The world of IB evaluation


Students from CP and DP program are being interviewed by the IB team to discuss what it’s like being an IB student. Photographer Luae Samrah.

Luae Samrah, Reporter

Taft’s Wall-to-wall IB Programme underwent their five year evaluation on Jan 13-15. An IB Site Visit Evaluation Team came to Taft to ensure the programme standards and practices are being adhered to.*

Taft has the Middle Years Programme (MYP), Career-Related Programme (CP), and the Diploma Programme (DP). The aim of the IB programs is to develop internationally minded people who recognize their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet. Central to this aim is international-mindedness.**

As the IB team interviewed students about the IB program they talked about how it was rigorous for them to be in a CP and DP class as a young student. Senior Kristine Georgieva  (Div.131) attended the interview on Monday to answer questions about how the IB program improved over the years and how she gained knowledge as an IB, CP student.

“I love being a CP student at Taft since I gained more knowledge and correspond with others well, but some teachers get me out of my comfort zone as they challenge you in different ways which was very time consuming,” said Georgieva.   

The IB team observed students in classrooms, such as the Personal and Professional Skills 1 and 2 courses. IB visiting team chair Elie Alkobey, who has worked with the IB program for 10 years, asked students about their experiences in the CP and DP.

“This was not a test for students when we interviewed them. Every 5 years we visit schools, so they could have time to reflect on the IB programs. It was fun watching students open their minds about their experiences of being in IB,” said Alkobey.

On Sat., Jan 11, IBCP, DP, and MYP students and parents attended the Parent-Student Informational Meeting at the TFA from 10-12 pm. IB MYP coordinator Fakhira Chander, coordinator of IB DP Irene Kondos, IBCP and CTE coordinator Lauren Zucchero, and Assistant Principals Eric Flores and Jenny Greenblatt spoke about the IB programs, the 10 IB learner profile attributes and the continuum paths available for students over the years.

Kondos said, “Students that complete DP classes are exposed to college level coursework through the lens of a global perspective.”

Students apply for the IB DP in grades 9 and 10. Martin Krongo (Div. 116) who is a DP student applied to Taft for the IB DP program. He thinks that being an IB student helps you prepare for college and challenges you to be a better student and make good decisions.

“IB is an international program that wants to communicate and challenge students to become a better version of themselves. Putting in the work and using your time wisely is a big aspect of the program. As a DP student, I have to do a Creative Action Service (CAS) with an extended essay throughout my junior and senior years,” said Krongo.

Students apply for IB CP in grade 10. Having a conversation with your family and counselor is important because of the academic requirements.

Being an IB teacher is challenging since they put in extra time guiding students through papers, service work, projects and other academic requirements that go beyond school hours.

Senior English teacher Kathleen Aghakhan teaches IB DP HL English Literature for senior DP students.

“Teaching IB is a lot of work for the students and teachers. As a DP English teacher I also help students to become critical thinkers and communicators. Freshmen and sophomores they take AP classes which they do internal [teacher grades it]. Junior and Senior years require external assessments [sent to IB to grade]. I am very happy to be a part of the IB DP program since it educates students and prepares them for after high school.”

Some colleges have guidelines for IB students to see what requirements they need to pass that course. Credit can be given for both HL and SL courses, but ultimately it depends on each university. Taft currently has a partnership with Loyola University and hosts their student teachers at Taft.

The IB evaluation concluded with an exit meeting involving the visiting team, Taft administration and coordinators. They reviewed the programme’s standard and practices, reviewing their observations and offering recommendations. Taft will receive a full report in six months.

“The visiting team said we have an amazing staff to which we responded, ‘Now you know how IB works.’ The whole experience was very positive. Individually as teachers, we make progress, but in teams, we are perfection,” said Chander.

The IB program is a way to help students work hard and prepare themselves for college after their four years throughout the MYP, CP and DP program which together are a continuum. For more information, you can visit website.