Shaker to Offer IB Medallion for Students Who Want Flexibility

Shaker students may now receive an International Baccalaureate Medallion instead of signing up for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

The IB Medallion requires students to take three IB classes during junior and senior year, complete the IB exams and fulfill the Creativity Action Service requirement, which includes 150 community service hours.

Shaker learned about the IB Medallion at an IB workshop. A public high school in Minneapolis with a diverse community similar to Shaker’s offered this option.

According to IB Coordinator Tim Mitchell, the IB Medallion was created to give students the option of taking some other classes in addition to experiencing IB-style classes.

Sophomore Maeve Lyness is considering the medallion. “Taking a few IB classes would give me a taste of IB, without having to take the entire program,” sophomore Maeve Lyness said.

The medallion is not recognized by the IB headquarters but it is a Shaker invention to allow students the opportunity for a mixed curriculum. It allows students to grow academically and also experience some personal growth with the CAS requirement. IB also “gives kids who start IB a fallback if things don’t work out,” Mitchell said.

Junior Daniel Griffith was not able to commit to the entire IB program because he “wanted to take higher level math and science classes that were not offered by IB.” Griffith is considering the IB Medallion because it gives him the opportunity to take challenging classes. “I also like the CAS program because it gives me a great chance to something of my own and grow creatively as a student,” he said.

 “The whole IB program seemed restrictive and intimidating to me and I wanted more freedom to take the classes I was interested in,” sophomore Anna Katz said. “At the same time, I thought a couple of the IB classes had interesting curriculums so I decided I wanted to do the medallion.”

“It’s a nice way to acknowledge and reward students who are inclined to take some IB classes but are not going for the entire diploma,” IB coordinator Tim Mitchell said.

Mitchell also explained that he wants IB to be more inclusive with courses open to as many students as possible. The Medallion will “share the opportunities offered from IB with more students,” Mitchell said.

A version of this article appeared in print on 28 February 2012, on page 3 of The Shakerite.

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