Overview and Admissions Policy of Springfield High School
(Reviewed, Fall, 2017)
Springfield High School (SHS) began offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program in 2005. To date, SHS remains the only school in Clark County to offer the IB Program. The program is designed to offer challenging coursework to academically motivated students in order to prepare them for the rigors of college.
Since the inception of the IB Program at Springfield High School in 2005, we have operated our program with an open enrollment philosophy. Any student who wants to be a part of the program is permitted to participate. In 2010, in an effort to encourage greater participation in the program, SHS created the administrative position of IB Coordinator. The IB Coordinator has made efforts to dispel community perceptions that IB is only available to gifted or financially advantaged students. Beginning in 2010, SHS began to absorb the registration and testing costs for all IB students in order to allow all of our students to participate without regard to cost.
As described in the Springfield High School Course of Study, the IB Program is offered in two different formats. This is not unique to Springfield High School; all IB programs offer two IB Program options: IB Course and IB Diploma. The IB Course Program permits a student to select one or more areas of the IB curriculum in which to pursue certification. Students choose courses corresponding to their strengths and interests. The vast majority of our IB Program participants select the IB Course Program. The IB Diploma Program requires students to participate in all six academic areas of the IB curriculum. Historically, only 5-10 students per graduating class participated in the Diploma Program.
The recommended course sequence for both IB programs appears on page 14 of the SHS Course of Study. Most IB subject areas are offered as two year courses taken during a student’s junior and senior years. Some courses are one year in duration, and it is possible to finish them in one school year.
Because the IB program is open to all students, there are no prerequisites or minimum GPA requirements which a student must satisfy in order to enroll in an IB-designated class. However, the SHS IB Coordinator recommends that students who wish to participate in the IB Program during their junior and senior year take certain courses in order to prepare for the rigor of the IB courses. Under IB Program regulations, SHS is not permitted to designate these recommended courses as “pre-IB;” accordingly, they are designated as “Honors” or “Advanced.”
It is recommended, but not required, that students on an IB Course Program pathway select Honors courses in their freshman and sophomore years in the subject areas in which they will pursue IB Courses in their junior and senior years. For example, a student who intends to pursue IB Courses in history must take AP/IB European History during his/her junior year and IB 20th Century History during his/her senior year. Such student is recommended, but not required, to take the advanced or enriched version of their freshman and sophomore year history classes. It is recommended, but not required, that a student on an IB Diploma Program pathway select advanced or enriched courses in their freshman and sophomore years in all academic subject areas in which such courses are available.