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Mary-Grace

~ Mary-Grace Reeves [Harvard] Though the IB Diploma Program at PHS may only last four years, the education prepares students for a lifetime of scholastic achievement, empowering them through a heightened awareness of their roles as rising leaders on a global level. Selecting where I would attend high school was personally a decision which I considered very thoughtfully, as I questioned what the IB curriculum could provide that other area high schools could not. Four years later, I will strongly affirm that selecting IB was the best choice. Yes, the course work is incredibly rigorous, and it is very demanding to balance extracurriculars and academics at the pace IB requires. Outside of the classroom, in addition to participating in clubs at PHS, I complemented my education by continuing to devote much of my time to dancing classical ballet as a member of my studio’s ballet company. I grew through CAS, an opportunity I encourage students to embrace, as it allows us to apply our global IB education to make a difference as youth. Now, as a freshman at Harvard College, I honestly believe that there is no better preparation for the rigors of college academics than the IB Program. PHS brings the message of IB to life with an amazing faculty that is unmatched at other high schools. The academic lessons, classroom memories, and friendships from IB will last forever.

 

Sami

Sami Alsheikh [MIT] The IB program at Pensacola High is intense but completely worth it. Although college is definitely not easy, IB has equipped me to work the best way I can. I think that at every level, students will face increasingly challenging subject content and a growing workload. To cope with this intensity, every student has a method that works best for him or her. IB allowed me to discover my unique approach to tackling tough subject material while maintaining a balance with my non-academic life. I am so thankful that I undertook the task of learning my limits and developing personalized study habits while I still had access to the awesome teachers that IB has to offer. This way, I learned to make time for the extracurricular activities I really cared about: varsity tennis, table tennis club, frisbee club, math club, and teaching. On top of my self-development at IB through academics and extracurricular activities, I find that being surrounded by motivated individuals kept me on the right track. If you’re willing to work to learn more about the world but more importantly your own abilities, IB is simply the way to go. I cannot emphasize enough how glad I am that I decided to attend the IB program at Pensacola High.

Meghan

Meghan Greskovich [Washington & Lee University] When I chose IB as the place I would attend four years of high school, I realized I was entering a program that would provide me with consistent challenges, provide a solid educational foundation that could give me an edge when applying to competitive colleges and university all over the nation, and also give me the necessary preparation and background needed to succeed in the college of my choice. While in the program, I played a sport year round and served on student government all four years. Though this added to the difficulty of balancing schoolwork, varsity sports, and extracurricular activities, it enabled me to attain the two most important qualities a student can have: confidence & time management. Confidence that assured me I could take on any challenge and how to manage my time while being a well rounded individual. Without these two qualities, college would now be an overbearing and rather daunting experience. I can attribute my current ease, preparedness and success in college to the IB program. After coming to a university in another region of the country, with students from all over, where most attended nationally recognized top tier boarding schools and preparatory academies, has truly allowed me to realize all that IB gave me over the past four years that has put me on the same level playing field as my peers as well as an academic edge in regards to time management and taking advanced classes as a freshman. Even though at times while I was in the program I wondered whether it would pay off, within my first month of college I have come to realize it was all worth it.

FAQ

When will my child receive his or her schedule?

*Students will receive their schedules at the general Freshman Orientation and then walk to each class period to receive a brief overview from their teachers and become familiar with the school.  Schedules will not be available before orientation.

 

What if we are unable to be at orientation?

*You may pick up your schedule on the first day of school if you are not able to come to orientation.

 

What is the policy regarding schedule changes?

*To ensure a smooth start to the school year, there is a no schedule change policy; therefore, each student received the classes they selected on their course request sheet or they were called if changes were made. Understandably, if there is a major problem with the schedule, please e-mail the IB Academic Advisor, Ms. Emma Powers (epowers@escambia.k12.fl.us) and we will resolve it the best way possible. Thank you for your cooperation and your assistance to ensure a smooth transition to the IB program!

 

When does school begin?

*School begins August 12th at 8:20am (late bell rings at 8:25am) and ends at 3:10pm. Please know that students are allowed to come before school starts with teacher permission only to receive extra help or tutoring. A full school calendar can be found under the Calendar Tab. Please plan your vacations accordingly as missing school can be a determinant to your student’s success especially with the rigor of the program at the high school level.

