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International Baccalaureate
 Diploma Program


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Program Description

The IB Diploma Program is a two year academic program designed for juniors and seniors in high school that educates the whole person through a variety of academic, social, emotional and behavior skills that are embedded in every IB class. Students learn how to think and learn, work collaboratively with others, recognize their own strengths and weaknesses and conduct real world research. IB allows a student to design a personalized educational program within the parameters of a high school setting. Students are able to blend their personal interests into their course material through Internal Assessments, the Extended Essay and a service learning program called CAS, (Creativity, Activity and Service). Students have significant control over their own research by choosing their research topics; designing a CAS program highlighting areas of personal strengths and while developing new experience to foster social, emotional and behavior development.


IB Program Website


Skills Acquired

Academic Research Skills: Students learn how to do college and career applicable research on complex topics. Include the following skills. 

  • Formulating questions 

  • observation 

  • planning 

  • collecting 

  • recording 

  • organizing 

  • interpreting 

  • presenting data 

  • citation

Self Management Skills: Students will be exposed to and practice self management include behavior skills and Emotional Affective Skills

  • Organization

  • Time management

  • Positive Attitude
  • Healthy decision making 
  • Healthy lifestyle
  • Reflection

Critical Thinking Skills: Students are exposed to a range of critical thinking strategies related to acquiring knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation and metacognition. 

  • Critical Thinking

  • Creative Thinking

  • Design Thinking

  • Transfer Thinking

  • Reflection

Social Skills: Students are exposed to a range of opportunities to practice social skills associated with collaboration and interpersonal behavior. 

  • Responsibility

  • Respecting Others

  • Cooperation

  • Conflict Resolution

  • Collaboration

  • Decision Making

Communication: Students engage in behavioral practices to elevate communication skills.

  • Listening

  • Speaking

  • Reading

  • Writing

  • Viewing

  • Presenting

Work Based Learning Activities

Students engage in work based learning activities through the service element of their CAS program. CAS is designed to strengthen and extend students’ personal and interpersonal learning. The Service portion provides opportunities for collaborative and reciprocal learning within a student’s local community. Past IB Diploma candidates have gained work based experience in the following areas:

  • Academic research experience at various UCSB labs
  • Architectural Experience volunteering at local Architectural Firms
  • Law experience volunteering at Local Law Firms
  • Environmental, mechanical, electrical engineering experiences at local businesses
  • National Parks Service through the Botanical Gardens
  • Equestrian and Horsemanship experience
  • Volunteering and observing local MDs















International Baccalaureate Courses

Course Descriptions

Course Title and Description UC a-g
IB English Literature


IB Spanish


IB French


IB History of the Americas HL


IB Economics


IB Biology


IB Environmental Systems and Societies


IB Mathematics: Applications and Interpretations c
IB Visual Arts f
IB Film Studies f

International Baccalaureate Instructors

Matt Moran

IB Coordinator; History Teacher

I’ve been teaching for 17 years. I enjoy that topics we get to study in history and the depth of learning students engage with. In addition, I love that IB allows students the flexibility to do academic work in areas of choice most relevant to their interests. 

Rebecca Bucher

IB Guidance Counselor

This is my 17th year as a school counselor, my 4th year as IB counselor. I enjoy watching the growth of the diploma candidates over the 2 year program and seeing how proud they are of their accomplishment at the end of senior year.

Lisa Koppenjan

IB English


Kelly Savio

IB English

I enjoy watching students find the relevant, universal truths in the texts we read together, and exploring concepts from different perspectives as a class.

Marcelo Cruz

IB Spanish

I enjoy learning new things and IB allows me to explore them. Not only that, I also get to hear our youth's perspectives on those topics; and it's very refreshing. I believe that it's made me a better person and professional because I get to learn, think, analyze and reflect along with my students.


Valerie Lent

IB French

I have been teaching for 37 years (18 years in France, 19 years in California) I enjoy the openness of the curriculum, especially the ability to incorporate current events, to select topics based on students' interests, to choose the literary pieces we explore. I also enjoy the international collaboration with colleagues from around the world, as we share materials and strategies via a chatroom. Finally, I enjoy the global-mindedness of my students, their willingness to address their prejudices and their ability to challenge mine. I love it when they manage to make me change my mind!

Mike Ringer

IB History

I have been teaching for 24 years. The thing I like the most about the IB program is the opportunity students have to study a few topics in depth in each of their IB classes.  This is an opportunity most students don't really get during their high school experience and it is a great way for students to prepare for college level work in the safety of a high school environment.

Megan O’Carroll

IB Biology, IB Environmental Science

This is my 7th year teaching and 7th year at DP. What I love most about IB is the ability to dive deeper into concepts than I am able to in other classes. I love the global connections we make in all of our classes and the emphasis on creating responsible and empowered global citizens.

Samantha Mooneyham

IB Math

This is my 8th year teaching. I enjoy all of the applications that we do with the math that we learn. It's exciting to see the students actually apply what we learn in class to something they're interested in during their IAs and for them to see that the math is actually applicable to their lives. 


Katie Mendenhall

IB Math

This is my 4th year teaching math, 2nd year teaching IB Math. The IB curriculum provides opportunities to work beyond the state standards, helping students make connections across subject areas

Kevin Ahlers

IB Math

I have been teaching for 8 years. I enjoy working with a diverse student perspectives.

Kevin Gleason

IB Visual Arts

I have been teaching for 21 years. I love teaching students who are excited to stretch themselves and ask challenging questions and think on complex levels.  I enjoy helping them discover their voice as artists as they explore the concepts and craft that become their unique portfolio of work.

Adam Shive

IB Film


Dr. Olivia Happel

IB Theory of Knowledge; Extended Essay Coordinator

Teaching Experience: 7 years at DPHS and in the IB program. 

IB asks students to move beyond knowing an answer to knowing and why that answer is the most appropriate. IB wants students to understand their own perspective as a learner and how to better understand and communicate with other perspectives in the world.