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Information before registration: IB meeting

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Hillcrest is known in part for its International Baccalaureate (IB) program, and a recent meeting the group held helped clarify IB for many incoming juniors.

Ms. Veenstra, IB Executive Assistant & CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) Coordinator, said, “[IB] is more than a test. It’s definitely about rigor and it’s about the whole curriculum coming together.”

Like AP and Concurrent Enrollment, IB allows students to get credit that can go towards college.

Veenstra made a sharp distinction from AP and IB when she stated, “[One’s] work and assessment are included in [their] grade [and college credit], unlike AP tests. AP is just about the test, but IB incorporates different components the contribute to the final grade.”   

There are 3 IB pathways for students to pursue. These are individual courses, the IB Career Program (CP), and the IB Diploma Program (DP).

According to Hillcrest’s IB website, the CP focuses on preparing for internships and skilled career paths, while DP focuses on preparing for colleges and universities.

On January 7, an IB informational meeting took place from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. in room AT200.

“The purpose of this meeting was to help parents learn more about what IB is,” Veenstra explained.

Parents and incoming students alike may have concerns about IB or just not know what IB is meant to be, according to Ms. Veenstra, who has dealt with many questions.

“Parents tend to ask how much homework will each student have, what are different pathways, what colleges accept IB credits, and classroom sizes,” Veenstra explained.

IB tends to hold their informational meeting in December or January so that parents and students can decide whether IB is right for them before registration starts in February.

Veenstra explained that IB can be good for students because, “It’s fun, it’s challenging, and it delves more deeply into the subject, instead of just skimming across. The teachers will get to know students and Mr. Olson, our coordinator, also gets to know all of [Hillcrest’s] students and meets with them at least once or twice a year. Students are able to get one-on-one counseling and we have fun events throughout the year [such as bowling and picnics].”

Veenstra added, “A lot of people don’t know what IB is, the curriculum, or what the IB school is all about. We just want to make sure we explain what IB is.”

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Information before registration: IB meeting