Adrian High School IB Diploma Program

Adrian High School, Adrian, Michigan, USA, is an IB Open World School.

Operating as usual

IB Lit juniors reading their poems to the class at the beginning of last week. They had to write about something that had an end and then a beginning. They got bonus points for sharing with the class. I love hearing their ideas and watching them grow as learners!

Next in my installment of current senior students enrolled in the program is Max Rhames!

1. What grade are you currently in?
I am currently in the 12th grade.

2. How many IB classes are you currently taking?
I am currently taking 5 IB courses and one dual enrollment class.

3. What have you learned, as an IB learner, that you think will translate into preparing you for college?
As an IB learner, I have learned how important it is to manage time properly. Through my studies, I have learned how to allocate my time between my rigorous courses and the various extracurricular activities I participate in. I especially enjoy the global-minded perspective that I learn from in my IB courses. The well-rounded education that I receive from the IB curriculum makes me a better student.

4. What is class is your favorite and why?
My favorite IB class is by far IB Chemistry. There is a high expectation for the students in that class and the high bar that is set pushes me to do better than my best on a regular basis. I enjoy Ms. Jackson's dedication to her pupils and the level of support she offers us. Through her teaching, I have learned so much about chemistry and have discovered my passion for it in her class. I know that I will be well prepared for a collegiate course because of what I have learned in her course.

5. How did your teachers help you through the COVID time off, and how has that prepared you for this school year?
My teachers were all incredibly supportive during COVID. I felt that no matter what the climate was at the time, I was always able to reach out for help if I needed it. While the course load remained the same as when we were in school, I felt that the work was a higher burden than before. Despite this, my teachers were supportive and helped me as much as needed. I felt like I had a great support system that helped me effectively complete my work.

IB students are busy taking part in extra curriculars as well!

Oh my goodness! I am behind and I am sorry! I love getting to share with you what we are doing and about our great kids, but I just lost track of time! Tonight I want to share with you a little bit about Crystal Coyne.

1. What grade are you currently in?
Twelfth grade

2. How many classes are you currently taking?
I am full DP but am currently only taking 4 classes. (As a junior she took her language because it was the last year we were offering French so she had to do it with the seniors.)

3. What is your favorite class, and why?
Of my six total IB courses, Chemistry is currently my favourite. It is very challenging and rewarding at the same time. I am stronger in the math and science fields of education and chemistry contains a nice balance of both. It is fast-paced, productive, and entertaining. The environment of the classroom is thoroughly enjoyable, as well as all of our time spent in lab.

4. What have you learned, as an IB learner, that you think will translate into preparing you for college?
Over the course of the last year, I have obtained many skills that I believe to be transferable towards my university studies beginning next year. Being self-motivated and driven for success is important while being an IB student in order to keep on top of school work and complete assignments to the best of my abilities while building on my knowledge. Those two skills are essential in the university environment as the courses are more self-directed, as well as being dependant on the level of motivation and desire to succeed within oneself.

5. How did your teachers help you through the COVID time off, and how has that prepared you for this school year?
During the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic virtual school in the spring trimester last year, my teachers assisted me greatly. They gave me the resources I needed to be able to successfully complete the course work and prepare for the following year. I was mailed notes and homework assignments (which would not have been the easiest to do online) while I was back home in Canada and my classmates had been able to pick up the paper from the school. Through this difficult time for everyone, my teachers kept a very open line of communication and readily assisted me when I had questions or required guidance.

In the next couple of days I have a couple of the full DP seniors to feature! I get to spend a lot of time with these kids and I really enjoy it!

The first one is Emma Mehan!

1. What grade are you currently in?

2. How many IB courses are you currently taking?
Five, full Diploma

3. What have you learned, as an IB learner, that you think will translate into preparing you for college?
I have learned time management, how to balance a busy schedule, and how to reach out for help from other students.

4. What class is your favorite and why?
History, because I love the topic and I plan to study history in college.

5. How did your teachers help you through the COVID time off, and how has that prepared you for this school year?
My teachers gave me summer work and I had to opportunity to talk with some over Zoom so I could understand the work better.

Here is a little bit about another one of our current students, Audrey Force!

1. What grade are you in?
I am in 11th grade.

2. What IB courses are you taking? Which ones are you taking remotely? In person?
The IB courses I am taking virtually are: IB Mathematics, IB Art, and IB history. I have one in person class, IB Literature and TOK.

