International Baccalaureate

Murray High School is a candidate school* for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme. This school is pursuing authorization as an IB World School. IB World Schools share a common philosophy--a commitment to high-quality, challenging, international education--that we believe is important for our students. The IB approach is squarely aligned with Murray's long-time stance toward learning in nearly every way. In fact, this isn't the first time in Murray's history IB was being seriously considered. The first occurred in the early 1990's and then later around 2008. Unfortunately, the time wasn't right then but with the School Board's 2017 decision to adopt the Contemporary High School Model and a deeply committed faculty, the stars finally aligned to give Murray students a school designed to draw out the intellectual and creative capabilities with an IB Diploma option.  Perfectly layered atop our founding philosophical approach and newly formalized creative arts and design curricular focus, an IB education:

  • Centers on learners
  • Develops effective approaches to teaching and learning scalable to other ACPS schools; PLUS,
  • Works within global contexts, helping students understand different languages and cultures
  • Explores significant content, developing disciplinary and interdisciplinary understanding that meets rigorous international standards. 

The IB approach aims to transform students and schools as they learn through dynamic cycles of inquiry, action and reflection. Teachers enable and support students as they develop the approaches to learning they need--for both academic and personal success--and the attributes of the IB learner profile.

Students are able to take responsibility for their own learning and understand how knowledge itself is constructed; this is further developed in our unique Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course. They are encouraged to try different approaches to learning and to take responsibility for their own educational progress.

IB courses develop students who:

  • Ask challenging questions
  • Think critically
  • Learn research skills proven to help them in higher education
  • Are active in their communities and to take their learning beyond academic study
  • Are compassionate lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right
  • Develop skills and attitudes for taking responsible action for the future

Students may choose to pursue the full IB Diploma or take individual courses based on personal interest. The IB elective offerin​gs at Murray will align exclusively to the creative arts and design electives we offer.

Students who choose to pursue the IB Diploma complete six core-content courses (Literature, Language, Social Studies, Science, Mathematics, and Art) as well as the IB Diploma Core components: the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course, the Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) project, and the Extended Essay (EE).

Every IB course involves an internal and an external assessment. The internal assessment is generally an independent research or portfolio project the student works on throughout the course under the tutelage of the IB teacher. The external assessment is a timed examination that asks the student to bring the knowledge and understanding acquired to more general questions within the content area. External assessments are criterion-referenced rather than norm-referenced, meaning that each student is graded against a rubric rather than in comparison to other students.

Courses Offered At Murray Beginning 2020-21

Core Academic Courses

Creative Arts and Design Electives

The Full IB Diploma: Academics + The IB Core

*All courses above available to 11th graders only; 12th graders may take IB Environmental Systems and Societies

Courses Expected to Begin SY 2021-22

The IB Program and College Credit/Admissions

A strong and growing body of research indicates that an International Baccalaureate (IB) education is highly beneficial to students.  The benefits of an IB education are especially strong when it comes to higher education. Top universities from around the world have shown how they value the IB's credentials by building special pathways for IB students; by granting credit or advanced standing for performance on IB exams; or even by providing scholarships for IB students.

What the Research Shows

Across different studies, researchers have found that:

  • Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum and assessment compares favorably to a variety of other respected qualifications
  • DP students tend to complete their undergraduate degrees at higher rates than their peers, and often in less time.
  • IB students can tend to make more contributions to campus life by participating in activities such as community service, tutoring, assisting faculty in research, study abroad, internships, and joining clubs and other student groups.
  • the IB goes to great lengths to ensure the validity and reliability of its assessments. IB assessments have been demonstrated as strong predictors of university performance.

Across the research, DP students have been cited as demonstrating the following skills:

  • Interest and experience in research
  • Time management and organizational skills
  • Critical thinking, inquiry and problem solving
  • Strong language and writing skills
  • International-mindedness and a sense of responsibility for the community. 

Read more about IB research. The IB both conducts its own research and partners with leading universities and research institutions across the world.  You can also read about how the IB works with higher education institutions

College Credits and AP Comparison

Sample Murray IB Diploma Pathways

9th

10th

11th

12th

English 9

English 10

IB English 11

IB English 12

World Geography

Government

IB History 11

IB History 12

Spanish 1

Spanish 2-3

IB Spanish 1

IB Spanish 2

Physics

Biology

IB Biology 1

IB Biology 2

Algebra 2

Geometry

IB Math 1

IB Math 2

Art 1

Art 2

IB Visual Arts 1

IB Visual Arts 2

Freshman Seminar

Elective or ELP

ELP + Theory of Knowledge

ELP + Theory of Knowledge

Health/PE

Health/PE

Econ/Personal Finance

ELP or Elective

 

9th

10th

11th

12th

English 9

English 10

IB English 11

IB English 12

World Geography

Government

IB History 11

IB History 12

Spanish 2

Spanish 3

IB Spanish 1

IB Spanish 2

Earth Science

Biology

IB Biology 1

IB Biology 2

Algebra 1

Geometry

IB Math 1

IB Math 2

Audio/Video Production 1

Audio/Video Production 2

IB Film 1

IB Film 2

Freshman Seminar

Elective or ELP

ELP + Theory of Knowledge

ELP + Theory of Knowledge

Health/PE

Health/PE

Econ/Personal Finance

ELP or Elective

Note: To ensure equity of access, Murray will develop specialized summer, virtual, hybrid or other alternative/individualized opportunities for prerequisites or academic support so any student who chooses to pursue the IB program will have the option to do so, and do so successfully.  Students who are considering entering the lottery for 11th grade entry to Murray for IB should contact their counselor as soon as possible for 9/10th grade scheduling considerations. Students pursuing an IB Arts Elective other IB Visual Arts may will have Elective or ELP option in 11th grade as all others IB Arts course are SL (1-year).

July 11 Presentation to ACPS School Board

The Albemarle County School Board approved Murray's adoption of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at its July 11, 2019 meeting.

The full agenda item can be read on Electronic School Board (ESB).

Presentation slide deck:

Contact IB Coordinator Josh Flaherty or Principal Chad Ratliff or attend one of our Admissions Information Sessions for more information.  Murray's IB policies can be found here.

* Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its four academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Programme (DP), or the Career-related Programme (CP). Candidate status gives no guaranteethat authorization will be granted.