Frequently Asked Questions
What is an IB Diploma?
Students who successfully complete the IB DP earn an IB diploma in addition to the Vandegrift diploma. They receive acknowledgement of this achievement at graduation and participate in a private ceremony held the following fall to award and honor these students for their successes.
Can students take just one or a few IB courses?
No, the IB Diploma Programme is all inclusive; it is a full diploma program and students must complete all IB requirements.
Will students automatically receive college credit for IB courses?
No, students who successfully complete the diploma program may be awarded up to 24 college credit hours (in TX) depending on their exam scores. It is up to each student to check with their chosen university for credit information. (Every university is different. Many universities in Florida award up to 30 hours credit.)
How much college credit will students receive for successfully completing the IB Diploma Programme?
Students may receive up to 24 college credit hours in TX. (Every university is different. Many Florida universities award up to 30 hours credit.)
What is the difference between IB and AP?
IB DP is a complete two year program junior/senior years which requires advanced prerequisites freshman/sophomore years, and IB exams are mandatory in every course. Students who successfully complete the program receive an IB Diploma in addition to their high school diploma. AP does not have pre-requisites, and students can take one AP class or as many as they choose. AP Exams are optional. AP Students do not receive an additional diploma unless they take the AP Capstone courses and fulfill the AP requirements.
Is it necessary to take foreign language in middle school to participate in the DP?
No, although advantageous to do so, a student can start his/her foreign language in 9th grade and still participate in the DP.
Is it necessary to have credit for Algebra I prior to starting 9th grade to participate in the DP?
No, though it is highly recommended. The IB DP math course sequence requires that students are able to take calculus-level math. Students who could not take Algebra I prior to starting high school should discuss options with the IB Coordinator.
Is it possible to be in the IB DP and still be in band, football, or dance?
Yes, it is definitely possible. We will look at each individual' student's academic path and future goals to creatively schedule to the best of our ability proper placement for each student.
PREPARATION for the IB DP:
How much writing is involved in IB courses?
IB DP is a writing intensive program, and although you do not have to be a great writer, students must be willing to write a great deal in all classes. ALL assessments are written. This does not mean students write essays all the time; it means students think critically to write out and explain their answers.
Do students need to be strong in math or English to succeed in IB?
IB provides opportunities for students to take HL (Higher Level) courses in their strongest academic areas and SL (Standard Level) courses in their more challenging academic areas; however ALL IB COURSES ARE WEIGHTED.
Is IB only for top students?
Absolutely not. IB is for students who have an extraordinary work ethic and a desire to learn how to learn.
Must students take Pre-AP classes and AP classes 9th and 10th grade?
Yes, students should enroll in all advanced courses, where offered, successfully complete the course and earn credit for each course before he/she can be placed on the IB Diploma Programme pathway. However, students may choose EITHER AP Human Geography (9th) or AP World History (10th). Although taking both is highly recommended.
IB Courses Junior and Senior Year
How do students decide which IB courses to take?
Students must take three HL (Higher Level) courses from the IB DP course offerings. The other classes will be SL courses (Standard Level). Students should take HL courses in their strongest academic areas and SL courses in academic areas that pose a challenge for them.
What if a student begins the program junior year and chooses to exit the program?
All students must stay in the IB program for at least the first semester junior year before withdrawing.
Do students change courses from junior to senior year?
Not for HL courses; they are two years, including the core requirements of TOK, EE, and CAS. Therefore, course work is more in-depth and students have ample time to complete the core requirements. Some SL courses can be completed in one year.
TRANSFER STUDENT INFORMATION:
What if a student is not zoned for Vandegrift but still wants to be in the IB Program?
Students zoned for Cedar Park High School may transfer to Vandegrift freshman year to participate in the IB DP. However, if that student chooses to withdraw from any advanced courses freshman/sophomore year or withdraws from the IB program junior/senior year, that student MUST return to Cedar Park High School. Students zoned for other LISD high schools may apply to transfer to Leander High School to attend the IB program.
How does LISD determine which IB high school transfer students will attend?
Students from Four Points or Canyon Ridge Middle School will attend Vandegrift HS. Students from Cedar Park Middle School will choose VHS or LHS, depending on proximity to each high school campus. Students from Henry, Leander, Running Brushy, Stiles, or Wiley Middle School will attend Leander HS.
When should students transfer?
Students interested in the DP should transfer to his/her appropriate IB high school as a 9th grade student for the best preparation to complete all four years at LHS/VHS.
What happens if a transfer student drops an advanced course (grades 9 or 10) or a DP course (grades 11 or 12)?
● Any 9th or 10th grade transfer student that drops any advanced course (Advanced/ Pre-AP) MUST RETURN to his/her home campus at the end of the six weeks.
● Any 11th grade transfer student that drops a DP course during the first semester MUST RETURN to his/her home campus at semester.
What happens if a transfer student is failing an advanced course (grades 9 or 10) or a DP course (grades 11 or 12)?
If any student is not performing at the academic level needed to graduate, a mandatory meeting with the IB Committee (composed of DP coordinator, IB counselor, and appropriate teachers and/or assistant principals), the student, and parent/guardian will take place. The committee will make recommendations for next steps.
If a student transfers to LHS or VHS from another attendance zone, will transportation be provided?
LISD currently offers bus transportation for students wishing to transfer to his/her appropriate IB high school for the IB DP. Students wishing to use the LISD-provided transportation need to request it in the transportation section of the IB Statement of Intent. Students will then be contacted in August by the DP coordinator to confirm his/her bus route information.
Do students have to fill out a new transfer form each year?
No, although the IB Transfer will be reassessed each year, and students must remain in the DP program to keep his/her transfer.
How will eligibility for UIL athletics, fine arts, and academics be affected if a student transfers for the IB DP?
Students who transfer for the DP are eligible to compete with his/her new high school (LHS or VHS) immediately. However, if a student returns to his/her home campus due to dropping the DP, he or she will not be eligible for varsity-level athletics at his/her home campus for one calendar year, as per UIL regulations. Eligibility for sub-varsity (JV, freshmen) athletics will not be affected by this, nor will eligibility for UIL fine arts or academic programs.