Upper School

Learning in Action

Annie Wright has offered the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme since 2009. Widely considered the world's most rigorous high school curriculum, IB emphasizes student inquiry, intellectual risk-taking and international mindedness, and ensures our students are well-prepared for college and beyond. All students in Grades 11 & 12 will take IB courses, and they can each decide whether or not to pursue the full IB Diploma.
According to a study by the University of Chicago, students enrolled in the IB Diploma Programme are 50% more likely to attend a more selective college. On average, Annie Wright's Diploma candidates passed their exams and earned their Diplomas with an 88% pass rate. The international average is 78.5%.
To learn more about the IB Diploma Programme at Annie Wright, contact our IB Coordinator Emily Lynn at 253.284.8632 or emily_lynn@aw.org. Learn more about IB programs at www.ibo.org.

What is IB all about?

List of 5 items.

  • What is IB? How does IB work?

    The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, established in 1968 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 and intentionally fosters international mindedness. Its reputation is based on rigorous external assessments which emphasize the development of the whole student: physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically. For more information, visit the International Baccalaureate website.

    International Baccalaureate Diploma candidates are expected to do IB coursework in six major areas, including literature, languages, social studies, the experimental sciences, mathematics and elective of either arts or an additional course from one of the other subject areas. At least three and not more than four 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 course called Theory of Knowledge (TOK) that examines the nature of knowledge and different ways and kinds of knowing; and a requirement called Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) which requires 150 hours of personally and socially relevant activity beyond the classroom and, in many cases, beyond the school.
    IB examinations are taken at the end of the two-year program, and the different exams and assessments are graded by both classroom teachers and external examiners around the world. Annie Wright students may choose to participate in the full Diploma Programme, to earn certificates in individual subject areas, or to focus on completion of the Annie Wright diploma, which continues to be highly regarded by college and university admissions officers.
  • Why do the IB Program at Annie Wright?

    Annie Wright Upper Schools believe an IB education and an Annie Wright diploma will prepare graduates to compete and excel in college and, more importantly, in a global society. The mission of International Baccalaureate aligns with and expands the mission statement of Annie Wright School. In particular, IB has translated its mission into a Learner Profile of ten characteristics which inspire and motivate the work of students and teachers. 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. As evidence, students are asked on the Common Application—the application form used by most students and accepted by most universities in the United States—whether they are IB Diploma candidates, a sign of the value placed on this distinction by US universities. Many universities will also award academic credit for successful examination results in specific subject areas or after completion of the full IB Diploma. Most IB exams occur at the end of the two-year program.
  • What do leading universities have to say about IB?

    Students seeking the finest [high school] preparation available for an American college should consider the International Baccalaureate. The IB offers an integrated curriculum that provides students with the skill needed to be world-class scholars and an educational philosophy that prepares them to be first-class citizens. I do not know of a more comprehensive and appropriate learning model.
    Jim Crowder, Director of Admissions, Macalester College
    IB is well known to us for excellent preparation. Success in an IB programme correlates well with success at Harvard. We are always pleased to see the credentials of the IB Diploma Programme on the transcript.
    Marilyn McGrath Lewis, Director of Undergraduate Admission, Harvard University
    Send us prepared students á la IB... It is the best high school prep curriculum an American school can offer.
    Marilee Jones, Director of Undergraduate Admission, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    One of the advantages of an IB curriculum is its structure and quality. It is a coordinated programme, well established, well known and well respected. We know the quality of IB courses, and we think the IB curriculum is terrific.
    Christoph Guttentag, Director of Undergraduate Admission, Duke University
    I have always been a supporter of the International Baccalaureate. It is a thoughtful and genuinely intellectual curriculum with an unusually high degree of integrity and connectedness. There is no other curriculum anywhere that does a superior job of both educating students and inspiring a true and broad-based love of learning.
    William Shain, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, Vanderbilt University
    The International Baccalaureate Programmes' emphasis on critical thinking skills, increased content knowledge and an interdisciplinary approach to education not only prepare students for success at the postsecondary level, but also for life and the world of work.
    Dr. Kathleen Plato, Supervisor of Advanced Placement Programs, Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • IB vs AP

    International: emphasis on global perspectivesMostly US: more academic than philosophical
    From the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) Mission: Through challenging programs of international education and assessment, IBO seeks to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people, who will become compassionate citizens seeking a better and more peaceful world.The College Board Mission: To be a great educational organization dedicated to preparing, inspiring, and connecting students to college success and opportunity, with a commitment to excellence and equity.
    Holistic or Total Program: The Diploma Program is a course of study, encompassing six areas: literature and language arts, history, foreign language, science, math and the arts.Single Strength or Cafeteria Style: students choose AP courses that fit their strengths and that are independent of one another.
    Students also take a class called Theory of Knowledge, write a senior research project called the Extended Essay, and complete 150 CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) hours.No additional requirements
    More divergent: asks why more than whatMore convergent: asks what more than why
    Graded world-wide with global standardsGraded in U.S. with American standards
    Many factors, such as papers, orals, and projects, in addition to the written exam, determine the final score (1-7).Score (1-5) hinges on a single written exam.
    Emphasizes process and integration of content across content areasContent driven
    IB Student many also sit for AP exams.AP students may not sit for IB exams.

    1. Both are rigorous programs devoted to educational excellence; each program sets high performance standards for students and faculty.
    2. Both programs involve dedicated and creative teachers committed to their students, their disciplines, and their profession.
    3. Both programs attract highly motivated students who wish to excel academically and attend the most selective colleges and universities.
    4. Both programs provide for articulation with middle-school curricula, IB through its Middle Years and Primary Years Programs, and AP through its Pre-AP program and its K-12 initiative.
    5. Both programs have attracted the attention of international educators, educational policymakers, and the general public as ways to improve the quality of education around the world.
    6. Both programs value students doing independent research, thinking and writing. IB students are expected to produce a 4,000-word Extended Essay as a formal requirement of the IB Diploma. AP teachers and IB teachers typically require students to write extended research essays, papers, and reports that involve the use of both primary and secondary sources and that also require independent thinking, analysis, and interpretation.
    7. In support of the academic programs, both AP and IB offer extensive professional development opportunities for teachers and administrators.
  • Who can participate in IB at Annie Wright?

    All students in Grades 11 and 12 do IB coursework, and around 50% elect to complete the full Diploma Programme. All Annie Wright Upper School students will receive IB recognition on their transcripts.
"IB is well known to us for excellent preparation. Success in an IB Programme correlates well with success at Harvard. We are always pleased to see the credentials of the IB Diploma Programme on the transcript."
- Marlyn E. McGrath
Director of Admissions, Harvard University
Learn more about the International Baccalaureate program at Annie Wright Schools.