Academic Program / Graduation Requirements
ICS offers four high school programs, designed to meet the needs of a variety of students
- Study within the college-preparatory high school program at ICS is focused on the objective of earning an ICS high school diploma.
- Students may also attempt to earn an additional, concurrent qualification, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma. Students who do not wish to attempt the full IB Diploma can still earn advanced credit from many colleges by taking IB Higher Level courses and scoring well on the Internal Assessments and IB exams.
- Students with special learning needs may take the ICS Modified Diploma, which may allow them to enter Community Colleges after graduation but not usually university.
- Students with a high need of learning support may pursue the Transitions Program, which focuses on building skills to prepare students for independent living.
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IBDP graduation requirements are outlined below.
The four programs are described below.
The ICS High School Diploma is a fully recognized and U.S. Accredited High School Diploma program that prepares students for admission to U.S. universities. It is a four-year program and the curriculum is designed to be consistent with most international schools, facilitating transfer of expatriate students among these schools.
Students who take the full IBDP will normally also qualify for ICS High School Diploma requirements. ICS High School students must meet the ICS High School graduation requirements as outlined in this Handbook. Full course descriptions are included in the ICS High School Course Guide.
Requirements for the ICS Diploma
- All students must take Grade 9 Biology, Modern World History, and PE.
- Students must take at least one semester of Geography.
- Grade 10 students must take two of the following three courses: U.S. History, African History, Geography.
- The PE requirement for graduation should be met in grades 9 and 10. Students attending ICS for grades 9 and 10 will be required to have two credits of physical education. Students who transfer to ICS in grade 10 with no physical education credit in grade 9 will be required to complete one credit in physical education at the grade 10 level.
- Incoming grade 11-12 students may be excused a fine art credit if they are IB Diploma candidates.
- Students should take at least two years of the same language or Amharic literature, but are advised to continue in taking the same language for 3 to 4 years.
- Elective credits are additional courses in any discipline.
- All students are required to complete the Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) program as outlined below.
Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) Requirement
In accordance with our mission and philosophy, all ICS graduates must fulfill Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) requirements. CAS is one of the core components of the IB Diploma, and completing the CAS requirements and reflection pieces complements our school community’s belief that formal classroom education is only one part of life-long learning. Most of our graduates easily document more than the required 150 hours of CAS activities in grades 11 and 12.
CAS requires students to complete, document and reflect upon 150+ hours of weekly out-of-class activities in their final two years of high school: sports, drama, arts, service projects, peer tutoring, student council, etc. CAS may be school-based or outside-of-school activities. The three areas (creativity, action and service) should be equally represented in the student’s individual two-year program.
- CAS includes student reflection on their learning outside of class, with documentation to support it.
- Grade 11 students should complete at least half of their CAS activities prior to beginning their senior year.
- Students who join ICS as seniors will be required to fulfill 75 hours of CAS activities, plus reflections, to graduate with an ICS high school diploma.
The IB Diploma Program is an internationally recognized university preparatory two-year academic program. Students in grades 11 and 12 are encouraged to participate in the IB Diploma Program, which challenges students to master content knowledge and to acquire advanced critical thinking skills. Students are expected to use their creativity, to be actively involved in community service, to demonstrate proficiency in conducting independent research, and to be reflective through a balanced interdisciplinary approach to learning.
The IB Diploma Requirements
Over the course of two years, Diploma candidates must complete the following:
- A course in Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
- The Extended Essay (a four thousand-word independent research project with an ICS supervisor.
- An individualized program of extra-curricular learning achieved through Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) activities in grades 11-12
- One course in each of the following six Groups
Group 1: First Language
Group 2: Language Acquisition
Group 3: Individuals and Societies
Group 4: Sciences
Group 5: Mathematics
Group 6: The Arts and Electives
Three subjects must be taken at a Higher Level (HL) and three should be taken at Standard Level (SL).
Students should choose their HL courses based on their strengths and interests. Humanities-oriented students may want to take English and History Higher Level classes, whereas a future engineer might want to take Math and Science Higher Level classes.
One course, Environmental Systems and Societies SL, is designated as both Group 3 and Group 4; it meets the requirement for both Groups.
For their Group 6 course, IB Diploma Candidates can choose IB Visual Arts or IB Theatre or a second course from Groups 1–4. Some students have opted for a third language, or Geography SL. Students interested in engineering typically take Chemistry with Physics as their Group 6 elective, and students interested in medicine as a career are advised to take Chemistry with Biology as their elective, with one of them at the Higher Level.
For details on the recognition status of the IB Diploma and Certificates in the United States, Canada and/or other countries, please contact our IB Diploma Program Coordinator, Mr. Robert Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org.General information about the IB program is also available from www.ibo.org.
The ICS Modified Diploma Program is designed to meet the needs of students who do not intend to enter university directly after a four-year high school diploma program. In order to support such students, modifications may be made to our graduation requirements, assessments, and to actual course content. Note that the ICS Modified Diploma does not prepare students for admission to universities. Students in the ICS Modified Diploma Program will work with the Student Support Team and HS Counselor to create an Individual Learning Program (ILP) and to determine appropriate modifications in light of future academic aspirations and career goals. The HS Counselor will work with the families of such students to plan for appropriate post-secondary work or academic programs.
The ICS Transitions Diploma Program is designed to meet the needs of Special Education Needs students to prepare them for independent life, potential career plans, and community living. The requirements of the program are individually created to meet the needs of each student. Students in this program will be required to complete courses in the Assessment of Functional Living Skills (AFLS) Curriculum Guide under the three following domains: Basic Living Skills, Home Skills, and Community Participation Skills. The students’ Individual Learning Program (ILP) determines the exact number and which module a student follows in these particular course areas. Students in the ICS Transitions Diploma Program will work with the Student Support Team and HS Counselor to create an Individual Learning Program (ILP) and to determine appropriate modifications in light of future academic aspirations and career goals. The HS Counselor will also work with the families of such students to plan for appropriate post-secondary work or academic programs.