ISD High School Diploma

The ISD High School Diploma is awarded to students who achieve the required number of High School Graduation Credits over the four years of High School from Grades 9 to 12. The ISD High School Diploma is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) as a US High School Diploma. This means that it is recognised worldwide. ISD is an IB World School, offering only IB courses. This ensures that the academic rigour behind the ISD High School Diploma is fully established and recognised.

Award of the ISD High School Diploma requires a commitment by students to their academic studies, and to fulfilling the requirements of Community & Service (Grades 9 and 10) and Creativity, Action, Service (Grades 11 and 12). High School Graduation Credits are awarded for each subject in which students gain an Achievement Level of 3 or higher in their end of year reports (Grades 9 and 10) or semester reports (Grades 11 and 12). All students must have at least 90 per cent school attendance in each of the four years of high school in order to receive Credits that contribute towards their ISD High School Diplomas. In addition, students are expected to develop and display the qualities outlined in the IB Learner Profile

High School Graduation Credits

Students must earn the following Credits to satisfy the minimum requirements of the ISD High School Diploma over the four years from Grades 9 to 12.

Courses / Subjects Credits
English 4 Credits
 Additional Language 2 Credits
Humanities / Individuals and Societies 3 Credits
Experimental Sciences 2 Credits
Mathematics 3 Credits
Creativity, Action, Service 1 Credit
Electives 9 Credits
Total 24 Credits

Credits are awarded for successful completion of courses with achievement at Level 3 or higher.

The requirement for ‘English’ can be satisfied by IB MYP English A, IB MYP English B, IB DP English B HL, or IB DP English A SL or HL.

‘Electives’ includes all subjects and curriculum components that contribute to High School Graduation Credits when successfully completed.

The next sections include details about how High School Graduation Credits are achieved in ISD MYP and ISD Post 16 Programme course of study, and how Credits are calculated for students joining ISD having studied in Grades 9 or 10 in other schools or education systems.

Achieving Credits in the Middle Years Programme

MYP students sit a maximum of eight subjects in Grade 9 and Grade 10. The following Credits are available for students who achieve Level 3 or above in their end of year reports in Grades 9 and 10, or following the release of externally validated MYP subject Achievement Levels by the IB in the September following the end of Grade 10:

MYP Subject, 6 periods per week      1.0 Credit per year

MYP Subject, 5 periods per week      1.0 Credit per year

MYP Subject, 4 periods per week      1.0 Credit per year

Personal Project                                 0.5 Credits per year (in Grade 10 only)

C&S                                                    0.5 Credits per year

Total available                                     17.5 Credits

MYP Credits are awarded at end of year, not shared between Semester 1 and 2, to ensure consistency with IB MYP assessment philosophy and best-fit judgements of student achievement at the end of each year of study.

Note that the MYP Subject ‘Technology’ is studied as two separate classes of Computer technology and Design Technology, each taught over two periods a week. The Technology class that allows the student to achieve the highest Achievement Level determines the Credits awarded for Technology at the end of each school year. A similar approach would be taken in any other MYP Subject in which students are taught separate component classes.

The IB issues MYP Certificates and MYP Records of Achievement in September each year. These documents list the externally validated Achievement Levels awarded for each MYP subject. If a student is awarded a Level 3 or higher by the IB in any MYP subject, they will be retrospectively awarded Credits for those subjects in all semesters of Grades 9 and 10 during which they were enrolled at ISD on the condition that they have met ISD’s requirement of a minimum of 90 per cent attendance in those years.

