West Sound Academy offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, a rigorous pre-university course of study in the final two years of high school. Our curriculum from grades six to ten builds toward the IB program by stressing strong writing, speaking, computational, and artistic skills.

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at West Sound Academy

West Sound Academy is an authorized International Baccalaureate World School offering the prestigious IB Diploma Programme as an option to juniors and seniors.

What is IB?


The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, established in the 1960s and recognized as the worldwide gold standard of education, provides an academically challenging and balanced program of study to talented and motivated 11th and 12th graders around the world. IB coursework balances subject breadth and depth with a concern for an understanding of the connectedness of disciplines.  Program coursework intentionally fosters international mindedness.

Its reputation is based on the development of the whole student: physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically. For more information about International Baccalaureate, visit the organization's Web site at http://www.ibo.org and read the Huffington Post interview of Siva Kumari, the Director General of the International Baccalaureate Organization:  The Global Search for Education: With the World in Mind

What are the benefits of doing IB at West Sound Academy?


A West Sound Academy IB education prepares graduates to compete and excel in university and, more importantly, in a global society.

From our inception, the mission of West Sound Academy has paralleled the mission of International Baccalaureate. The IB Learner Profile of ten characteristics inspires and motivates the work of students and teachers and aligns with our mission.  IB learners strive to be inquiring, thoughtful, expressive, knowledgeable, principled, open-minded, caring, balanced, risk-taking, and reflective.

Participation in IB coursework gives distinct advantage to students in the college admission process. Universities around the globe recognize the rigor and value of an IB education. The International Baccalaureate Organization states  "evidence does show that DP [Diploma Programme] students tend to go on to tertiary study at higher rates than their peers, are admitted more often to selective institutions, and tend to perform better in their post-secondary studies, including higher rates of post-secondary completion."

Many universities will also award academic credit and scholarship awards for successful examination results in specific subject areas or after completion of the full IB diploma.

How does IB work?


International Baccalaureate Diploma candidates are expected to do IB coursework in six major areas, including literature, foreign languages, social studies, the experimental sciences, mathematics and an elective of either arts or an additional course from one of the other subject areas.

Three subjects are taken at Higher Level; the others, at Standard Level. The Diploma Programme has three additional core requirements intended to broaden the educational experience and challenge students to apply what they learn in personally and socially meaningful ways. These requirements include a 4,000-word Extended Essay on a subject of the student's choice; a Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course that examines the nature of knowledge and different ways and kinds of knowing; and a requirement called Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) which includes 150 hours of personally and socially relevant activity beyond the classroom and, in many cases, beyond the school.

International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme model

IB examinations are taken at the end of the two-year program and are marked by external examiners around the world. Internal assessments are administered and marked by classroom teachers over the two years; samples of those are "moderated" by external examiners to assure consistency and quality of assessment. West Sound Academy students may choose to participate in the full IB Diploma Programme, earn certificates in individual subject areas, or focus on completion of the West Sound Academy diploma, which continues to be highly regarded by college and university admissions officers.  See:  May 2018 International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Exam Schedule

Who can participate in the IB Diploma Programme at West Sound Academy?


The IB Diploma Programme option is available to all West Sound Academy students enrolled in the 11th and 12th grade years.

The IB diploma and certificates are awarded to students who sit for and pass comprehensive exams in May of their senior year and complete all other requirements. IB diplomas and certificates are issued by IB and sent to the candidate and a college of the student's choice in the summer after graduation.

How much does it cost?


Students are responsible for standard fees associated with education at West Sound Academy: books, tuition, laptop, etc. When testing for the IB Diploma or Certificates, students will be charged the following fees (May 2017 figures):

  • One-time registration fee of $168 (whether pursuing the IB Diploma or Certificate)
  • Subject exam fee of $116 per exam
  • Fee for a Diploma course student submitting just the Extended Essay: $89
  • Fee for a Diploma course student submitting just for Theory of Knowledge: $45
  • One-time postage fee for international mailings of $50 for certificate candidates; $75 for diploma candidates

These fees are due at the time of registration for the exams, in most cases in October of the senior year, and are subject to change.  Other costs may include studio supplies or tutoring fees, which are at the student's expense.

What is West Sound Academy's Special Assessment Policy?


West Sound Academy, in accordance with International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) policies and Washington State Administrative Code, “believes that all candidates should be allowed to demonstrate their ability under assessment conditions that are as fair as possible. Standard assessment conditions may put candidates with learning support requirements at a disadvantage by preventing them from demonstrating their level of attainment. Inclusive assessment arrangements may be authorized in these circumstances.” These arrangements strictly adhere to the principles and guidelines of the IBO and the IB Diploma Programme as relayed in the IB document entitled “Candidates with Assessment Access Requirements” (May, 2009; updated September, 2013). Special assessment need policies are made available to parents and other stakeholders in their entirety and are available here:  Candidates with Assessement Access Requirements

Where can I learn more about International Baccalaureate?


For more information about IB education at West Sound Academy, contact Barrie Hillman, Head of School, at bhillman@westsoundacademy.org


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