International Baccalaureate

  • FAQ for IB Fall 2020

    I hope this message finds you healthy and well. As we begin our first year of online teaching, I’ve been reflecting again on the mission at the heart of the International Baccalaureate Organization. IB educators across the globe seek to reinforce a sense of common humanity, to promote our shared guardianship of the planet, and to create a better and more peaceful world. Never in my life have I felt the importance of this purpose more deeply. As we begin a year unlike any other in the history of the IB, I wanted to offer some information about our current implementation of the IB program at Lincoln. Our first priority is to the mental health and wellbeing of your student, and we have been reflecting deeply on how we can responsibly implement the requirements of the IB in a distance learning environment.


    First, a reminder that there are two ways to engage with the IB program at LHS:


    1. IB Diploma (six DP courses over two years + CAS + EE + TOK MUST SIT MAY EXAMS)

    2. Course by course (any course, at any time - Can sit May exams, but certainly do not have to.)


    Please read the Q+A below through the lens of your respective type of program engagement.


    What will IB classes look like this year?

    • Both different and the same. Your IB teachers are deeply experienced and know their subjects well. There will still be readings, discussions, quizzes, tests, essays, reflections and other familiar strategies for learning. However, these will be done via Canvas and Google Meets and other online platforms for the foreseeable future. There will also be a different schedule (see below) that impacts the usual pacing and flow of our classes. 


    How will the new schedule impact IB students?

    • Students will continue on a yearlong, 8 period model. HERE is a link to the weekly schedule for students with some definitions and expectations for the different types of learning.  HERE is another visual that depicts the weekly schedule. Each class period is scheduled twice a week.  One day each week is designated for meeting synchronously for the purpose of real time interaction with the class and the other day is designated for working asynchronously to engage in self-paced learning.  HERE is a link to some examples of synchronous and asynchronous activities. 

    • Classes will focus on content and skills aligned with IB and foundations for college preparation in each subject area; however, due to the overall reduction in contact time, teachers will also identify and encourage the study of supplemental topics for students to review in preparation for IB assessments for Diploma students and for those who choose to test for college credit.


    What about lab-based science classes?

    • Per PPS and ODE guidelines, there is currently no scenario in which students can be on campus. Internal Assessments in Group 4 Science classes (Biology, Chemistry, and Physics) will be database IAs or experimental studies feasible for students to complete at home.


    What will the workload be?

    • Both IB and PPS have requirements that will impact student workload, in addition to the personal circumstances unique to each student. Overall, IB has adjusted assessment requirements in many courses that will lessen the amount of content teachers need to provide students over the course of the year. However, as previously mentioned, due to an overall reduction in teacher/student contact time, students may want to pursue extended study as defined by the teacher to optimize performance on assessments. IB teachers will be directed to keep the amount of work required of students outside of “class time” to a manageable amount.


    Are colleges and universities still accepting IB credits?

    • YES! In OR and WA, public institutions are required by law to give credit for scores of 4 or higher. LHS seniors earned the equivalent of an estimated $1.6 million in college credits at in-state universities last year.  


    If I take an IB course this year, should I test?

    • The decision to test this year is one that will require some reflection. Your teachers will work hard to cover much of the necessary material, however, students should be prepared to invest additional time throughout the year practicing skills and becoming acquainted with extended topics as advised by the teacher.  IB registration will open in October.  At that time your teachers will discuss how this year’s courses will support your assessment process and what, if anything, you will need to self-study.  

    • IB assessment fees are  $119/subject.  The ODE may provide a small subsidy.  If you qualify for Free/Reduced Price Lunch, your tests are free.  We do offer some scholarships for testing fees for students needing financial support. Registrations can be changed or cancelled with a refund before January 15. 

    • We will be sending exam registration information in October, so you have some time to think about your decision.


    What will exams look like in May 2021?

    • At this point, the IBO plans to have students sit for exams in person as they have in years past. Obviously, if that is unsafe, IB will have to provide an alternate plan. We assume that would look similar to May 2020 in which the internal assessment was a larger component of the students’ final course mark. 


    What if I decide to change my plans to test? 

    • We will support you! You (the student) are at the heart of the learning experience, and it is important that you feel good about your educational experience. IB Courses will prepare you for college and career after high school regardless.  You do not need to test if you are not interested in pursuing college credit or an IB Diploma.  Exams can be canceled for a full refund through January 8th, 2021.


    What if I feel like an IB course is too much right now?

    • We will support you! If you decide you’d like to change your IB course the date for schedule changes and for drops is typically three weeks from the beginning of the school year. You can work with your counselor to determine the best path forward.  


    Our goal is to provide the best academic experience possible for our students while supporting their mental, emotional, and physical health. We appreciate that this year will present many new challenges. We value your trust and your partnership, and to that end, encourage you to reach out with any questions, comments, or concerns you may have relative to the implementation of the IB Diploma Program at Lincoln High School. 




    You can read more about Lincoln and IB below:

    Lincoln High School's Profile



    Kim Bliss

    IB Coordinator at LHS