Shortridge International Baccalaureate High School: A Culture of Academic Excellence!
For over 150 years, people from all walks of life have attended or have had children that attended the majestic Shortridge International High School. Through all of the changes over the past century, it makes sense to wonder what’s happening behind the historic walls these days. Welcome to Shortridge International Baccalaureate High School, where academic opportunities and excellence are our focus!
What is an IB school?
International Baccalaureate (IB) is popular for setting high standards and emphasizing creative and critical thinking. IB students are held accountable for their own learning, choosing topics and devising their own projects, while teachers are more like mentors rather than sources of facts. IB emphasizes research and encourages students to learn from their peers, with students actively critiquing one another’s work. Outside of preparing students for critical thinking and college-level work, the IB Programme calls for students to express themselves through writing, requires community service, and aims “to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.” (International Baccalaureate Organization, 2005-2015)
Shortridge International Baccalaureate High School believes in academic success for all students. The IB Programme provides students with rigorous academic course offerings that challenges students and helps them develop key learning skills that they will need to succeed in post-secondary education. Within the IB Programme there are different program levels depending on the grade level of the student.
Middle Years Programme
The Middle Years Programme (MYP) at Shortridge IB High School, serves grades 9-10. The MYP is designed to help students connect what they’re learning in class to the real world. This is accomplished by implementing a personal project that each student must complete in order to progress to the Diploma Program.
The personal project is designed to help students make decisions, develop an idea and execute a plan to make that idea come to life. Hannah W. decided to create a Winter Bash as her personal project. Hannah was responsible for naming the bash, selling tickets, getting chaperones, and figuring out where the proceeds from the ticket sales would go.
“I decided that I would give the proceeds to the Julian Center to help support the battered women and children, my family is connected to the Julian Center,” says Hannah. “I know there are people less fortunate out there that could use that money to buy shoes or a coat for winter.”
“I learned how to ask for help and be open-minded to change, everything is not going to go your way and you have to learn how to go with the flow,” says Hannah.
The Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum is comprised of the DP core and six subject groups. Focused on the three required components, the DP core aims to broaden students’ educational experiences and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills. The six subjects students explore are English, foreign language, individuals in society, science, math, and arts (visual arts, and music).
The three core elements are:
- Theory of knowledge (TOK), in which students reflect on the nature of knowledge and on how we know what we claim to know.
“TOK asks students to consider how they know things in different areas, how do different subjects interplay with each other? The students then write a Theory of Knowledge paper, 1,600 words explaining their concepts,” says Mark Schullenberger, English and Theory of Knowledge teacher.
- The extended essay, which is an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper.
- Creativity, activity, service, in which students complete a project related to those three concepts.
CAS (Creativity Activity Service)
CAS allows students in the DP program to boost their personal and interpersonal growth by learning through experience. The project helps students become more determined, teaches collaboration with others, and helps students feel a sense of success from their work. When students are working on their CAS project it gives them a break from the pressures of the rigorous DP courses. The CAS project also gives seniors a chance to work with community partners to develop a program that benefits the community. Jackie N., a senior, chose to create an adaptive cheer clinic. Jackie says after she graduates she will pass the cheer clinic down to a junior cheerleader.
“I started working with the Joseph Maley Foundation by developing a cheer clinic for the children who are a part of the foundation to stay active and gain confidence,” says Jackie.
Lavaris K. and Taylor M. constructed an Autism Seminar to educate the community on the effects of Autism.
“My brother was diagnosed with Autism when he was one year old, so I have a direct connection with Autism,” says Lavaris.
Lavaris and Taylor have received a $1,000 grant from the United Way to go towards resources for the Autism Seminar. The Joseph Maley Foundation is assisting the two students in selecting a panel of professionals to speak at the Autism Seminar.
“I have an interest in brain functions, I’ve recently taken a interest in how Autism affects the brain, it’s very fascinating to me,” says Taylor.
IB Learner Profile Day
You and 15 other individuals are traveling in a space ship on your way to colonize a distant planet that is presently void of any intelligent life but has an environment, which could easily support humans. Suddenly the oxygen replenishing equipment malfunctions and you can now only supply oxygen for eight people! Now seven people must be eliminated so you can continue your quest to colonize the planet. Who will survive?
This is one of the many exercises that freshman and sophomore students engage in every Wednesday during Learner Profile Days. The IB Learner Profile is designed to develop internationally minded people who all share the same ownership of the planet and help to create a better and more peaceful world. The IB Learner Profile represents 10 attributes valued by IB World Schools. IB Learners strive to be:
The “Who Will Survive” Learner Profile exercise was developed by Mr. Elijah Sanders, a DP Psychology, Government & Economics, and US History teacher at Shortridge. Sanders says, “We are focusing on group thinking and how we stereotype different groups of people. This teaches them how to collaborate with each other and be thinkers.”
“Making these cards is a way for us to learn how to be more caring. It lets those children know that someone cares about them, it makes us feel good to do this,” says Tigron D., freshman at Shortridge IB High School.
Sophomore Andrea E. expresses that her favorite Learner Profile attribute was open-minded. “We all had a piece of paper that we had to cut with our eyes closed. When we opened our eyes we realized everybody had cut the paper in a different way, this taught us how to be more open-minded about the different ways that people do things,” says Andrea.
