FAQs

Can I count my grade 10 involvement?
No. CAS starts on the first day of grade 11 and continues until the last day of grade 12.  CAS is the name the IB gives to all the extra curricular activities that involve you in creativity, or get you physically active, or engage you in giving back to your local community.  Before the first day of grade 11 you may have taken guitar lessons. You may have achieved the Silver Level Expedition Section of the AYP.  These activities in grade 10 or before were not given a special name.  You were just involved.  Once you graduate from CDNIS you might be described as a responsible global citizen, or a physically active person, but no one will ask you to document your involvement.  Once you gradate there is no need to document your learning!

Who monitors our progress?
The CAS Coordinator does. 
 
Do we record our activity on ManageBac only?
You must keep a CAS Portfolio.  The CAS Portfolio is where you will demonstrate you have met the CAS requirements.  ManageBac is where you can store information on all the activities you have taken part in.

Are we supposed to have an equal balance between C, A, and S?
You are supposed to have a reasonable balance between C, A, and S.  What constitutes a reasonable balance will be different for each student.  Some students are naturally strong in sports while others are more creative. Some contribute more to their community.  It is ok to have a dominant strand, but try to challenge yourself to be more involved in a strand you are not so comfortable with.  After all, you do need to challenge yourself somehow.

Should we do a variety of small events or be part of one big event?
That is up to you.  Being physically active on a regular basis is good for your health.  Being involved on an executive committee for a GIN Club at school would involve you in weekly service to your school community.  Being part of the school musical would involve you in weekly if not daily rehearsals but only for a few months.  Sometimes 'one off' small opportunities come up.  

I am going to be a front of house volunteer at Applause for a Cause this Friday, would that count as a CAS experience?
This is an example of an 'one off' opportunity.  If this was all you did for service then it wouldn't be enough.  Where is the challenge?  What can you reflect on as a result of your involvement?  How did you change as a person as a result of your involvement?  However, I applaud you for wanting to help out at school events.  Events such as this would not happen if people didn't volunteer their time.  It may be a small amount of your time you are giving up but your contribution would have been appreciated I'm sure.  You must be involved in other experiences. Experiences that involve you in regular physical activity, or are creative in nature, or where you can provide meaningful service and really connect with an issue of global concern.

Is it true that CAS Project no longer has to cover 2 of the 3 strands of CAS?
Correct!

What are the criteria for CAS Projects?
Students must use the CAS stages framework when undertaking CAS Projects (Investigate, plan, take action, reflect, and demonstrate an celebrate).  They must involve collaboration and continue for a minimum of 1 month to ensure planning and re-planning occurred.  There are additional points to be aware of should you undertake a CAS Project involving service. Additional advice can be found here.

So a CAS Project is similar to a CAS Experience?
Yes.  If your CAS experience extends over a significant period of time, at least one month, involves you in collaboration and planning with others then you likely have a CAS Project.  It should be worthwhile, but that applies to everything you do for CAS.

What is the minimum?
This is not the best way to start!  If you don't do enough then you will not pass the CAS component.  If you sail close to the rocks you could be shipwrecked.

How many activities of service do you feel are needed in order to satisfy the service standards?
That would be different for every student.  Some students want to really connect with their community in multiple ways whereas some students just want to go on a service CAS Week trip.  However, when deciding which service experiences to engage in keep in mind how you will achieve Learning Outcome 06.  You need to engage with an issue of global significance.  We will discuss this more in one of our CAS Lab sessions.

How much do I need to write for my reflections?
Slow down! First you have to understand the reflection process. Reflection is not about writing.  It is about thinking.  Sometimes we need to make that thinking visible. Have a look here for a more detailed response.  Consider this situation: You play for the U20 Boys Football team.  You turn up at every training session. Your coach points out all the things you are doing well.  He or she explains strategies on how you can work better as a team.  Do you ignore everything he or she says? Do you think about it when you're on the bus going home? When you're on the court the next time do you try to implement the suggestions? Try the plays you developed together? Did you think about your actions and plan on how to be better next time?  That is reflection.

What is the recommended number of CAS Hours?
There are no recommended hours.  It is not about hours anymore.  You just have to demonstrate you have achieved the 7 learning outcomes, and been involved in at least one CAS Project.  You need to demonstrate you are aware of the CAS Stages and used them in your CAS Experiences.  Should you demonstrate you have achieved these requirements you would have to be involved in CAS activities throughout grade 11 and 12.

I am a supervisor for an activity. Can I give CAS Hours?
There is no such thing as a CAS Hour.  Student no longer have to be involved in a certain quantity of experiences, but rather they need to demonstrate achievement in 7 Learning Outcomes. If you want to use the CAS requirement to encourage students to get involved in your activity I suggest you use a phrase like "Your involvement in this activity should help you meet your CAS obligation".

