Academic Planning

  • Quick Links, this page:
    Academic Planning
    Scholar's Programs
    Alternative Methods of Earning Credit
    Enrichment Opportunities
    Community Service & Service Learning
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    9th-Grade Timeline
    10th-Grade Timeline
    11th-Grade Timeline
    12th-Grade Timeline

    Counselors work with students to plan a four-year curriculum that will keep them on track to meet graduation requirements and prepare them for college and beyond. In addition to regular classroom visits and communication from counselors, students will find useful planning resources on this page. 


    Academic Planning

    PPS Diploma Requirements
    Four-year Planning Worksheet
    Forecast Guide
    Forecast Forms

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    Scholar's Programs

    Advanced Placement / Dual Credit

    Taking AP and Dual Credit (page 14 in the course guide) courses in high school can help prepare students for the level of challenge that they will find in college, signals to college admissions officers that a student is ready to succeed at the undergraduate level, and can earn college credit while still in high school. 

    Ida B. Wells Scholars

    Ida B. Wells High School offers a scholars program to provide a framework for students to plan a rigorous course of study with attention to all disciplines. The curriculum exceeds the requirements of most colleges and is not mandatory for students planning to attend college. Students who complete seven semesters with a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA and complete the requirements for the program, including community service, receive the “scholars” distinction at graduation.

    To earn the IBW Scholars Medallion, students must complete the following: 

    • Four credits of English, with at least one AP or Dual Credit course.
    • Four credits of Social Studies, with at least one AP or Dual Credit course.
    • Four credits of Science, with at least one AP or Dual Credit course.
    • Four credits of Mathematics, with at least one AP or Dual Credit course.
    • Two additional credits from the following: additional World Language credit beyond the graduation requirement, or any other AP/Dual Credit course not already accounted for in the requirements listed above.
    • Complete 80 hours of community service (can be recorded on a resume, Google Sheet, or any other legible format).


    Ida B. Wells High School Valedictorian Honors

    IBW valedictorians are recognized as those students who have earned straight A’s through the first seven semesters of high school. 

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    Credit Recovery & Alternative Methods of Earning High School Credit

    Students have many alternatives to acquire high school credit, recover credit from previous courses in which they received an "F" grade, or improve grades. Always check with your counselor before enrolling to see if the credit will transfer as an elective or required course on your transcript. IBW can only accept credit from accredited institutions that have been approved by PPS. Below are the institutions most commonly used by IBW students; however, the list is not exhaustive.

    Portland Evening Scholars

    Portland Evening Scholars (PES) is a supplemental credit recovery and credit advancement program; it is NOT a diploma or a G.E.D. program. All PES students (with few exceptions) are also attending a day school program while they are taking classes with PES.

    Course Credits: Students earn 1/2 credit for each semester course successfully completed at PES. Each class is held one night a week, from 6-9 pm. PES follows a two-semester schedule. Fall Semester runs September through January. Spring Semester runs February through May.

    Registration, fees, and course info are updated in early September for Fall Semester, and in January for Spring Semester.

    Summer Scholars

    Summer Scholars is a high school credit recovery and credit advancement program. It is a tuition-based program for students who want to recover credit, improve a grade, or get ahead by earning original credit. Each three-week semester carries 0.5 credits.

    Work Experience Elective Credit

    In some circumstances, students may earn credit toward graduation through work experience, either paid or unpaid. For information on earning credit for paid employment, Click here. For information on earning credit for unpaid employment, click here.



    STAMP (STAndards-based Measurement of Proficiency) is a web-based test that is an option for high school students to earn academic credits for language proficiency. Students should be native English speakers or ESL students with high intermediate to advanced English. Application with parent signature is required at time of test.

    Virtual Scholars

    Virtual scholars is a free online credit recovery program offered as a class at IBW to students who have received a “D” or “F”grade and need to improve their grade. See your counselor to sign up.

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    Enrichment Opportunities

    Saturday Academy

    Saturday Academy offers a broad range of hands-on classes and camps during the school year and school vacations. Courses include topics in science, engineering, writing, college entrance test prep, programming, art, filmmaking, and more.

    Apprenticeships in Science and Engineering (ASE)

    The ASE Program provides a full summertime work experience beginning with the application process and interview skill training. Successful applicants are selected by ASE mentors and gain professional experience while working as interns with mentor scientists and engineers from industry, university, non-profit and government agencies. Applications due in late February. 

    Partnership for Scientific Inquiry

    The Partnership for Scientific Inquiry class is designed to allow Portland area high school students an opportunity to experience scientific research. The class pairs students with OHSU faculty mentors. Students prepare a research proposal that describes work which could be done in the mentor's lab over the ensuing summer. Please note this program meets during the second academic semester (Feb-June) and students may continue in the summer to conduct research with their mentor. High school credit can be obtained for participation in this upper level class. This class meets every Monday from 4:30 to 6:30 PM on the OHSU campus beginning approximately Feb. 1 and continuing throughout the remainder of the school year. High school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors are invited to apply. Students must have no scheduling conflicts that would interfere with attending all classes. The class is rigorous with weekly homework as well as written and oral presentations.

