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IB Committee visits South

Annual five-year review runs smoothly

The+International+Baccalaureate+Program+has+two+different+pathways%2C+DP+and+CP%2C+which+it+offers+to+students+who+wish+to+pursue+rigorous+course+work.+Mr.+Denney+keeps+this+IB+placard+in+his+office.+
The International Baccalaureate Program has two different pathways, DP and CP, which it offers to students who wish to pursue rigorous course work. Mr. Denney keeps this IB placard in his office.

The International Baccalaureate Program has two different pathways, DP and CP, which it offers to students who wish to pursue rigorous course work. Mr. Denney keeps this IB placard in his office.

The International Baccalaureate Program has two different pathways, DP and CP, which it offers to students who wish to pursue rigorous course work. Mr. Denney keeps this IB placard in his office.

Will Logsdon, Senior Editor

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During the week of January 21st, South hosted important visitors from the IB Committee. There were three educators who evaluated the school’s IB accreditation. One of the teachers on the panel works locally in Gwinnett County while the other visitors were educators in the state of Kansas. The Five-Year review, as this evaluation is called, analyzes the changes requested by the IB Committee in the previous five-year review and ensures that they have been implemented. The Verification Report is the document that IB submits to evaluated schools which includes its suggestions. One of the requests made in the previous Five-Year review was that an honor code be adopted by South to prevent plagiarism and cheating among students in the IB program. The honor code has since been instituted across Forsyth County. Mr. Thompson, who teaches IB Literature HL and IB TOK, helped to develop South’s honor code and is one of the individuals responsible for its articulation.

Mr. Denney, the IB Coordinator at South, selected IB CP (Career Pathway) and IB DP (Diploma Programme) students to be interviewed by the visitors during the Five-Year Review. Students were led to the conference room located in the front office during IF for the interview. Once seated, the three educators asked students why they decided to join the IB Programme and which qualities made it more attractive than AP Capstone. Students were also asked whether the honor code at South holds any merit. Students responded by stating they felt students in IB take the honor code more seriously than students in other classes because the repercussions are more severe for plagiarism and cheating, particularly for assignments like the IA’s which are externally graded by international IB graders.

The team sent to review South asked students whether they felt they were made aware of all the requirements outlined by IB for assignments such as CAS and the EE (Extended Essay). Input from students is important to the IB visitors since they can provide honest insight about the typical goings-on and the values of the program which have motivated them to pursue rigorous classes. Ms. Frankel, one of South’s counselors, was present during the meeting as an observer.

“I expect the Verification Visit Report will be submitted to us in two more weeks, or possibly not until the end of the year,” Mr. Denney said. “I am confident that we have done well and met IB’s standards, but I am sure that they will make some recommendations for us.”

Denney added, “Specifically, they are likely to recommend we elect a Personal and Professional Skills (PPS) trained educator to teach the Career Pathway class since this teaching position has frequently been staffed by teachers that haven’t attended the training tailored to this specific course.”

In 2023, IB will authorize another Five-Year Review at South. To learn more about the IB program, visit their website or ask Mr. Denney questions if you are interested in enrolling. Registration will be closing soon, so be proactive and consider what education you wish to pursue.

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