Azusa High Welcomes International Baccalaureate Diploma Program

Ambitious Azusa High School students aspiring for a globally relevant post-secondary education will soon be embarking on an academic journey that could significantly boost their chances for acceptance at prestigious universities worldwide.

Azusa High was officially recognized as an International Baccalaureate World School on Jan. 14. Beginning in fall 2016, 70 Azusa High juniors will take their first classes in the IB Diploma Program, a rigorous two-year college-preparatory curriculum which focuses on critical thinking, cognitive awareness, community service and personal development.

“This is a significant step forward for the District,” Azusa Unified Superintendent Dr. Linda Kaminski said. “International Baccalaureate is another academic opportunity – along with Advanced Placement, AVID and Project Lead the Way at Azusa High School – for motivated students who want to maximize their college- and career-readiness.”

To earn an IB diploma, students must take courses in six subject areas: language and literature, second language, experimental sciences, the arts, mathematics, and individuals and societies. In addition to passing IB exams for each course, students will also fulfill three core requirements: Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge, and Creativity, Activity, Service. Students have the opportunity to earn college and university credits by passing IB courses.

Azusa High began the application process for IB certification in 2012, after receiving support from the AUSD Board of Education. Over 20 teachers, administrators and staff completed professional development training in preparation to provide an IB program. An IB consultant completed the certification process with an on-campus visit in the fall of 2015.

“I couldn’t be prouder,” Azusa High Principal Dr. Ramiro Rubalcaba said. “This is a clear result of the collaboration and teamwork from the administration, faculty and students. We have accomplished something extraordinary for the District.”

Freshmen and sophomores have been taking AP courses, such as Human Geography and World History in preparation for the fall 2016 launch of the IB Diploma Program. Students will have the option of taking IB courses exclusively or complement their schedule with a combination of IB and AP courses.

Though IB and AP courses both rigorously prepare students for higher education, AP courses are exam-specific and not tied to a definitive curriculum, while the IB Diploma Program is intent on developing the whole child, expanding global knowledge and encouraging students to be independent-minded and question why things are the way they are.

“The talented students of Azusa Unified deserve the best learning opportunities so they can reach their hopes and dreams for the future,” AUSD Board President Yolanda Rodriguez-Peña said. “This program adds to the many college preparation programs that we provide to help them get into and be successful at top colleges and universities in the United States and all over the world.”


IBDIPLOMA1: Azusa High student will learn two foreign languages to fulfill one of six subject areas in order to earn the prestigious International Baccalaureate Diploma. Azusa High was officially recognized as an IB World School on Jan. 14, offering a two-year college-preparatory curriculum beginning fall 2016, for students aspiring for a globally relevant post-secondary education.

IBDIPLOMA2: Azusa High was officially recognized as an IB World School on Jan. 14, providing students who earn an IB Diploma the opportunity to earn college and university credits, as well as be more competitive on applications to prestigious universities worldwide.