The IB at CDO
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is a rigorous, 11th and 12th grade diploma program for students seeking personal and academic growth that prepares them to compete in the 21st Century marketplace. IB learners strive to be inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective; all characteristics that are valued in the Amphitheater School District and at Canyon del Oro High School. Canyon del Oro was authorized to offer the Diploma Programme in February 2012 and is one of only three International Baccalaureate schools in Southern Arizona (and the only high school in Oro Valley).
What makes IB unique?
- Students in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme explore relationships between all subjects and learn about the world in ways that reach beyond each single subject/discipline.
- IB aims to develop active, compassionate, lifelong learners with international awareness - qualities highly sought after by the most selective colleges and universities in the United States and around the world.
- Students are encouraged to have a positive attitude toward learning, ask challenging questions, reflect critically, develop research skills, learn how to learn, and participate in community service designed to build leadership skills and connect learning beyond the classroom into real-world action.
- IB World Schools must undergo an exhaustive authorization process in order to offer one or more of the Programmes, which includes a study of the school's resources and commitment to the IB mission and philosophy.
- IB teachers participate in a wide variety of professional development opportunities to constantly update their knowledge and share their expertise with colleagues around the world.
- The IB Diploma Programme receives international recognition with potential scholarships. For a sampling, visit: 50 Scholarships for new IB graduates
Hear what CDO IB Diploma Programme students say about their experiences:
IB & AP Considerations
- AP courses are one-year in duration and may be taken beginning in grade 9. In contrast, most IB Diploma Programme (DP) courses are two-years in duration and are available to students beginning in grade 11.
- Both programs will enable high achieving students to earn college credit and academic accolades.
- The IB Diploma requires the study of a second language in both the junior and senior years, emphasizing linguistic skills and increased cultural understanding.
- IB courses provide multiple assessment types to give a more accurate depiction of student learning. Students are assessed in practical applications such as fieldwork, lab experiments, literary performances, mathematical investigations, presentations, reflections, and formal exams.
- IB has a specific emphasis on writing, discussion, critical thinking, and developing the whole student in all courses.
- Compared to their non-IB peers, IB DP graduates report being more comfortable with doing research and more willing to engage in research at the college level.
Below, Assistant Dean of Admission for Stanford University, Debra Von Bargen, who has firsthand experience working with many IB graduates, including her son, discusses the 21st century skills developed as result of the IB Diploma Programme.
IB Diploma Programme students can undertake the full IB Diploma, which includes the study of six courses; one from each Subject Group listed below. DP students take three courses at High Level (HL) and three at Standard Level (SL), and participate in the DP Core [Theory of Knowledge (TOK); Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS); and the Extended Essay (EE)]. The Core requirements are considered a cornerstone connecting all six subjects and thus are required to earn full IB Diploma.
Students interested in taking IB courses but needing more flexibility in their schedule can participate in the IB Certificate Pathway. In this option, students take 1 to 3 IB courses. The IB issues certificates and transcripts for courses students register for and take examinations in Certificate Pathway students do not participate in the Core.
Both options have associated fees for testing and certain prerequisites are required to enroll.
At Canyon del Oro, we currently offer the following IB courses*:
- Group 1: Literature HL and Literature and Performance SL
- Group 2: French SL/HL, German SL/HL, and Spanish SL/HL
- Group 3: History (The Americas Route) HL
- Group 4: Chemistry SL/HL
- Group 5: Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches SL/HL
- Group 6: Visual Arts SL/HL, Dance SL, Music SL, Computer Science SL, Social and Cultural Anthropology SL/HL
*Not all courses are available to Certificate Pathway students.
The 4 year plan of courses can help 9th and 10th grade students plan their course of study to prepare for both the IB Diploma and Certificate Pathway.
The full CDO Course Catalog with prerequisites can be found at: High School Course Catalog
The full IB Diploma has three Core requirements that are included to broaden the educational experience and challenge students to apply their knowledge and understanding:
- The Extended Essay (EE) is a requirement for students to engage in independent research through an in-depth study of a question relating to one of the subjects they are studying.
- Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is a course designed to encourage each student to reflect on the nature of knowledge by critically examining different ways of knowing. TOK distinguishes between eight areas of knowledge: mathematics, the natural sciences, the human sciences, the arts, history, ethics, religious knowledge systems, and indigenous knowledge systems.
- Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) requires that students actively learn from experience extended from the classroom. Students continue to participate in their already established extracurricular activities and are encouraged to explore new areas of interest. CAS is about being mindful about experiences, setting goals, enacting behaviors to reach those goals, and reflecting on the experience.
Applying to the CDO IB Diploma or Certificate Pathway Programmes
As most IB courses are two-year courses that span 11th and 12th grades, the majority of students will apply for the IB in the spring of their 10th grade year. However, IB Music SL and IB Anthropology SL are one-year courses taken in 11th grade by DP students and in either 11th or 12th grade for Certificate students.
Prospective IB students are encouraged to take the “Is the IB Diploma Programme right for you?” self-assessment (click here for self-assessment); to meet with the IB Coordinator, Amy Bomke, and/or the IB Counselor, Patricia Harris; and to shadow a current IB student to help them decide if the IB Diploma or Certificate Pathway is right for them.
10th grade students interested in shadowing a current IB student can make arrangements with Ms. Harris (email@example.com, 696-5596).
The CDO IB Diploma Programme Application can be found here:DP application
The CDO IB Certificate Pathway Application can be found here:Cert application
IB Diploma Handbook
Additional details for all IB students can be found in the DP Handbook. The DP Handbook is updated annually to reflect changes in our program and scheduling options for the next year's incoming cohort. IB testing fees, course availability, and other items are subject to change with each new cohort.Handbook 2020-2022
International Baccalaureate Coordinator
Amy Bomke, CDO’s new IB Program Coordinator, has worked in education for 25 years. She has a BS in Secondary Education with a major in Spanish, a minor in English, and an MA in Spanish that was completed through study abroad in Spain, with additional graduate credits in literature and teaching writing. She taught Spanish and English at the high school and middle school levels for seven years before moving to higher education to teach Spanish at Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis for 18 years and served as the coordinator for the 100 level Spanish Program for six of those. Most recently, Amy worked in the Teacher Certification Program at Pima Community College designing and facilitating professional development for new teachers and their mentors. She is also the mom to two CDO students!