IB Scores Exceed Worldwide Averages


Ava Vande Corput, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

After joining the IB staff as a history teacher in 2009, Matthew Schultz became the International Baccalaureate (IB) coordinator of Notre Dame during the 2010-2011 school year.

The IB program is an international program which includes classes that usually run two years in length.  They are designed to challenge students to collaborate with others, initiate their own learning and excel in their studies.

“I’m always excited for the new school year being the IB coordinator because if I wasn’t doing IB, I don’t know if I would be doing any of this (working at Notre Dame or even living in Wisconsin) at all,” said Schultz.

Throughout his eight years as coordinator, Schultz has seen a lot of success within the International Baccalaureate program at Notre Dame.

This past school year, 13 out of 17 of the 2019 class received the IB diploma which was about 76% of the IB class.

These results are in line with the worldwide average where about 75%-80% receive the IB diploma.

“All the scores were very impressive this year especially since a lot of the scores were above the worldwide average,” stated Schultz.

Subjects such as SL Philosophy and SL Psychology had an average of five rather than the worldwide average of four.

Eighty-four out of 115 students received a four or higher on their IB exam, and three students also received a seven on their IB exams, the highest score that can be obtained on the test.

However, these scores wouldn’t be possible without the staff that teaches the IB subjects at Notre Dame.

Many teachers are IB certified, but according to Schultz, “The goal is to get all the teachers to attend at least one IB training because we would love everyone to be IB certified.”

Two new IB classes that could be added in the upcoming school years are IB Theatre with Mrs. Andrea Gilson and IB Health, Exercise and Science with Mr. A.J. Giovanetti. Both have been IB certified in these courses.

Even though these classes are not currently offered, there are still many different IB courses that students can take at Notre Dame.

Currently, over 170 students are taking at least one IB class at Notre Dame, and the full IB program consists of 32 seniors and 22 juniors.

Students that strive to obtain the IB diploma have to take IB six courses that come from six different groups (at least three at the higher level), write a 4000-word essay on a topic of their choice, complete activity that satisfy CAS (creativity, activity and service) requirements, and more.

“Every class has their diversity, but the senior class is fun because it is the largest bunch of full IB diploma students we have ever had at Notre Dame. The number of students has made scheduling a challenge, but this class is one of the best I’ve worked with,” said Schultz.

The main project for IB seniors to currently tackle is their extended essay.

“As far as I know, extended essay work is going. I truly think the overall process is good for students to experience before college.”

Overall, Schultz is currently working on planning the senior trip, holding meetings with parents and staff and working on recruiting for the next school year.

“It’s always recruiting season because there’s always work to be done to get the freshmen and sophomores to understand what IB is about as well as how it can help them in their lives,” stated Schultz.