Hoboken International Baccalaureate Program

4/19/2008 Update:

Irene, a public school parent & Hoboken411 reader, recapped the whole night for us to read:


Below are my notes from the International Baccalaureate (IB) Presentation at Hoboken High School last night. With three boys in Wallace, I was very interested in learning about the IB Middle and Diploma Programs.

Anyway, this is what I learned at the meeting:

Most people, when they hear “IB” think of the High School level IB Diploma Program. There are actually three components of IB that a school can choose to offer in their district. The Elementary IB (K-5th), The Middle Years IB (6th – 10th) and the IB Diploma (11th &12th). The Hoboken Public Schools offer the Elementary IB in Connors, the Middle years in all schools from 6th to 8th and Hoboken High offers the Middle Years in 9th and 10th and the Diploma Program in the 11th and 12th grades. At Hoboken High School, in the 11th grade, students can choose to join the IB Diploma Program or receive IB Certificates for those individual IB classes completed during those years.

The Elementary and Middle Schools IB Program is more an educational philosophy, a way to offer traditional curriculum in a more holistic way. It provides a framework of interdisciplinary challenges, independent problem solving skills, in depth analysis, seminar style classes and a great deal of critical writing. Although “honors” or “advanced” classes may be offered in these grade levels (6th-10th), all children in these grades are taught using the IB philosophy regardless of which level class they attend.

Read the complete recap after the jump…

(IB program, continued…)

New next year , as presented at the meeting, all 10th graders will now participate in the yearlong Personal Project requirement. The Personal Project is intended to prepare students for the rigors of the IB Diploma Program. It consists of three components: An individualized product (art piece, research project or experiment), a process journal and a personal statement of 3000 words. The students will be expected to independently choose the nature of their personal project and will work with a mentor though out the school year to complete the piece.

At the end of the 10th grade, students will have a better idea of the type of work expected of them if they choose to join the IB Diploma Program. They can then either join the IB Diploma Program, which is a very specific set of rigorous requirements to graduate with an IB diploma or choose to receive IB Certificates for only those IB classes completed.

There was some discussion about the difference between AP courses and IB courses. Hoboken High does not offer AP course because it is an IB School. However, many Colleges and Universities acknowledge all three (AP test, IB Certificate and IB Diploma) as proof of advanced studies. Depending on the school, IB Certification/Diplomas can be eligible for up to 30 credit or advanced placement. The IB Program is smaller than the AP program, generally more well know on the west cost, but is growing quickly. Here are two links that offers comparison between the programs:


There were five current Hoboken High School IB students presenting at the meeting and they were asked about what they believed was the difference between AP and IB. The students thought that the IB Certification was more intensive and in depth…taught them how to think analytically…some thought the AP exam would only test their ability to “regurgitate” dates and facts on a certain test date….where the IB Certification showed a more “authentic” picture of what they knew and could produce over the time of the course.

On a side note…. it was great to meet the students. All admitted that the workload was very very demanding but they felt it made them independent thinkers and more well rounded. They enjoyed the experience and felt the other IB students and the IB teachers were like a family They also mentioned that the independent nature of the IB Program has helped them in their other activities as they learned priorities and how the manage their time. All the students there were involved in other activities, jobs, theater and many were the Captains of their respective teams. A nice group of kids!

So, in summary:

  • IB has 3 components, Elementary, Middle School and Diploma
  • Hoboken offers all 3 components
  • All 10th graders will now be required to complete a Personal Project
  • Regardless of whether you take general or advanced classes in the Middle Years, you are in the IB framework
  • In 11th grade you can choose the IB Diploma or Certificate track
  • IB Certificates and IB Diplomas are eligible in many college for credit or advanced placement

This is just my recollection of the discussion that night. If you have any questions about the IB program or any programs at Hoboken High School, you can contact Dr. Cella, Hoboken High School Principal. She can be reached at Lorraine.Cella@hoboken.k12.nj.us


See? The PTO does something. Tonight at the High School.

Want to learn more about the Hoboken Public School IB Program?

“You may have heard that Hoboken High School offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program…but what does that mean? Did you know the IB is also offered in the Middle Grades? Curious? You will have an opportunity to find out more on Thursday, April 17th in a presentation at Hoboken High School.

The IB Program is a comprehensive and rigorous course of study for all students. The Middle Years Program is integrated into the curriculum for all 6th through 10th grade students. The IB Diploma Program is a challenging two-year curriculum, primarily aimed at 11th and 12th grade students.

The goals of the Hoboken IB Middle and Diploma Programs are to provide students with a balanced education and to promote international understanding through a shared academic experience. Dr. Lorraine Cella, Principal of Hoboken High School, along with the Hoboken IB Coordinator and current IB Diploma students will give a presentation detailing both the IB Middle School and IB Diploma Programs offered in the Hoboken Public Schools. The will also be an opportunity for a Q&A session.

If you want to learn more, please come to the Hoboken High School PTO Meeting tonight at 7pm over in the Media Center.”

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30 Comments on "Hoboken International Baccalaureate Program"

8 years 6 months ago

All one needs to do is read the http://www.un.org or ibo.org websites and you will read the mission. It’s all about mission. In their own words, not mine.

Or, join this Yahoo group and read some of the 40+ files and links in the repository as they contain lots of information about the purpose of IB.


8 years 6 months ago

No problem. I’m happy to answer questions. Just remember I didn’t go to the Hoboken program, so your results may vary.

8 years 6 months ago

NotfromNJ–Thank you!! It’s great to hear from someone who has been through the program.

8 years 6 months ago

[quote comment=”79142″]IB is also only as good as the schools and teachers offering it. I don’t think that having an IB program should distract us from the overall condition of our school system.[/quote]


To answer an earlier question, some colleges will take a 6 or a 7 on a higher level IB exam as the equivalent of a 4 or a 5 on an AP exam (see e.g. Here).

The point really isn’t how APs compare to IBs or the advantages or disadvantages of each program. Much more basic questions would be how many students are enrolled in the IB program and how well they are testing.

Then again, given the lack of information in light of numerous attempts to defend the school, the average SAT score, the 75th percentile SAT score, and the self reporting numbers of kids planning to attend a 4-year university, why does the cynic in me wonder if not having to report IB results on the New Jersey Department of Education Report Card factored into the IB/AP decision?

8 years 6 months ago
Having spent four of my formative years in such a program, I don’t feel like they were pushing such an agenda. Or, if the international organization was pushing an agenda, my school was not – and I was still able to pass the IBO’s tests. I don’t see where the IBO “shuns capitalism”. Nor do I see where it is advocating a “world government”. I didn’t see attitudes or biases like that when I was a student. But link me to this information, and then I’ll know better. The only “biases” I remember in my history classes (when compared to “mainstream” history classes) were: * An increased emphasis on North and South American history (including non-US history). The IBO’s history curricula allows schools to pick a “region” for history, and most IB schools in the US pick “History of the Americas”. * An increased emphasis on examining “original documents”. (Original meaning viewing the texts as they were viewed by the people of the time, and not paraphrasings and descriptions; not “original” as in “handling 200 year old pieces of paper”) * Coverage of US history (or any other country) was not universally positive. Nor was it usually negative. I don’t remember there ever being an endorsement of world government or an attack on capitalism in my courses. But, give me some sources for your points of view, and the message board (and anyone thinking of sending their kids to an IB program) will be better off for it. History is… Read more »