3. What has been the biggest challenge with this learning format? How have you learned to deal/overcome?
The biggest challenge I have had to overcome is definitely having motivation. I find myself getting a bit more distracted at home than I would if I were at school. With that, I have learned to be aware of when I am getting distracted and not on task, and then bringing myself back to my assignments on my own.

4. What has been your biggest success story so far? or Where do you see you have really excelled so far?
My biggest success story so far is definitely being able to get ahead on work. The teachers are great with having assignments days/weeks ahead of time. On days I am feeling more motivated, I am able to work ahead of where we are, so then on days I’m not as motivated I can relax just a little bit and still have work in on time.

5. How have you felt supported by your IB teachers?
All of the IB teachers I have are very supportive. They are always encouraging the online students to email them if we have any questions or concerns on any assignments/projects. They also make sure to record online meets we have if we want to go back and rewatch or if we weren't able to attend the meeting we are still able to watch it. For my in-person class, my teacher is always explaining directions very well, having class discussions to share everyone's ideas, and again, always more than happy to help if anyone has questions or concerns.

I am excited to start adding some of our current students to the mix! A few have already agreed and so the first one I have is Claire Schafer.

1. What grade are you in?
I am a junior in high school

2. What IB courses are you taking remotely? Which are you taking in person?
I am taking 2 remotely, Visual Arts and IB History. I am taking IB English in peron.

3. What is the biggest challenge with this learning format?
I would say the biggest challenge with remote learning is finding that self motivation to do so and not having a teacher at your fingertips while you are doing the assignments.

4. What has been your biggest success story so far?

On the contrary, remote learning has been great in the sense that I can work at my own pace and choose how much time I spend on certain classes. I would think that my biggest success would be being ahead in most of my classes and pushing myself to do my best.

5. How have you felt supported by your teachers?
Overall, my teachers have been great in getting back to me and supporting me as needed.

[09/30/20]   I am excited to let you guys know that we will soon be featuring current students! We want to get a little bit out there about how things are going, from the perspective of the kids in "the trenches". They are such awesome kids, thank you for sharing them with us!

I was able to get some pictures of my IB History seniors and my IB Literature juniors in action. The seniors are working on a virtual group project and the juniors are familiarizing themselves with the different types of panels in a graphic novel.

Our next IB Graduate is Elizabeth Halfmann! I am so glad that she has things to share with all of you! I hope for some more soon!

1. What college are you currently attending?
Siena Heights University

2. How have IB classes helped you adjust to college?
IB classes definitely helped me with being much more prepared for the rigor of college. College courses are much more rigorous than any high school course, aside from IB. IB taught me how to be proactive about my assignments and learn how to manage my time wisely.

3. What class do you feel like really helped prepare you for college?
IB chemistry prepared me for college the most as it was the most demanding class I took in high school. IB chemistry was the most outside of class work heavy in high school as there were daily assignments to complete outside of class. Chemistry is also the class that applied to my current nursing major the most. Nursing is a very science heavy major, and IB Chemistry prepared me for college sciences due to the frequent coursework and labs.

4. Have IB classes helped you to adjust to our current COVID situation in ways those around you seem to struggle with more?
During my junior and senior year of high school, I took two Pamoja Education courses. Pamoja Education courses are online International Baccalaureate classes that are based on the IB curriculum. Taking online Spanish and online Business Marketing prepared me for COVID because a good part of my first year of college was transferred over to online due to COVID and the beginning of my second year has been the same. Having experience in online classes has been a big help in being successful during these unprecedented events. Many colleges are offering more online/ synchronous courses due to COVID and many are requiring classes to be online. Doing classes online can be difficult, therefore, I am very thankful to have been exposed to this learning style through IB.

5. What is a piece of advice you would give current IB students?
I would tell current IB students to stay positive during their IB education, as it is a challenge, but it is doable. IB shows you the rigor of college and exposes you to an international education. IB opens up many opportunities for each student and allows for a better chance into great colleges and universities. Keep pushing and you will be successful.

Meet Miekyn Cotton! She is the latest IB graduate to be featured. I love getting to hear from students who are now adults in the "real world" and how IB continues to help them! I look forward to more coming soon.

1. Where did you go to college?
I received a BS. In Chemical Engineering from The University of Michigan.

2. In what ways do you think that IB prepared you for your classes/course load?
IB helped prep me by teaching me early time management skills that were critical for handling college life.