Achieving Credits in the ISD Post 16 Programme

In Grades 11 and 12, students’ course choices must fit into one of the following two tracks:

  • Track 1: ISD High School Diploma. In this track, students study a combination of IB Diploma Programme Courses leading to the ISD High School Diploma
  • Track 2: IB Diploma. In this track, students study a combination of IB Diploma Programme Courses that could allow students to qualify for the full IB Diploma, as well as the ISD High School Diploma

The number of High School Graduation Credits awarded for successful completion of DP Courses and core components is dependent upon the time commitment required for each. The following Credits are available for students who achieve Level 3 or above at the end of each of the four semesters in Grades 11 and 12, or following the release of externally validated DP Course Achievement Levels by the IB:

HL Course (240 hours)                       0.75 Credits per semester in Grades 11 and 12

SL Course (150 hours)                       0.5 Credits per semester in Grades 11 and 12

Theory of Knowledge (100 hours)      0.25 Credits per semester in Grades 11 and 12

Extended Essay (40 hours)                0.5 Credits in Semester 2 of Grade 11 and 0.5 Credits in Semester 1 of Grade 12

CAS (150 hours)                                 0.5 Credits per semester in Grades 11 and 12

Total Credits available for a Post 16 Programme student studying three HL and three SL subjects over two years = 19 Credits.

Students who are entered as IB Diploma Programme or Diploma Courses candidates must submit externally and internally assessed examinations and other assignments to the IB. The IB publishes its award of grades on July 6th each year. If a student is awarded a Level 3 or higher by the IB in any DP Course, they will be retrospectively awarded Credits for that course in all four semesters of Grades 11 and 12 on the condition that they have met ISD’s requirement of a minimum of 90 per cent attendance during those academic years.

Award of Credits to students joining ISD after Grade 9

Students who enter ISD after the start of Grade 9 may be awarded High School Graduation Credits based on the evidence contained in their previous school records and examination certificates from Grade 9 onwards.

The maximum number of Credits that may be awarded to a student joining ISD after Grade 9 is capped at 8 Credits per each year of Grades 9 and 10. This is to ensure that students joining ISD do not have an unfair advantage over students who have been enrolled in ISD from Grade 9 onwards.

O Level and IGCSE certificates represent courses of study over two years. A Grade D or higher at O Level or IGCSE will result in the award of 1 Credit for G9 and 1 Credit for G10.

O Level / IGCSE Grades and MYP Achievement Levels are awarded in a different way from US High School grades. The table below gives an approximate equivalence between O Level / IGCSE Grades, US Grades and MYP Achievement Levels:

O Level / IGCSE Grade US Grade MYP Achievement Level
A* A+ 7
A A 6
B B 5
C B 4
D C 3
E D 2
F, G 1

Some schools issue transcripts or school reports that indicate percentage grades. Achievement at 50 per cent or higher will result in the award of a maximum of 1 Credit per year (or one half of one Credit per semester) for each course.

Students joining with a Service Learning component in their transcripts may be awarded up to 0.5 Credits per year at the discretion of the Head of Secondary.

Students joining from another MYP school would potentially be eligible for Credits for C&S and the Personal Project, as well as for their subjects.

The total number of Credits available to a student joining ISD in Grade 11 is therefore 17.5 Credits.

High School Diploma Awards Committee

The High School Diploma Awards Committee meets in May, after Grade 12 students’ Semester 2 Achievement levels have been awarded by their teachers, and before the Graduation Ceremony. This committee formally awards ISD High School Diploma to those students who have met the requirements.

The High School Diploma Awards Committee comprises the CEO, Head of Secondary, Diploma Programme Coordinator, Middle Years Programme Coordinator and College Counsellor.

The committee follows established policy and precedent in deciding on the award of ISD High School Diplomas to those students affected by adverse circumstances, with the intention of compensating where possible for any disadvantage suffered by a student. Sometimes this involves a slight increase in overall Credit, e.g. by half of one Credit.

Appeals to the Academic Review Panel

Any student not meeting Credit requirements to obtain an ISD High School Diploma by only 1 Achievement Level in no more than two subjects may have their grades reviewed by an Academic Review Panel. The review can be initiated by a written appeal from the student, or by a request from a Grade 12 teacher or the Head of Secondary School. The Academic Review Panel will consist of the Head of School, the Diploma Programme Coordinator, the subject teacher(s) involved and another teacher from the subject or curriculum area. The recommendations made by the Academic Review Panel will be passed back to the High school Diploma Awards Committee for their consideration.

