Sweet 15

International Baccalaureate Program celebrates milestone


Catherine Leone

Franchesca Esquivel, Kwame Ofori, and Tatyana Ranson serve cake during the IB Anniversary Celebration in the library.

Students mingle and munch on cake as they celebrate the 15th anniversary of KO’s International Baccalaureate Program, reminiscing on their time spent and lessons learned.

“I would say that IB has been a really interesting experience overall,” junior Archeesha Chakraborty said. “At times, IB has been really, really difficult, but overall I feel that I can already see that IB has positively affected my life.”

One of the most distinctive differences between IB and other programs is its unique curriculum, which is entirely different from AP, dual-credit and regular classes. Students are taught in-depth insights, such as the “why” and “how” of historical events. Tests are rarely multiple choice questions; teachers often prefer essay format for students to prove their knowledge. Additionally, students learn through discussions or socratic seminars rather than lectures or assignments.

“What I like about IB is the faster pace [of the curriculum]; there’s not just a lot of time spent sitting around,” junior Stephen Mann said. “It’s kind of a double-edged sword though. It doesn’t get boring but it can be challenging at times.”

We’re not really robots obsessed with school.”

— junior Kyro Badrous

Students say it takes grit and perseverance to survive in IB, and members must learn quickly how to prioritize and multitask. Students assist each other on homework and assignments; rumors about IB kids GPA gaming each other are the exception, not the rule. Their work and schedule is demanding, but IB students bond over their shared struggles and experiences.

“[In IB] everyone is in the same boat,” junior Kyro Badrous humorously said. “You see the same people time and time again in your classes. You can really develop a connection with these guys and begin to call them family.”

Some IB members said they wish that other peers and even teachers could better understand the program’s requirements, commitments, and characteristics of the students that join.

“I think people should understand that IB kids have a much larger course load and we really don’t have much time for other things,” Chakraborty said.

Another IB member wanted the student body to view members as they are– just teens trying to make it in high school.

“We’re not all GPA gamers, we’re always wanting to lend a helping hand to anyone,” Badrous said. “We’re not really robots obsessed with school. We laugh, we have free time to spend, we care about things that aren’t grades and we definitely value the information we’re taught more than it relates to just a grade.”