CHS plans to offer two new IB classes as options for the 2020-2021 school year. The courses are IB Sports Exercise and Health Science and IB Environmental Systems and Societies.
According to Katie Overbeck, IB program director and English teacher, CHS added these to increase the variety of classes for the IB diploma program.
Overbeck said, “These (new courses) are our attempt to make sure within our IB science offering that we had a one year course. We currently offer physics and biology, and they are both two year courses. Some of our IB diploma kids wanted a one year science course. (IB Environmental Systems and Societies) is the best option that IB offers for a one-year science course that isn’t quite as intensive. If some of our students don’t feel like science is one of their main strengths, they could take this and that harder class in history or something they are more interested in (rather than IB Biology or physics).”
Sophomore Grace Kubek, who said she is strongly considering the IB path, said she would benefit from these new courses. Kubek plans to take IB English, IB History of the Americas and possibly IB Environmental Systems and Societies.
Kubek said, “I am not that interested in science but (IB Environmental Systems and Societies) was a course that seemed cool and like it would be a good fit for me. I think the new course options help IB students get their requirements easier with these more diverse options.”
IB Environmental Systems and Societies differs from AP Environmental Science because IB focuses on the human impact on the environment while AP has a wider scope of information to cover.
According to counselor Kevin McDonugh, IB courses also tend to focus on the global aspect of topics.
McDonugh said, “The IB Environmental Systems and Societies class, that one, though we already have an AP Environmental Science course, but this class is going to engage the student a little differently. It has a different structure and approach than the AP courses. It focuses on seeing how the human is involved within the ecology and environmental systems.”
Overbeck said, “Our hope is to provide flexibility and choice in (students’) path. Not every IB diploma student wants to learn the same content and the ideal international baccalaureate diploma is one that a student builds around their interests. By offering these new courses, we hope that we offer them a more diverse selection from which to build their diploma off (of).”
Additionally, students will have the opportunity to take the IB exams along with the classes to receive possible college credit.
Overbeck said, “Our students who take the classes (have the option) to sit for our May exam and the other assessment that they do for IB during the course to balance with the exam score, giving them a final credit. If (the students) score a strong score in either class, they can get college credit for both.”