 

Is there a list of school supplies I need to get for my student?

There is no official school supplies list. We encourage students to have a planner, pens and pencils, notebooks, paper, and folders/binders for each of their classes. Students should develop an organization system to be successful in the IB Program.

 

Is there a car drop off procedure?

*You may drop your child off at the front of PHS on Maxwell Street.  Please note that students are deterred from entering the building prior to 8:20 unless given a pass by faculty as noted previously. Many of the IB students mingle at the tree directly in front of the school before the bell rings. 

 

What if my child needs to take a bus to school but lives out of the PHS district?

* There are multiple center to center bus routes where you can drop off your child to be bused to PHS.  Please Visit the Escambia County Transportation Department.  For additional questions regarding transportation, please contact (850) 429-2949.

 

Is PHS a safe environment?

*PHS is a very safe environment.  If you ask any of our current or former IB students, they will confirm that PHS is safe.  Our previous Resource Officer has worked in other high schools and states that PHS is one of the safest in the county so do not be concerned by any false chitchat.  Our campus is locked and secured throughout the entire day.

 

How many community service hours are required for IB students?  Can we start hours before school starts?

*Aside from strongly preparing students for college, one of the goals of the IB program is to assist students in becoming more well-rounded.  CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) is a step above community service.  PHS pre-IB students are required to do 25 hours their freshman year and 25 hours their sophomore year prior to their project that is necessary during junior and senior year.  The method of documentation and different ways to accumulate CAS hours will be discussed at the beginning of the school year. These hours will also be documented for students’ Bright Future Scholarship community service.  CAS is not meant to be another checklist item to complete but rather an interesting variety of activities that the student finds worthwhile.  Students coming into the program should not start hours until further instruction is given at the beginning of the year.  For more information on CAS to start thinking of ideas, please see below.    

 

CAS is:

Creativity-  arts and other experiences that involve thinking

Action-  physical exertion contributing to healthy lifestyle

Service-  unpaid & voluntary exchange that is a learning experience

Examples:

  • Purposeful activities that promote learning
  • Activities that include thoughtful planning
  • Range of various activities to explore what a student enjoys
  • Flyers of opportunities will be posted on the IB website. 
  • CAS club will begin this coming school year to help students with ideas and opportunities.

CAS is NOT:

  • Any project or activity that is part of a course
  • Any activity for which student receives a grade, a reward, or a payment
  • An activity in which a profit-seeking entity makes money from student activity (working for free for a dance studio that charges students a fee, even though “teacher” is unpaid)
  • Family duty
  • Experience that only benefits the student
  • Fund-raising without a specific service goal
  • Any activity without a responsible adult in charge
  • Anything that divides the community
  • CAS is NOT simple, repetitive work over a long period of time

How can my child be successful in the IB program?  Is there time for extracurricular activities?

* Time management is the key to being successful in the IB program. Procrastination will lead to being overwhelmed and a possible decline in grades. Our program is designed for students to be successful but students must keep on top of their work. Learning how to study effectively and organizing a weekly schedule is well worthwhile.  A majority of our IB students do participate in many extracurricular activities and this is manageable.  This year, the IB faculty will be meeting bi-weekly in order to evenly spread major assignments and tests throughout the week so students are not overloaded.  Communicate with your child about how they are doing and have your child talk to their teacher with concerns. 

 

How can I monitor my child’s grades?  All teachers use a gradebook system called FOCUS whereby you can track your child’s progress. Once the school year begins, you can create a user account on FOCUS by registering on their website: focus.escambia.k12.fl.us/focus/  You can also access the FOCUS link through the Parent Portal of the ECSD website.  Teachers’ grading policies will be noted in the class syllabus. 

 

Do students have a homeroom?

*Students have an alpha home room that they attend periodically throughout the school year.  Students will go to their alpha home room for the first few days of school.  There are alpha room lists posted in several areas of the school.

 

What information is posted on the PHS IB website, www.phsibsupport.org?