The basis for a review of Achievement Level may be dependent on one or more factors such as:

  • Has the student been awarded Level 3 grades in three of the semesters of Grades 11 and 12?
  • Did the student have sufficient access to the course assessment requirements?
  • Was the Achievement Level in question based on course-relevant assessment criteria?
  • Was the grade that the Achievement Level was derived from close to the Level 3 boundary?
  • Did the student’s performance improve over the duration of the course?
  • How did the student perform in their other courses?
  • Was the student placed in courses appropriate to his or her ability and were alternative courses available?

ISD High School Record of Achievement

Students who do not meet the requirements for award of the ISD High School Diploma will be awarded an ISD High School Record of Achievement.

Achieving Credits in the Middle Years Programme

MYP students sit a maximum of eight subjects in Grade 9 and Grade 10. The following Credits are available for students who achieve Level 3 or above in their end of year reports in Grades 9 and 10, or following the release of externally validated MYP subject Achievement Levels by the IB in the September following the end of Grade 10:

MYP Subject, 6 periods per week      1.0 Credit per year

MYP Subject, 5 periods per week      1.0 Credit per year

MYP Subject, 4 periods per week      1.0 Credit per year

Personal Project                                 0.5 Credits per year (in Grade 10 only)

C&S                                                    0.5 Credits per year

Total available                                     17.5 Credits

MYP Credits are awarded at end of year, not shared between Semester 1 and 2, to ensure consistency with IB MYP assessment philosophy and best-fit judgements of student achievement at the end of each year of study.

Note that the MYP Subject ‘Technology’ is studied as two separate classes of Computer technology and Design Technology, each taught over two periods a week. The Technology class that allows the student to achieve the highest Achievement Level determines the Credits awarded for Technology at the end of each school year. A similar approach would be taken in any other MYP Subject in which students are taught separate component classes.

The IB issues MYP Certificates and MYP Records of Achievement in September each year. These documents list the externally validated Achievement Levels awarded for each MYP subject. If a student is awarded a Level 3 or higher by the IB in any MYP subject, they will be retrospectively awarded Credits for those subjects in all semesters of Grades 9 and 10 during which they were enrolled at ISD on the condition that they have met ISD’s requirement of a minimum of 90 per cent attendance in those years.

Achieving Credits in the ISD Post 16 Programme

In Grades 11 and 12, students’ course choices must fit into one of the following two tracks:

  • Track 1: ISD High School Diploma. In this track, students study a combination of IB Diploma Programme Courses leading to the ISD High School Diploma
  • Track 2: IB Diploma. In this track, students study a combination of IB Diploma Programme Courses that could allow students to qualify for the full IB Diploma, as well as the ISD High School Diploma

The number of High School Graduation Credits awarded for successful completion of DP Courses and core components is dependent upon the time commitment required for each. The following Credits are available for students who achieve Level 3 or above at the end of each of the four semesters in Grades 11 and 12, or following the release of externally validated DP Course Achievement Levels by the IB:

HL Course (240 hours)                       0.75 Credits per semester in Grades 11 and 12

SL Course (150 hours)                       0.5 Credits per semester in Grades 11 and 12

Theory of Knowledge (100 hours)      0.25 Credits per semester in Grades 11 and 12

Extended Essay (40 hours)                0.5 Credits in Semester 2 of Grade 11 and 0.5 Credits in Semester 1 of Grade 12

CAS (150 hours)                                 0.5 Credits per semester in Grades 11 and 12

Total Credits available for a Post 16 Programme student studying three HL and three SL subjects over two years = 19 Credits.

Students who are awarded the IB Diploma will automatically qualify for the ISD High School Diploma as long as they have met ISD’s requirement of a minimum of 90 per cent attendance in both Grades 11 and 12.

Students who are entered as IB Diploma Programme or Diploma Courses candidates must submit externally and internally assessed examinations and other assignments to the IB. The IB publishes its award of grades on July 6th each year. If a student is awarded a Level 3 or higher by the IB in any DP Course, they will be retrospectively awarded Credits for that course in all four semesters of Grades 11 and 12 on the condition that they have met ISD’s requirement of a minimum of 90 per cent attendance during those academic years.

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