RPHS's IB Newsletter

Who Should Take IB Classes?

In this issue of the IB Newsletter, we are going to take a look at two questions that always come up when parents and students begin considering International Baccalaureate (IB) classes:

Why should a student take IB classes?

Who should take IB classes?

Our Thinking. . .

Teachers, parents, and students need to understand the reality that IB classes will be challenging, and students taking these classes will have to be determined and focused. However, we also want parents and students to know that IB classes will be manageable with the right preparation and mindset.

Why Should Students Take IB Classes?

When parents and students start looking at the Diploma Program's level of involvement and expectations, the question often asked is "why would anyone bother?"

We want to be up front and say that there is little about IB classes that will be easy. As detailed in the previous newsletter, to be a part of the full Diploma Program, juniors and seniors are required to:

  • Take six IB Classes
  • Complete the Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) program
  • Write a 4,000 word Extended Essay
  • Take the Theory of Knowledge class

Even if a student decides to not work towards the full Diploma and takes IB classes here and there for Certificates, the standards and expectations that students will be held to will most likely be higher than anything they have seen in previous classes.

So why do it?

1. Preparation for College: The RPHS faculty is not just concerned with getting students into the college of their choice, we also want to make sure they can be successful once they get into that school. Across the nation, colleges and universities are seeing a rise in drop out rates that can partly be attributed to the rising costs of college but also because students are just not prepared. There are several independent studies showing that IB students are more prepared for college and more likely to earn a college degree. This is because IB requires a great deal of independent study and research, similar to what they will see in college.

2. Critical Thinking: In IB classes, students learn how to question and analyze to examine hard answers to hard questions. For example, rather than just learn dates and facts about World War I, students might study how the relationships between nations led to the war and then write a position paper on whether international alliances are more likely to start or prevent wars. This level of thinking will be invaluable in college, but it will also help students become lifelong learners who see the value of continually probing and questioning the world around them.

3. Time Management: Many students get to college and flounder because they do not have strong study habits and time management skills to fall back on. Because of the high expectations of IB course work, students will be able to adjust to college more quickly because they have the skills necessary to handle tough classes. They know how to learn and budget their time effectively.

4. College Credit: RPHS offers several opportunities for students to earn college credit while they are still in high school, and IB classes will be another avenue that students can take towards college credit. Most colleges that accept IB classes for credit usually look at how well students score on their final examination in an IB class. It is important for parents and students to understand that not all colleges and universities accept IB credit, but IB is a rapidly growing organization that is accepted by more post-secondary schools each year.

Take a look at the colleges and universities that recognize IB coursework at:


5. Opportunities: Students who take IB classes are more likely to be accepted into colleges and universities than other students, and those students who successfully complete the full IB Diploma have an even greater likelihood of university acceptance. More and more, colleges and universities compete for the best students, and they know that students who are successful in IB classes are the students they want.

Who Should Take IB Classes?

Parents and students must understand that IB is not for everyone. Some students find the expectations and style of IB classes to be the right fit, while others find success and enjoyment in other academic options.

Students who are successful in IB classes are:

1. Self-Starting: IB teachers will have high expectations for the quality of student work. To meet these expectations, students will have to stay on top of their classwork and not procrastinate.

2. Motivated by Learning: Grades are obviously an important part of academics, but IB students should prioritize learning over grades. Students who have consistently earned A's in their previous classes may find that the same is not true in their IB course work. Students should be concerned about their grades, but they should be more focused on truly learning the material covered in their classes.

3. Strong Readers: All IB teachers will be assigning complex, challenging readings throughout their courses. In order keep up, students need high level reading skills to comprehend and retain the information contained in these readings.

4. Not Afraid to Struggle: Grit is talked about more and more in education circles. Many educational experts argue that students' willingness to stay motivated and productive, despite academic barriers, can be just as valuable as intelligence and skill level. IB classes are purposely designed so that all students, even the best and brightest, struggle at times. The rationale behind this is that students are going to be challenged when they get to college, so they should learn how to cope with and push past these academic difficulties in high school.

5. Dedicated: Students who are part of the full Diploma Program will still have the opportunity to be a part of extracurricular activities, but Diploma Candidates will have to make academics their top priority to remain successful.

Wanting More?

If you have further questions about IB, you can find more information at:

IB's official website: www.ibo.og

RPHS's IB website: http://raypecib.weebly.com/

You can also contact:

Steven Miller

RPHS Principal



Steven Meek

RPHS IB Coordinator



Raymore-Peculiar High School is a candidate school* for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. This school is pursuing authorization as an IB World School. IB World Schools share a common philosophy—a commitment to high-quality, challenging, international education—that we believe is important for our students.

* Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its three academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP) or the Diploma Programme (and in addition the IB Career-related Certificate). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted.

For further information about the IB and its programmes visit http://www.ibo.org.