How many hours do we need to fulfil before graduation? 
There is no hourly requirement for CAS.  For OSSD you need to complete 40 hours of community engagement from grade 9 - 12.

If no hours are included, how will you know we have completed the CAS requirement?
Because you will present a CAS Portfolio.

How do we know when we have done enough CAS?
When you have achieved all CAS requirements.  However, if you enjoy being physically active you won't stop as soon as you graduate.  You will most likely continue with your passion.  Same for playing a musical instrument.  You may not attain level 9 if such a thing existed, but you will most likely continue playing for fun.  Hopefully our school is developing you as a good global citizen willing to connect with your community where you can.  Being involved in sport, creativity, or your community is something you continue throughout life.  We just call it CAS while you are in grade 11 and 12.

Are we graded on CAS?
You either meet the CAS requirement or you do not.  

If we only have two Creativity experiences, is that okay? (both are on going)
Tell me more.

Do we still do CAS Class in grade 12
We will meet at the beginning of the year and once again towards the end of the year.

Do universities care a lot about our CAS experiences?
Do universities care that you were the captain of a soccer team?  Do universities care that you have been on the swim team for the last 5 years. Do universities care that you had a leading role in the school musical? Do universities care that you were on the executive committee for the Habitat for Humanity Club? Do universities care that you were in Symphonic Winds? Do universities care that you started the Climbing Club at school? Do universities care that you were in the Photography Club? Do they care about any of your interests outside of class? I believe they care if you have nearly completed the Gold Level Duke of Edinburgh Award.  One student who went to Oxford based on her great IB scores wrote a personal statement detailing her passion for and action on global issues.  She did not need to do this and I hear guidance counsellors say that UK universities do not care about your personal achievements outside of class, so why did she write the personal statement to the UK university?  Don't think of them as CAS experiences. Just think about your experiences. Do you care about the experiences you have?   

When do we ask our supervisor to sign?
You do not need to ask your supervisor to sign anything for CAS. The purpose of any supervisor feedback is for you to learn from your experiences.  Feedback is often given by supervisors while you are undertaking the activity.  For example, if you are on the soccer team you receive feedback from the coach at every practice, at every half time pep talk at a match.  Sometimes you give advice to yourself after you reflected on your involvement.  The purpose of supervisor feedback in the context of CAS is to help you learn from the CAS experience, not to prove you did it.

Does building/construction count as action?
You could count it as physical activity. However, regular exercise would be a better choice when trying to meet the physical activity strand of CAS. Ask any phys. ed. teacher. 

Can being an Executive for a club be included for CAS?
Yes. It could count as your CAS Project too, depending on your involvement.

How do we show proof of our CAS experiences?
Hold on. Proof is not the focus.  You do need to show evidence of your involvement. Look at it as more of a demonstration and celebration of your experiences.  In your CAS Portfolio you will provide details of your CAS experiences and CAS Project and you will discuss what you learned through your involvement.

Do we need some sort of process journal?
You need a CAS Portfolio.  This will contain a description of your meaningful CAS experiences and document your learning.

When should we start our CAS Projects?
Whenever you are ready.

Would it be ok if we cover learning outcomes at least once? Or do we have to cover them more than once?
All your answers to questions relating to learning outcomes can be found here.

For the CAS service component, if I volunteered to teach at a school, does that school have to sent in evidence of my teaching to a specific teacher? or is this not needed?
We do not need a supervisor's evaluation.  CAS is no longer about hours, or 'proof' you were involved.  Rather it is about you providing evidence of the learning through your involvement in the experiences.  You will be expected to reflect on your involvement and provide a 'sufficient' amount of evidence of such reflection.  Have a read of the CAS Guide page on Reflection.

So what do I need to do?
  • Be involved in creativity, be physically active, and give back to your community through service experiences, on a regular basis, from the first day of grade 11 to the last day of grade 12
  • Engage in an issue of global importance
  • Learn a new skill, or develop an existing skill to new heights
  • Record your CAS involvement in ManageBac and a CAS Portfolio
  • Understand the reflection process
  • Reflect on your learning as a result of your CAS involvement
  • Provide evidence you have achieved the seven learning outcomes
  • Identify your interests, skills and talents and reflect on how you have evolved over the two years
  • Explore your personal values, attitudes and attributes in relation to the IB learner profile and Mission Statement
  • Understand and apply the CAS stages (these are just like the stages in service learning)
  • Be involved in at least one experience that extends over a significant period of time, and involves collaboration with others.  This is called a CAS Project.
  • Formally meet with the CAS Coordinator (or designated CAS Advisor) at least three times.

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