    Architecture, Construction, Engineering (ACE) Mentor Program

    To be eligible, students must have at least a 2.0 grade point average, good attendance, teacher recommendations and two full years of math. They must also complete an interview. Applications are usually due in December. Teams are composed of 15-25 students and their industry mentors. Each team is set up to emulate an actual design team, with students guided through a mock design project by their architect, engineer, and construction management mentors. Several companies will be assigned to each team, each providing one or two mentors. Mentors guide the students as they work towards a final project, introducing them to the careers, industry vocabulary, and various roles companies play in the construction industry. ACE runs for the duration of the school year. The teams meet for approximately 15 sessions, for about two hours after school. In addition to these team sessions, there are also all-team activities such as "College Night" and field trips to construction sites. ACE students are eligible for ACE scholarships, which they can apply toward higher education in a building-related field.

    Lewis and Clark College Templeton Scholars

    Qualified students who seek a challenging academic experience beyond the offerings of their high school curriculum may enroll in regular Lewis & Clark courses with the permission of the instructor.

    Reed College Young Scholars

    High-school seniors who are ready for part-time, rigorous college study may apply to take one college class at Reed for the full academic year while concurrently enrolled in high school. Applicants must have exhausted high-school curricula options in the subject he or she wishes to take at Reed, or have demonstrated a serious and sustained interest in a subject not offered at the high school.

    Portland Community College

    Some juniors and seniors elect to take a class or two at PCC to supplement their education at experience.

    Portland State University Leap Into New Knowledge (LINK)

    LINK is an academic-year scholarship program (not offered in the summer) for selected high school juniors and seniors to attend the Portland State University for part-time advanced study. Students submit applications by May 31 every year to start at PSU in the following academic year. To qualify for the program, students must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average and have exhausted all available course offerings in a particular subject area.

    Brigham Young University-Independent Study

    BYU Independent Study is a nonprofit online educational program. Enrollment is open to anyone, any time of the year, with a full year to complete most courses. The registration process starts with your counselor, so be sure to see them to get signed up. 

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    Khan Academy

    Khan Academy is an educational non-profit with an extensive library of content, covering everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history, and including interactive challenges, assessments, and videos accessible for free from any computer with access to the web.

    Tutor Doctor

    Tutor Doctor's local Portland tutoring services provide affordable one-to-one tutoring for children and adults that covers all subjects as well as test preparation and study skills. Our students’ success is our only goal.


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    Community Service and Service Learning


    Community Service (CS): Volunteering in your community to help people, organizations, agencies make the community a better place.

    Service Learning (SL): Making community service into a learning opportunity, as part of a larger unit of study. Students might participate with a group or they may create their own SL project.

    Why: We often tell students that all citizens have the responsibility to use their gifts to contribute to making the world a better place. It is never too early to start. It is an excellent opportunity to integrate classroom learning in the community.

    If a student also wants to use his /her experience as a resume builder, taking initiative and creating a new project or taking major responsibility within an existing agency show a greater level of commitment than doing a job that someone else has thought of. Obviously, we need people to take all roles to get all the work done that is needed in the world.

    Where: Ideally, find a place that inspires your passion! You might want to volunteer at several places until you find a place that seems to really “fit” you. Start with your interests, but don’t be limited by them. You may find a new passion that you would have never dreamed of! Listen to our daily bulletin announcements for opportunities. Search the internet for non-profit organizations in Portland in your area of interest, i.e. animals, environment, politics, social services, business, construction, et cetera. Pick an activity to which you can devote yourself and where you can deepen your skills. This can also be an opportunity to learn about another culture, in your own city! You can learn how others solve problems and also how some people only have resources to just survive. Research the agency prior to calling. It’s important to know something about the organization before you volunteer.

    Results: Learn to talk and write about your experience. What were your challenges? How did you change? How were you able to take initiative? How was your passion inspired?

    Warning: Here are a few ideas of places to serve; check them out to see if they are right for you. We have not personally checked out these agencies. Talk to your parents, teachers and counselors if anything seems odd or uncomfortable in any situation.

    General volunteer search options:

    Congressional Service Award: Apply online, preferably early in your high school career. If you are willing to set goals and document your participation in four areas, you can earn this prestigious award.


    Friends Library Store, 801 SW 10th
    Portland'5 Centers for the  Arts, 32 NW 5th Ave; Theatre companies: Portland Center Stage, Third Rail Repertory, Artists Repertory, Interstate Cultural Theatre, Firehouse Theatre, Tears of Joy Theatre.
    KBOO Radio
    Oregon Public Broadcasting


    Oregon Humane Society, NE Columbia Blvd.
    PAW Team
    Cat Adoption Team
    Dove Lewis
    Feral Cat Coalition
    Pixie Project

    Community Services:

    Community Warehouse
    Growing Gardens
    Q Center
    Write Around Portland
    Giving Tree
    Community Cycling Center
    Neighborhood House
    Oregon Food Bank
    Big Brothers, Big Sisters
    Habitat for Humanity
    Western Farmworkers Association. Work in English or Spanish to help local farmworkers get services.



    Friends of Trees
    Oregon Wild
    Rebuilding Center
    Tryon Creek State Park
    Leach Botanical Garden
    Student Conservation Association
    Plastics recycling



    Living Yoga
    North by Northeast Community Health Center
    Local hospitals all have volunteer programs.
    Planned Parenthood
    Wallace Medical Concern


    Volunteer at local elementary and middle schools.
    Offer to tutor other high school students in your strong subjects.
    Friends of the Children
    Chess for Success
    Free Geek

    Social Action:

    American Friends Service Committee
    Sisters of the Road
    Center for Intercultural Organizing
    Bicycle Transportation Alliance


    Seek out opportunities with locally, regionally or nationally elected officials. Be prepared with a resume detailing your interests and experiences.
    Bus Project Foundation

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