Academic Programs

Desert Mountain Academic Programs

International Baccalaureate Program

International Baccalaureate

The International Baccalaureate (IB) program, created in 1968, is a very rigorous academic program for juniors and seniors at Desert Mountain High School, which has been an authorized school by the IBO since 1999.  The rigorous nature of the program is widely recognized by many selective and highly selective colleges and universities.  IB encourages students to:  ask challenging questions, learn how to learn, develop a strong sense of their own identity and culture, and develop the ability to communicate with and understand people from other countries and cultures.  While each component of the Diploma Program has specific aims and assessment objectives, the distinctive aims of the program as a whole are to:  provide an internationally accepted qualification for entry into higher education, promote international understanding, educate the whole person, emphasizing intellectual, personal, emotional and social growth and develop inquiry and thinking skills, and the capacity to reflect upon and to evaluate actions critically.  In order to be accredited by the IBO, schools go through an intensive application process and are reviewed every five years to make sure they are applying the IB standards.  IB currently has authorized about 1300 schools in 100 different countries.

Click here for the SUSD IB Homepage and more information...
 

Arizona Department of Education Seal of Biliteracy Program

SUSD is excited to offer the Seal of Biliteracy to eligible seniors beginning with the 2018 graduating class.  30 states to date have adopted the Seal of Biliteracy, a program designed to recognize high school students who achieve proficiency in English plus at least one additional language. The seal is placed on the student’s diploma, noted on the transcript, and students will be recognized at graduation.

For SUSD World Language students to qualify for the Seal of Biliteracy they must meet the following requirements:

English Language Arts requirements:

  • Student must take 4 years of ELA courses 
  • Students must have an overall 2.0 GPA in ELA classes on a 4.0 scale
  • Pass AZMerit at Proficient or above

If student has a primary home language other than English,

  • The student shall obtain a score of proficiency on the AZELLA

2 options to meet the World Language proficiency requirement:

  • Students must meet cut scores below on one of the State approved tests:
Seal of Biliteracy
Language & Category Test
Spanish, French, and Russian 
Category 1-3 Languages
STAMP4s PS, IL, PW, IR: Intermediate Mid (5) 
AP: Attain a score of 3 or higher (Must be taken before Sr. year to be recognized at graduation.)
IB: Attain a score of 4 or higher for HL and 5 or higher for SL (Must be taken before Sr. year to be recognized at graduation.)
Mandarin Chinese and Japanese
Category IV Language
STAMP4s PS, IL: Intermediate Mid (5)
PW, IR: Intermediate Mid (4)
AP: Attain a score of 3 or higher (Must be taken before Sr. year to be recognized at graduation.)
IB: Attain a score of 4 or higher for HL and 5 or higher for SL
(Must be taken before Sr. year to be recognized at graduation.)

 More information regarding Seal of Biliteracy

We will be administering the STAMP4s to all World Language students in a Level III Honors, IV Honors, APV or IB HL / IB SL course to provide the opportunity to meet the language proficiency requirement to qualify for the Seal of Biliteracy.   This is an adaptive test that measures a student’s proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing.  Each section will take approximately 20 – 30 minutes and teachers will schedule their testing dates to best fit their schedule between now and March 2nd. 

Every day, World Language students engage in listening, speaking, reading, and writing activities in the world language classroom so this assessment allows for us to not only qualify students for the Seal of Biliteracy, but it also provides an opportunity for students to see where they stand on their path to proficiency and to set personal growth goals, and finally, it gives the World Language Department concrete data to assess program successes and areas in need of refinement as we shift to the recently revised State Standards and proficiency to performance based instruction.

For additional information on the Arizona Seal of Biliteracy please visit https://www.azed.gov/sealofbiliteracy/