* Helpful information is available on the IB website such as an on-line calendar where tests and major assignments are noted, CAS opportunities and information regarding requirements, college information, faculty directory, tutoring information, study tips, and more. Please visit this website regularly to stay updated on upcoming events!

 

What is the process for parent/teacher conferences?

* The IB philosophy is for students to engage in self-efficacy by learning to communicate with their teachers directly before parents intervening on their behalf.  For individual student/parent conferences, you may e-mail teachers directly by finding their e-mails on the IB PHS website: www.phsibsupport.org  (Click IB Faculty Directory tab for a detailed listing of teachers). If students/parents want to meet with multiple teachers at once, please contact the IB secretary at (850) 595-1500 ext 244.

 

What are the requirements to remain in the program?

*If a student falls below an unweighted GPA of 2.75, he or she will be placed on academic probation.  Probation letters are sent home at the end of each semester.  It is recommended that students take advantage of the after school tutoring program if they are struggling.

 

Is there tutoring available?

*Tutoring is available before and after school through National Honor Society. More information will be announced after school begins.

 

What is the attendance policy?

* Students are responsible for providing notification within three (3) days of the student’s return to school, or the absence will result in an unexcused absence. There is an absence form that must be completed with an attached note from the guardian that must be submitted in the main lobby in a designated box.  Students are only permitted to make up assignments if their absences are excused.  If students miss more than 5 absences per semester, they have to pass the semester exam or have a 75% average overall to receive credit for the course. 

 

What is the cheating policy?

 * The PHS IB Program offers a quality education that cultivates not only knowledge and service but also the virtue of honor.  The IB Honor Code prohibits violations of cheating, lying, stealing, plagiarizing or any action compromising the academic integrity of the program.  Students are to be committed to honorable behavior.   Violators will be subject to removal from the program.

 

What are other IB policies?

Visit the IB Policies Tab for more policies on behavioral expectations, academic probation, etc.

 

What are the student checkout procedures?

*When checking out a student, every person must show his or her picture ID at the main office.  A student check out form will be sent home the first week of school.  Individuals are only permitted to check out a student if their names are listed on the form.  After 2:50pm, no student is permitted to be checked out per Escambia County District Policy.  Students are only allowed to check themselves out of school if a letter is signed by the parent and the main office staff calls to verify.  If a student becomes ill, he or she should report to the clinic.  The clinic will call home if necessary and make appropriate arrangements.    

Can my child bring a laptop or iPad to use at school?

*Students may use their own personal laptops during the school day for classroom instruction. Please be forewarned that PHS is not responsible for these items so please be mindful about the security of your personal items. There will also be the option for students to check out a Chromebook.  This may be required for some classes per teacher discretion.  

 

What about textbooks? And lockers?

*Textbooks will be issued within the first week of school, or a digital option may be available.  Books will be collected at the end of the year or students will be fined for any books not turned in.   Because of the lack of use for numerous years, there are not student lockers.

 

What about lunch?

*Students are not permitted to leave campus for lunch.  The majority of IB students do pack a lunch to avoid standing in line because lunchtime is limited to 30 minutes.  The cafeteria phone number is 850-595-1523.  You may transfer funds electronically to your students lunch account by registering at MyPaymentsPlus  or your child may bring lunch money.

 

What is the dress code policy?

*At orientation, the dress code policy will be reviewed. For a detailed description, please refer to page 62 of the Dress Code Policy.

 

When do students take the PSAT?

*Students take the PSAT in the fall of their freshman year, sophomore year and junior year.  Selections for National Merit are based on junior year results only.  For more information regarding this and other college prep information, please attend IB College Night that is held every fall.

 

Summer Reading List:

It is essential that you read the required books prior to the start of school to ensure a smooth transition. You can rind the required reading and assignment lists under the Summer Reading Lists Tab.

 

If you would like to be contacted by an IB parent who can answer questions and provide guidance during your freshman year,” please test IB parent Carolyn Davis at 850-776-6344 (or e-mail davisfamilygb@gmail.com) to request a “parent partner.”  The Parent Partners will work to provide you with a smooth transition into PHS and the IB Program. We welcome your participation. In addition, please note that some of the IB staff has limited summer hours but these parent pals can help assist with questions.  

 

~ We look forward to meeting you soon!