3. What lesson(s) do you think you learned from IB that you apply to your career today?
I still utilize the time management skills and "working in the cracks" that I learned from IB in high school. Additionally, I am required to see things from all sides when making decisions at work that I think I learned a lot of that during my time in TOK.

3.2 Which classes do you believe helped you the most, or that you enjoyed the most?
I loved IB Chemistry the most, setting up experiments and getting to work in the lab was my absolute favorite, and ultimately led to my decision to choose engineering.

4. What advice would you give to a student considering IB?
If you're considering trying IB try it. Absolute worst case scenario you are able to change paths later. IB may even get you out of a few boring (and difficult) pre-requisites in college! You will learn time management and how to study before they affect your college GPA.

[09/13/20]   I have another student profile to add, I am just waiting for her picture. I am excited to add a new one! I haven't found much time to add this last week, so I want to catch up. I am also hoping to get some pictures of our kids working this week. The thing is that we are trying hard to practice social distancing in our rooms, so many of us are changing lesson plans to make that work. It may just be kids working at their desks, but we are all so excited to be working at those desks so I want to share how hard we are all working to do that!

If you are a current or prospective parent/student and you have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to reach out. I love getting to work with so many great people.

[09/10/20]   We are two days in, for those of you who are IB students or who have IB students. How is it going?

Meet Hannah Barr! She is the next former IB student in the series of students who are talking about their IB experience and what it has done for them! I have to say that I am blessed to have had these students in my classes. I love hearing about what IB has done for them and what they are doing now!

1. Where did you go to college – I went to Baldwin Wallace University for my undergrad, now I am at Michigan State University working on my PhD in chemistry.

2. What IB courses were the most valuable for you in your career path? – Hands down I would say IB Lit was most valuable. We were exposed to many different perspectives, ideas, and struggles from a wide variety of individuals and cultures. It opened my mind to a world larger than my own. Also, that course taught me how to research and write – two important skills no matter what field you go into.

3. Which IB course was your favorite? - My favorite IB course was IB chem! I loved learning about the world around us – why clouds cling together, why oil and water don’t mix – and also HOW we know these things. Plus, Ms. Jackson was the best and made the course really rewarding to be a part of. IB chem sparked a joy I have followed all the way to grad school, so I highly recommend taking IB courses in your favorite subjects to see what they’re really all about!

4. How did IB help you adjust to college courses? – IB courses are graded on an international scale, which mirrors college courses. In college, students and profs come from all around the world and it’s important to learn how to work with, and for, people who are not like you. Preparing for exams that might be graded by an Italian, Japanese, India teacher, etc. brought me out of the headspace of only being in AHS.

I have some more great pictures from Chemistry for you tonight. I have three former IB students working on questions, so I am waiting to hear from them to bring more to you from that series. I look forward to continuing to expand that so we can spread positive news about our program!

Tonight's class is Chemistry. We offer 2 levels of Chemistry, which is really nice, it allows for kids to really find a good fit for them.

IB Chemistry is a 2 year lab based program. SL is generally a junior class, although seniors may take it as a one year course ending with the IB exam in May. Year 1 is the SL or Standard level core material. There are 11 units + a Medicine and Drugs Option. We do 40 hours of lab work including learning the basic techniques and working up to designing and running individual labs. We are the only school in the county to offer advanced organic chemistry! Much of the work is collaborative and spills over into social events like decorating for Christmas, trips to Aldi for snacks and adventures in baking in a classroom.

IB Chemistry HL is the second year of IB Chemistry and is generally a senior class. There are only 9 units in the senior year as a large portion of the class is dedicated to a personal Internal Assessment (IA). This an exploratory experiment on a topic chosen by each individual student. The IA report is submitted to IB as part of their final grade. Seniors take the IB exam in May. We also have time for application labs, such as making Fruit Batteries and Aspirin. Much of the work is still collaborative, with study tables spontaneously forming after school.

Group 4 is a collaborative project occurring among IB Science classes. The general theme is “STEM challenges”. Each year a different set of events is planned: marble runs, electrical quiz boxes, junk mobiles, beverage testing, tower building, etc. The pictures show IB Chem SL, Sports and Exercise Science (SEHS SL) and IB Bio SL working together on following directions, building hydraulic mazes, coding and flying drones and researching and presenting models.

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