At Pope Francis High School, we strive to maintain our tradition of academic excellence by providing a broad range of courses to prepare students for their future. The IB Diploma Programme offers highly motivated students an opportunity to study a wide-ranging and integrated curriculum while gaining a broad understanding of world cultures and contemporary issues.

Academic Advantage

Pope Francis students can participate in the full diploma program or take individual IB courses, both of which offer a significant academic advantage when applying to college. The IB program has a positive impact on students, schools and their wider communities with learning that goes well beyond the classroom. Its unique and innovative approach to learning means both students and teachers are genuinely engaged with the programs and benefit from being a part of an unparalleled global network.

What is IB?

  • The International Baccalaureate Organization is committed to promoting intercultural understanding and respect essential in the 21st Century
  • The IB Program was founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1968 and currently includes over 2800 schools in 143 countries.

What does the IB seek to accomplish?

  • Seeks to provide a balanced education and promote international understanding
  • Strives to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, caring young people who will help to create a better and more peaceful world
  • Sponsors and applies researched and well-proven approaches to learning and teaching

Why IB for Pope Francis High School?

  • Pope Francis High School is proud to be an authorized International Baccalaureate World School. This designation is an international mark of distinction recognized locally and world-wide.
  • IB mission is well aligned with the Pope Francis High School mission
  • IB courses encourage students to integrate learning across academic lines and seek connections with their communities
  • The IB approach to teaching and learning strives to develop students who will be life-long independent learners able to process a broad range of information and make critical assessments of what they observe
  • IB students demonstrate accomplishment measured against student achievement across the globe
  • Colleges and Universities acknowledge the value of IB courses as preparation for higher level study. Many offer advanced placement or university credit for successful completion of individual courses and for the full IB Diploma.

Why IB for my student?

  • Experience learning in an enriched environment with classmates who are seeking intellectual challenge, are motivated to learn, and are committed to excellence
  • Develop and improve research and writing skills and sharpen problem solving techniques
  • Grow as independent learners, develop study habits necessary for managing rigorous coursework
  • Assume responsibility for analyzing and understanding material from a variety of sources.
  • Explore how disciplines integrate and complement each other to enhance and inform the human experience
  • By taking part in the IB program, every PFHS student can be better prepared for university level study and life-long learning

How does the IB Diploma Program work?

  • IB courses are open to Juniors and Seniors
  • Students must complete all IB requirements and IB examinations to earn IB credit for an IB course
  • Students may opt to pursue the full IB Diploma Program over their junior and senior years
    • Complete one course from each of six IB disciplines
    • Complete the IB Core – Theory of Knowledge, Creativity/Action/Service, Extended Essay – which complements the academic program
    • Complete the PFHS Religion and one PFHS math course in the Junior year.
  • Students may select one or more individual courses from the IB program to take along with their other College Prep, Honors, and AP courses
  • IB courses are offered at the Standard Level, earning Honors-level school credit and at the Higher Level, earning school credit equivalent to AP courses.
  • Most IB courses extend over both junior and senior years; World Religion and Mathematical Studies are both one year courses taken in the senior year

How are students graded in the IB Program?

  • PFHS grade for report card, transcript, GPA – awarded by the teacher based on student performance in classroom activity, assigned work, projects, quizzes, tests
  • IB score (scale of 1 – 7) determined by the IB Organization based on IB-defined assessments – research papers, oral presentations, lab reports, inquiry projects – and performance on the IB exams at the end of the course
  • IB assessments may be assessed by the teacher according to the IB defined rubric and scores are submitted to the IB or they may by submitted directly to the IB for assessment by IB graders
  • IB courses culminate in a series of IB provided exams administered in May after completion of the course and sent to the IB organization for grading
  • IB scores are made available in July to students, the school, and any universities designated by the students

How can I get more information about the IB program?

  • To learn more about the IB Program you can access their website:
  • To learn more about IB at Pope Francis High School look at our Program of Studies or contact our IB Coordinator or the PFHS Guidance Department at (413) 331-2480.