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    Studying Performing Arts

Ages 16 to 18

The last two years of High School present an ambitious and rewarding chapter for students. They’re faced with coursework that’s rigorous, but also wholly tailored to their unique interests and aspirations for college and beyond.

Studying the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, students work towards earning an internationally recognized qualification that’s respected throughout the United States and by the world’s top colleges and universities. The program provides a variety of curriculum choices designed to fully prepare students for college studies and help them develop to their full potential. 

Students go beyond the collection of facts and learn how to flourish in our interconnected and globalized world. They ask challenging questions, discover what it means to learn, develop a strong sense of identity and culture as well as the ability to communicate with and understand people different from them.

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Course Routes

Based on their course route in Years 10 & 11 and prior attainment requirements, students in the later years of High School follow one of the three course routes below.

IB Diploma, graduating with Double Honors

Students study six IB subjects, three at Standard Level Honors and three at Higher Level Honors. They must also successfully complete the IB Diploma Program core requirements (Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge, and Creativity, Action, Service) and study U.S. Studies. Successful completion results in the IB Diploma and BISC High School Double Honors Diploma.

IB Certificates, graduating with Single Honors

Students study six IB subjects, and up to six of them can be at Standard or Higher Level Honors. Any of the six subjects not at Honors Level are at College Preparation Level. Students are also required to successfully complete Creativity, Action, Service hours and U.S. Studies. Students can opt for additional certification in the Theory of Knowledge course and Extended Essay. Successful completion results in IB Certificates and the BISC High School Diploma.

BISC High School Diploma

Students study six subjects, all at College Preparation Level. They also complete Creativity, Action, Service hours, 100 hours of Theory of Knowledge, a project-based piece of research, as well as U.S. Studies. Successful completion results in the BISC High School Diploma.

Course Options

Regardless of their course route, students enroll in six IB subjects from the groups below, ensuring breadth of experience in languages, social studies, the experimental sciences and mathematics.

Students must choose one subject from each of Groups 1 to 5, and the sixth subject may be an Arts subject in Group 6 or a second Science. 

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Group 5 Group 6
English French Business Management Biology Mathematics Visual Arts
  Spanish Geography Chemistry Math Studies Design & Technology
  German AB History Physics   Computer Science
  Mandarin AB Information Technology in a Global Society     Sports, Exercise & Health Science
  French AB       Chemistry (second science)
  Spanish AB       Physics (second science)
Secondary Students

IB Core Requirements

In addition to the six IB subject groups, the IB Diploma Program is comprised of three required components that aim to broaden students’ educational experience and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills.

Extended Essay

The Extended Essay is an independent, self-directed piece of research that culminates in a 4,000-word paper. Students engage in research through an in-depth study of a question that relates to one of the subjects they’re studying and then produce an Extended Essay with support and guidance from faculty.

Theory of Knowledge

In Theory of Knowledge (TOK), students reflect on the nature of knowledge and how we know what we claim to know. It’s designed to encourage critical thinking by examining different ways of knowing (sense perception, emotion, language and reason) and different areas of knowledge, including mathematics, natural science, human science, history and ethics.

TOK is assessed through an oral presentation that looks at the student’s ability to apply TOK thinking to a real-life situation. Students must also write a 1,600-word essay, which takes a more conceptual starting point. Students choose one essay title from six issued by IB.

Creativity, Action, Service

Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) requires students to actively learn from the experience of doing real tasks beyond the classroom. Students complete a project related to the concepts of creativity, action and service, combining two of the components, and complete activities related to each one of them separately. For example, to complete a “creativity” activity, a talented musician may learn a particularly difficult piece or a different style of playing.

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Homework and Assessment

Students use an online homework portal called ManageBac, which records homework assignments and also houses worksheets and other class resources. Each subject sets one homework assignment per week that requires approximately one hour.

Teachers communicate with families about student achievement and progress in four academic reports during the school year. In each report, the teacher describes students' academic and social development and lists targets in for the student to concentrate on before the next report. Our teachers are highly trained in estimating and setting academic targets that challenge student learning.

Advisory and Community Time

Every High School student is part of an Advisory group, led by a teacher (Advisor), that meets weekly to provide students with an opportunity to interact with peers in a structured and supervised environment, but outside of academic lessons. It’s also a chance for students to receive mentoring and guidance from their Advisor. Students follow a planned program of social and emotional learning that helps them acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to manage their lives now and in the future.

Students also take part in Community Time on Wednesday afternoons. Community Time prepares them for life after BISC South Loop by supporting their holistic development through varied activities, such as field trips directly related to their studies. There are also leadership opportunities, in-school workshops and numerous community service initiatives.

Curriculum Guide