International Baccalaureate (IB)

About the IB Programme

Around the globe, schools seek authorization to become IB World Schools. Howard S. Billings High School is proud to be one of close to 4,000 schools in 147 countries authorized as an IB school.

The HSB IB Programme is offered from Grade 7 to Grade 11. It is an enriched programme of study which offers students the opportunity to develop international mindedness and their communication skills through innovative approaches to learning, both inside the classroom and out. Many courses are offered in French, and students follow either a Science Focus or a Liberal Arts Focus in the senior grade levels. Students graduating from the IB Programme receive an official IB Certificate, which is recognized globally. 

In addition to being part of the IB “family”, students are also an integral part of the H.S.B. community. Numerous extra-curricular activities, including student leadership opportunities, special events, our Billings Blazers athletic teams, and countless artistic and cultural groups complement our academic programme and ensure our students not only receive an outstanding education, but develop their interests and excel as part of the Billings family.

Why Choose HSB's IB Programme?

The IB programme is not just about enriched curriculum. It offers a host of advantages:

  • Recognized world-wide
  • International perspectives
  • Relevant, real-world learning activities
  • Emphasis on volunteerism
  • Opportunities for reflection and growth
  • Improve communication skills in English and French
  • A focus on learning skills needed for the 21st century
  • Up-to-date educational practices promote dynamic learning environment
  • Teacher accountability (to the IB Organization) ensures the delivery of high quality education
  • HSB IB students are part of the greater HSB family, and can participate in a wide range of extracurricular activities in athletics, arts and student leadership.

IB Curriculum

The IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) is a concept-based curriculum, and encourages students to:

  • process factual knowledge at a deeper intellectual level as they relate the facts to concepts and essential conceptual understandings; this synergistic thinking (interplay between factual and conceptual thinking) engages the intellect on two levels—factual and conceptual—and provides greater retention of factual knowledge because synergistic thinking requires deeper mental processing
  • create personal relevance, as students relate new knowledge to prior knowledge, and promote understanding of cultures and environments across global contexts through the transfer of knowledge
  • bring their personal intellect to the study as they use a key concept to personally focus on the unit topic in order to increase motivation for learning
  • increase fluency with language as students use factual information to explain and support their deeper conceptual understanding
  • achieve higher levels of critical, creative and conceptual thinking as students analyse complex global challenges, such as climate change, international conflicts and the global economy, and create greater subject depth through the study of discipline-specific related concepts.”
  • From “MYP: From Principles into Practice.” International Baccalaureate Organization (UK) Ltd, May 2014.

The graphic below illustrates how the IB MYP Programme is structured around these elements.

Click here for a short video about the  IB Middle Years Programme

Is IB the Right Choice for Your Child?

Is IB the right choice for your child?

The IB learner profile places the student at the centre of an IB education.

“The 10 attributes reflect the holistic nature of an IB education. They highlight the importance of nurturing dispositions such as curiosity and compassion as well as developing knowledge and skills. They also highlight that along with cognitive development, IB programmes are concerned with students’ social, emotional and physical well-being, and with ensuring that students learn to respect themselves, others, and the world around them.”

From “What Is an IB Education?” International Baccalaureate Organization, Cardiff, Wales, UK, May 2017

Click here for a quick video about the IB Learner Profile


How do students apply to the programme?

Students interested in joining the IB Programme in Grade 7 must write an entrance exam in the Fall of their Grade 6 year. A Spring session is sometimes offered.
Please click the Registration Package button found to the right.

How will parents know about entrance exam information?
Exam registration information and documents are sent to Chateauguay and Kahnawake elementary schools in late September. The same info is also available for download from our website.

Grade 7 Entrance Exam Information

The entrance exam for the 2024/2025 school year will take place October 14, 2023 and May 12, 2024.

  • The online registration platform is open for the May 12 exam. Only students who did not write in the Fall may write the Spring exam.
  • The cost of the exam is $45.13 (tax included) and must be paid at the time of registration.
  • Families should read the package carefully before starting the online registration process, so that they have the necessary documents at their disposal. 
  • Please see the Registration Package button for all the details.

The entrance exams are overseen by third-party specialists. 

When will you know if your child is accepted?
Acceptance letters will be mailed to families at the end of January for the first session, or midJune for the second.

If your child would like to join IB in Grades 8 or 9, contact the school’s administration to let us know. No entrance exam is required but students must be in good academic standing and there must be room in the grade level.

If your child would like to transfer to HSB’s IB programme from another IB school
No problem, provided they are in good academic standing and space is available.

All HSB students must be registered with the New Frontiers School Board and have admissibility to attend English school.

How much does IB cost?

The programme fee is $560. and must be paid before the beginning of the school year. This fee does not cover costs such as: workbooks, field trips, uniforms, student supervision fees, sports or club fees.

Are there a lot of field trips?

There are many opportunities for IB students to take their learning outside of the classroom. Daytime field trips, extended field trips and workshops are an integral part of the learning environment and are highly valued.

Is there a lot of homework?

As with all students in high school, students in the IB Programme are expected to keep up with their studies, and that includes nightly homework and work on long-term assignments. The coursework in the programme is rigorous but integral to their overall development. Students need to ensure that they organize their time to successfully complete their work. Teachers are always available to help students with any questions.

What is the Personal Project?

IB students must complete an independent unit of study, which is the culmination of their learning and experiences throughout the IB programme. The project is started towards the end of Grade 10 and culminates in a showcase towards the middle of Grade 11.

Can IB students be part of HSB sports teams, clubs, or activities?

IB students are members of the HSB school community and are strongly encouraged to participate in HSB student life. The IB Learner Profile encourages students to develop and maintain balance in their lives, and participating in the many different activities that the school has to offer is one of many ways to do that.

Interested in becoming an IB student at HSB?

An exam session for Grade 6 students is held yearly each Fall. Our first session took place  October 14, 2023. A second session, for students who did not write the first exam, will take place on Sunday, May 12, 2024. Please click the button below to download the registration package. Registration opens on Monday, March 25, 2024.

The deadline to register is April 30, 2024.

If you have questions regarding the programme the website did not answer, please contact us at

IB Mission

The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end, the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

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