Life Skills Program
Devon W. a senior in the Life Skills Program at Shortridge IB High School is excited to be graduating in the Spring and moving on to the next step in his academic pursuits. The Life Skills program is aimed to get kids with intellectual disabilities ready to go out into rewarding transitional programs after high school. Volunteer work hours are an integral part of the Life Skills program. Students are able to leave Shortridge and go off to job sites such as TJ Maxx, Lincoln Square Pancake House, Sullivan’s Hardware Store and Subway. Devon is able to put in his volunteer work hours at Sullivan’s Hardware store.
“I’ve been working at Sullivans Hardware store about four hours a week. I like being able to leave school and go help out,” says Devon W.
“It’s important for the Life Skills students to be able to get experience of working in the real world, we are training these kids to step into the workforce after they leave this program,” says Diana Pennington, classroom teacher in the Life Skills Program.
After the students receive their Certificates of Completion, they then transition into the IUPUI SITE (Skills for Independence, Transition, Employment) program or the Community Hospital East Project SEARCH. Devon will be transitioning into the IUPUI SITE program.
“The IUPUI SITE Program is a wonderful program on the IUPUI campus, it helps students learn independence and gives them skills and resources to get a job,” says Ms. Pennington.
“I can’t wait to get my Certificate of Completion and go to IUPUI, it’s exciting,” says Devon.
This year, the Life Skills Program at Shortridge IB High School has added community service into the curriculum to mirror what other Shortridge students are doing. Before winter break, the students will be making scarves for some of the 800 homeless students in the IPS district. Devon W. and Emily G., a freshman in the Life Skills program, headed up the community service project.
“We had to research the number of homeless children in the IPS district and in Marion County as a whole, then we researched places where the homeless children are,” says Devon W.
“We are getting the materials to make the scarves from JoAnn Fabrics,” says Emily G.
The students received the funds to buy the materials for the scarves through the Youth As Resources program sponsored by the United Way. They will be taking the scarves to the Day Spring Shelter to give the scarves to the women and children.
“We are also taking cookies and juice just to brighten up their day while we’re there, it’s important that our Life Skills students give back to the community,” says Ms. Pennington.
“The most important piece is academics, we pull students in a heartbeat if they are not performing in the class, academics come first, then sports,” says Katherine Langdon, Shortridge IB High School Athletics Director.
Shortridge IB High School offers an array of sports activities in which students can get involved. Score goals in soccer, shoot baskets on the basketball team, or even take up boxing; Shortridge offers it all! Workout in the spacious weight room, or play a game of basketball in the state of the art gymnasium, which seats 2,700 people.
“Kids are going to have other interests in school. We understand that there are two pieces that interchange, if you don’t have the academic piece then you can’t have the athletic piece,” says Langdon.
Shortridge IB High School is rich and full of life and the arts. Visual arts, band, and orchestra are some of the main arts offerings at the school. Recently, the MYP visual arts class painted murals for different clients in the school. Visual Arts Teacher Amanda Cory says the students constructed this project by first drawing up contracts and meeting with the clients. Cory went on to say that this project taught the students that you can get permission to do murals and you don’t have to illegally graffiti walls to get your art out in the public eye.
“We focus on community and what that means, most students thought mural art was gang-related or grafatti, this gave them a chance to learn that there are better ways to go about painting murals,” says Ms. Cory.
The students divided into groups and met with different clients in the school to get their mural painting process going. They then had to obtain approval from school administrators to start painting.
“I’ve enjoyed my experience in the arts program so far, even before entering IB I always had an interest and flair for art,” says Opeoluwa O.
Shortridge IB High School serves as Butler University College of Education's Middle Secondary Laboratory School. The partnership is designed to serve in many different ways including:
- Butler University College of Education holds classes at Shortridge IB High School, working with students and co-teaching
- Shortridge IB High School students receive tickets to on-campus lecture series and performances
- Office of Advancement, admissions, applications, screening resumes and interview tips for Shortridge IB High School students
Shortridge IB High School Leadership
Shortridge International Baccalaureate High School has a dedicated and experienced faculty that works together as a team to ensure students are succeeding in the classroom as well as within their community. It is the diversity of teaching and learning within the historic Shortridge walls that results in academic excellence for students. Simply walking through the halls you are able to hear laughter, along with confident expressions of higher-order thinking. At the top of everything is Mr. Shane O’Day, Shortridge International Baccalaureate High School Principal.
“What excites me most about our school is the passion from the faculty. They don’t teach a lesson one year and then re-teach it the same way over and over. Every day, every week, every month, every year is a new experience in the classrooms, a new opportunity to build upon past knowledge, this is what makes Shortridge phenomenal,” expresses Principal O’Day.
If you want to send your student to a high school where they will be challenged academically and held accountable for their learning outcomes, Shortridge International Baccalaureate High School is your choice. “Shortridge has been very good to me, I was here before the merge and I can definitely say that the IB Progamme has prepared me for the next level,” says IPS Senior, Terrance S. “Due to the IB curriculum and my hard work, I have been accepted to four colleges, I will decide between Butler and Ball State.”