The International Baccalaureate Program (IBDP)


The International Baccaluareate Programme (IBDP)

Prepa Tec Los Angeles High School (PTLAHS) is a candidate school for the IB Diploma Programme (DP) and the Middle Years Programme (MYP).  Candidate Schools are schools that share a common philosophy — a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that PTLAHS believes is important for our students. After complete IB Authorization, PTLAHS will provide a comprehensive course of study offering high school students two pathways to graduation.  All students in grades 9 and 10 will study under the IB Middle Years Program (MYP).  As students successfully matriculate to grade 11, they will have the option of continuing their IB coursework under the more rigorous IB Diploma Programme (DP), the Career-Related Programme (CP) or graduating with the PTLAHS requirements to ensure college readiness.

PTLAHS charter petition, the International Baccalaureate Program is customized to our unique population.  Students matriculating from our Prepa Tec Middle School will have experience in the MYP and continue the International Baccalaureate’s philosophical approach to their course of study.  Students new to International Baccalaureate will learn to integrate International Baccalaureate strategies into their existing standards-based repertoire. Low-achieving students have the support of our 3-tiered response to intervention, including individualized instruction, bi-monthly formative assessments, individualized learning plans and tutoring.

English Learner (EL) students are served by full inclusion in the classroom with small group and individual customization in the classroom and through the after school program. In addition to mandatory compliance of monitoring and supporting students for 3 years after reclassification, students are monitored and supported on an on-going basis.

An estimated 92.8% of our students are Free and Reduced Lunch Program-eligible and nearly 44.1% EL, accordingly our program is designed to address and support students who may be “at risk” and in need of intervention.  Our charter is aligned to Common Core State Standards and uses strategies such as early detection, family communication, teacher collaboration, focused instruction, direct intervention, ongoing assessment, and an authentic commitment to each individual student in our small school environment.


Main Components of the Diploma Programme:

Extended Essay (EE)

The Extended Essay is a piece of research writing up to 4,000 words in length that students complete over the second half of the junior year and first half of the senior year. Students may choose any subject area in which they are taking an IB course to write their EE. With the assistance of an EE supervisor in that subject, students will craft a question that they wish to answer, research a variety of sources (and if their EE is in the Sciences, design and carry out an experiment), and write an analytical answer to their question. Completing the EE prepares students extremely well for completing similar tasks in college.

Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS)

Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) is at the heart of the IB Diploma Program, and involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies throughout the Diploma Program. The three strands of CAS, often interwoven in particular activities, are:

  • Creativity: arts and other experiences that involve creative thinking,
  • Activity: physical exertion that contributes to a healthy lifestyle, such as sports and other exercise, and
  • Service: an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student.

CAS activities should be:

  • Purposeful, with significant outcomes,
  • Personally challenging,
  • Undertaken with thoughtful consideration and planning, and
  • Reflected upon to assure that personal learning outcomes have been achieved.

CAS activities should be ongoing, occurring on a regular basis throughout the junior and senior years. Each student will have a CAS advisor with whom they will meet several times each year, discussing the progress of their CAS activities and reflecting upon the outcomes. Ultimately, CAS helps to ensure that student academic growth is accompanied by fulfilling personal growth.

Theory of Knowledge (ToK):

Theory of knowledge (TOK) plays a special role in the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP), by providing an opportunity for students to reflect on the nature of knowledge, and on how we know what we claim to know.

TOK aims to make students aware of the interpretative nature of knowledge, including personal ideological biases – whether these biases are retained, revised or rejected.

It offers students and their teachers the opportunity to:

  • reflect critically on diverse ways of knowing and on areas of knowledge
  • consider the role and nature of knowledge in their own culture, in the cultures of others and in the wider world.

In addition, TOK prompts students to:

  • be aware of themselves as thinkers, encouraging them to become more acquainted with the complexity of knowledge
  • recognize the need to act responsibly in an increasingly interconnected but uncertain world.



Main Components of the Middle Years Programme:

Action and Service

Action is learning by doing and experiencing, and is a key component to all IB programmes. Through responsible action, tightly connected with sustained inquiry and critical reflection, young people and adults can develop the kinds of attributes described by the learner profile that are essential for success in future academic pursuits and life beyond the classroom. Service, as a subset or particular kind of action, has always been a shared value of the IB community. IB learners strive to be caring members of the community who demonstrate a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.

Service as action: With appropriate guidance and support, MYP students should, through their engagement with service as one of the significant forms of action, meet the learning outcomes to develop the skills and attributes of an IB learner. IB World Schools value service with others as an important way to engage in principled action across a range of overlapping local and global communities.

Approaches to Learning

One of the most important facets of the MYP curriculum framework is its clear focus on approaches to learning (ATL), or learning how to learn. This fundamental aspect of the MYP is drawing attention to a developmentally crucial task for 11- to 16- year-olds. ATL now stands near the center of all IB programme models, alongside approaches to teaching. Across the IB continuum, five broad categories of ATL skills represent aligned language and educational through-lines that can inform and structure skills development for all students. The five, broad categories of ATL are: Research, Communication, Social Skills, Thinking Skills, and Self Management Skills.

Global Contexts

Students learn best when their learning experiences have context and are connected to their lives and their experience of the world that they have experienced. Prepa Tec teachers plan units together and separately, each using a global context to help frame the unit for students.

Using global contexts, MYP students develop an understanding of their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet through developmentally appropriate explorations of:

  • identities and relationships
  • personal and cultural identity
  • orientations in space and time
  • scientific and technical innovation
  • fairness and development
  • globalization and sustainability.

Personal Projects

Students complete a Personal Project, the culminating event of the Middle Years Program. Students are able to decide what they want to learn about, identify what they already know, discovering what they will need to know to complete the project, and create a proposal or criteria for completing it. The personal project is a student-driven, inquiry-based project that takes place over an extended period of time. When it is complete, it should represent a significant body of work and should showcase the skills students  have developed over the past several years.

At Prepa Tec High School, students begin their Personal Projects in the Spring of their 9th grade year. Our first group of students has just begun! They work together in the Design course with the support of a teacher mentor, and complete their project in the Spring of their 10th grade year. After the Personal Project Presentation, 10th graders who successfully complete the project participate in a celebration that honors their hard work, perseverance, and dedication.

Please see these helpful links to learn more about the International Baccaluareate:

MYP at a Glance

DP at a Glance

CP at a Glance

10 Reasons Why MYP Encourages Critical Thinking, Creativity and Reflection

Research on the Diploma Programme

FAQ-Diploma Programme

IBO’s Website



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