Requirements for a Rigorous IB Program

Ib Program

Q: My seventh-grader is very bright (IQ is 148) and has been in a full-time gifted program for elementary and middle school. He will get all A’s in a one subject, say math, and then get an occasional D, or even an F. When I ask him, his reply always is, “Don’t worry about it,” with preadolescent overtones.

I would like for him to go to a high school with an International Baccalaureate program. The problem is that those occasional Ds or Fs really pull down some of his grades. Any ideas?

— Stumped


A: Requirements for admission to IB programs at the high-school level are determined by the schools, or school districts. You can find out if your son is on the right track with his current grades and classes to be admitted to the IB program, by asking the school. If your son needs better grades, he has next year to earn them.

Your son might find it very motivating to learn more about the program. He can go online to Also, find out also if he could observe an IB class in action. More than lectures or threats, seeing this stimulating program in action could make him want to do what is necessary to be part of it.

We are extremely enthusiastic about the IB program, which actually consists of three programs: the primary years program (ages 3-12), the middle years program (ages 11-15) and the diploma program (ages 16-19). The challenging international program is used in 125 countries and is designed to help students develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in our rapidly globalizing world. It also exposes students to college work, thus easing the transition between high school and college.


Q: How can I be sure my rather shy preschooler has the social skills needed to enter kindergarten?

— Need to Know


A: Some children simply are shyer than others — every child is not going to be a “social butterfly.” And, it can be counterproductive to push such children into social situations that make them uncomfortable. Unless your child’s shyness is preventing him or her from enjoying being with other children, it likely isn’t going to be a problem in kindergarten.

Many skills are important in determining if your child is ready for kindergarten. The ability to get along with others certainly is one of them. Here is an ERIC (EducationResourcesInformationCenter) checklist that will let you observe how well your child is doing in forming social skills. If your child exhibits most of the traits on this checklist, he or she is not likely to need any special help when encountering occasional difficulties. On the other hand, if your child demonstrates just a few of the traits, he or she might need some strategies to build more satisfying relationships with other children.

Social Skills Checklist … My child usually:

__ Approaches others positively.

__ Expresses wishes and preferences clearly.

__ Asserts own rights and needs appropriately; gives reasons for actions and positions.

__ Is not easily intimidated by bullies.

__ Expresses frustrations and anger effectively without escalating disagreements or harming others.

__ Gains access to ongoing groups at play and work.

__ Makes relevant contributions to ongoing activities.

__ Takes turns fairly easily.

__ Shows interest in others.

__ Negotiates and compromises with others appropriately.

__ Does not draw inappropriate attention to self.

__ Interacts nonverbally (smiles, waves, nods) with other children.