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International Baccalaureate (IB)

What is IB?

The IB Diploma Program is a two-year course of study for juniors and seniors. More than a collection of courses, the Diploma Program is a holistic approach to the final two years of high school.

The IB mission aims to "develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through education that builds intercultural understanding and respect."


Stewart Peery
IB Diploma Program Coordinator
(704) 943-4617

Tim Waples
Extended Essay Coordinator
TOK Instructor

Lee-Anne Black
Co-CAS Coordinator

Lisa Hernick
Co-CAS Coordinator

Four Pillars of IB

Our IB Program is founded on four pillars:

Rigorous Academics—emphasis on critical thinking and student-directed learning.

Personal Growth—created through opportunities with the Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) program.

Global Mindedness—central to the IB experience and is woven into all IB curricula.

Community—our IB students have a unique experience within the Upper School and create a close-knit community through their shared experiences.

By focusing on these four pillars across the IB curriculum, Country Day IB faculty create positive outcomes for IB students.

Why IB May Be Right for You

Did you know that international research shows that compared to non-IB peers, students who participate in an IB Diploma program demonstrate better critical thinking, are more globally minded, are more willing to take on new challenges, and are more motivated and engaged with academics?

Surveys of of our IB students, alumni, and parents also confirm that IB prepares students well for rigorous academics, time management, extracurricular involvement, critical thinking, and analytical writing, all in a supportive atmosphere of IB trained teachers.

This emphasis on a supportive learning environment helps our IB students achieve at a high level well above the world average. Our pass rate over the past five years is 98.5%. And that success in Country Day's IB program translates to success in college.

Unique Experience of IB Core

In addition to completing six IB subjects, IB students complete the IB Core: Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS), Extended Essay (EE), and Theory of Knowledge (TOK). Each of these elements is available only to IB students. Connected to all IB subjects, the IB Core is a personalized, unique experience for every IB student that improves academic and interpersonal skills.

Theory of Knowledge

TOK cultivates students' critical thinking. Often a favorite of IB students, TOK challenges students to consider what we know, how we know it, and what happens when different people know different thinks.

Creativity, Activity, and Service

The CAS program encourages personal growth outside the classroom through engaging in and reflecting upon meaningful experiences. CAS experiences can be as varied as Irish dancing, learning to cook, starting a community garden, forming a band, improving athletic skills, organizing DAF forums, writing a blog, or teaching others how to code.

Extended Essay

The EE is an opportunity for IB students to complete in-depth research, culminating in a major research paper. Students can choose any topic in any discipline, and they select a faculty member to serve as their EE supervisor. Recent research topics have included: The prevalence of tuberculosis in medically underserved areas, History of the Equal Rights Amendment, The use of psychedlics (psilocybin) to treat mental illnesses, and Racial considerations in casting role for theatre.

Who are IB Students?

IB students thrive in an atmosphere of authentic, student-oriented learning, and are willing to take risks, explore new ideas, and grow as an individual and a citizen of the world.

Many IB students are two-season athletes or play on year-round club teams. They have earned state championships and all-state player honors, serve as team captains, and some go on to play at the collegiate level.

IB students perform in award-winning productions and choral and instrumental groups, participate in cultural clubs, serve as editors on school publications, and take part in and lead events like the Coffee House.

Through clubs, student government, arts events, athletic teams, and Diversity Awareness Forums, IB students serve as leaders.

Engaged Citizens
Inside and outside of school, IB students take part in global interest clubs and global service. Locally, they give back through organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters, First Tee, Roof Above, and the Human Society.

IB Curriculum

Country Day offers more than 25 IB courses, all taught by IB-trained faculty. A flexible, personalized and individualized IB schedule is crafted for grades 11 and 12, including taking classes outside the IB program. While IB schedules look different for every student, below are general options:

11th Grade

IB English 11
Chinese, French, Latin, or Spanish (multiple levels available)
IB World History
IB Biology or Chemistry
Precalculus or Calculus
Theory of Knowledge
Free Period

12th Grade

IB English 12
Chinese, French, Latin, or Spanish (multiple levels available)
IB History of the Americas
IB Biology or Chemistry
IB Math (multiple levels available)
IB "elective" such as Visual Art, Theatre, Music, Digital Society, or Psychology
Free Period

Read detailed course descriptions.



The IB Learner Profile

The 10 attributes of the Learner Profile describe who we aspire to be, both as IB students and IB faculty. An IB education is grounded in both academic knowledge and development of these traits.


Thriving in College

Recent graduates are using their IB experience to thrive at college and universities, such as Appalachian State, Columbia, Dartmouth, Davidson, Elon, Middlebury, Northwestern, UCLA, UGA, UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Virginia, Wake Forest, and Yale.



A Glimpse into IB