If you have questions about IB courses, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Administrators, counselors, and our IB coordinator are all available to support students and their families making decisions about IB courses.

IB Courses available to at-home learners:

  • IB Literature 1
  • IB Literature 2
  • IB French 1 & 2
  • IB History 1
  • IB History 2
  • IB Philosophy 1 & 2
  • IB Math 1 (With Ms. Long only)
  • IB Math 2
  • IB Theory of Knowledge
  • Extended Essay
  • Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS)

IB Courses not available to at-home learners:

  • IB Japanese 1& 2
  • IB Chemistry 1
  • IB Biology 2
  • IB Environmental Systems and Societies
  • IB Visual Arts

IB Courses not offered this year:

  • IB Music
  • IB Physics
  • IB Biology 1
  • IB Chemistry 2