International Baccalaureate Program

**Information about accessing May 2022 scores**

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An IB School Since 1996

#1 IB School in Virginia
2014-2017 Washington Post Challenge Index

International Baccalaureate Program

W-L IB Faculty 2018-19

WL IB Class of 2020

WLHS Class of 2020


WLHS IB Class of 2019

WLHS IB Class of 2019

The IB Mission Statement

The International Baccalaureate Organization aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programs encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

The IB Learner Profile is the IBO mission statement translated into a set of learning outcomes for the 21st century.


Washington-Liberty High School was first authorized to teach the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program in 1996-1997.  Since becoming an authorized IB World School, Washington-Liberty has consistently ranked in the top 100 of Americas Best High Schools according to Newsweek and the Washington Post.

The IB program provides a rigorous education for highly motivated and academically proficient Washington-Liberty students in grade 11 and 12.  It represents a deliberate compromise between the demand for specialization in the high school curriculum and the emphasis for breadth of knowledge.  The IB program is unique in that it provides a cohesive interdisciplinary education leading to a diploma that is recognized at universities throughout the world.

An IB diploma candidate pursues studies across multiple subject areas:

  • Studies in Language & Literature:  English (with Spanish for fluent speakers as an additional option)
  • Language acquisition
  • Individuals & Societies (similar to social studies)
  • Experimental Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • The Arts or a sixth subject elective.

These subject groups are prescribed by the IB Hexagon.  This requirement ensures a broad exposure across the liberal arts spectrum.  In addition to the course work and passing grades on examinations in these six subjects, diploma students must complete a Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) proposal (requiring an equitable balance of participation in creativity, activity and service experiences for 18 months, starting the first day of junior year), an extended essay (EE) of 4,000 words, and the Theory of Knowledge course (TOK).  Teachers provide interdisciplinary instruction whereby students study common processes, themes and materials within and across the subject areas.  Evidence of learning the six subject area courses plus TOK include a combination of internal and external assessments.  Internal assessments are designed by IB but administered and scored by the classroom teacher using IB scoring rubrics.  External assessments are scored by IB examiners and include the May examinations as well as additional assessments for courses in groups 1 & 6.)  The extended essay is graded externally IB examiners.  Students who participate in the full diploma program fulfill the Virginia Department of Education graduation requirements as well as IB diploma requirements.


The Curriculum

The focus of the curriculum will be the offering of courses as prescribed by the framework pictured to the right.Hex
The curriculum contains six subject groups together with a compulsory core made up of three separate parts that are central to the philosophy of the diploma program.  Full diploma candidates must take three courses at the Higher Level (HL, two-year courses representing 240 teaching hours) and three courses at the Standard Level (SL, one or two year courses representing 150 teaching hours).  Students are thus able to explore some subjects in depth and others more broadly.  The science-oriented student is challenged to learn a foreign language and the natural linguist becomes familiar with laboratory procedures.  Active citizenship and global perspectives are encouraged in each area of the curriculum.

Students not wishing to fulfill all of the requirements of the IB diploma are strongly encouraged to take individual courses in the IB curriculum to help them prepare for future education. These subjects are referred to as Diploma Program (DP) courses and the students who study them are referred to as Diploma Program (DP) course students.

At Washington-Liberty High School we offer the following courses in the six curricular IB groups

Group Courses offered at WL:
Group 1: Studies in Language & Literature 
  • English A Literature HL*
  • English A Language & Literature SL*
  • Spanish A Language & Literature A HL (for fluent Spanish speakers)

*Students are required to choose one of the English courses.  Students who successfully complete an English course along with the Spanish A Language & Literature course, in addition to their course work in other groups, will earn a bilingual IB diploma.

Group 2:  Language Acquisition 
  • Arabic B SL & AB SL
  • Chinese/Mandarin B SL & AB SL
  • French B HL/SL
  • Latin HL/SL
  • Spanish B HL/SL
Group 3:  Individuals & Societies
  • Business Management SL
  • Economics SL
  • Geography SL
  • History of the Americas/Topics HL
  • Philosophy SL
  • Psychology HL/SL
  • Social Anthropology HL/SL
Group 4:  Experimental Sciences
  • Biology HL/SL
  • Chemistry HL
  • Computer Science HL/SL
  • Design Technology SL
  • Environmental Systems & Societies SL
  • Physics SL
  • Sports, Exercise & Health Science SL
Group 5: Mathematics
  • Math: Applications & Interpretation SL
  • Math: Analysis & Approaches HL/SL

Group 6:  The Arts

or a sixth subject elective from one of the groups above

  • Film HL/SL
  • Music SL
  • Theater Arts HL/SL
  • Visual Arts HL/SL

Please see the APS Program of Studies for descriptions of the courses above.

Diploma Grading System

The Extended Essay and the Theory of Knowledge course are jointly graded with a maximum of 3 points + CAS completion.  Diploma candidates add their points from the six subjects together with any additional points obtained from the Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge.  Students need a minimum of 24 points to obtain a Diploma and must not score a 1 or 2 in any Higher Level subject.  Any grade below a 4 must be balanced by another grade above a 4 at the same level.  A score of 30 or above is considered to be good.  Scores of 35 or higher are excellent.  A perfect diploma score is 45 points.  All IB Diploma subjects are graded according to the scale pictured below. For additional information regarding the awarding of the diploma or assessment procedures, please consult the General Regulations: Diploma Program.

Diploma Grade Description
7 Excellent
6 Very Good
5 Good
4 Satisfactory
3 Weak
2 Poor
1 Very Poor