Completing CAS

For the class of 2009, I will require my senior IB Diploma Candidates to turn in their completed CAS by April 1st (no fooling). I know this is a month earlier than what the IBO requires, but this gives me a month to fix mistakes. Try as I might, I always seem to find at least one student who thinks s/he is done with CAS but isn’t. Having an extra month to correct problems has been a life-saver for me. What they must have submitted by April 1st is:

1. 150 hours: 50 hours in Creativity, 50 hours in Action, and 50 hours in Service.

2. Two activities per category: two in Creativity, two in Action, and two in Service.

3. One activity must have an international/global focus.

4. Student Final Summary (SFS). Seniors always want to know “how long does it have to be?” While I fought them for years and only told them “as long as it needs to be for you to reflect on your entire CAS experience,” in recent years I began telling them to write about 3 or 4 pages and my life became drastically less complicated 🙂 I let my students type their reflections on their computers and I only require them to do Page #2 (the reflective essay part). Page #1 is done automatically because I use CAS Manager (CAS Manager, oh how I love thee). When I explain to seniors how to complete their SFS’s I stress that it must not be a narrative that simply recounts the activities in which they participated, but rather a reflection on what they learned, how they grew, how they are different, and what direction their life might take because of CAS. Perhaps that’s a little dramatic, but I want them to aim high; then if they miss the mark a little they’ve still landed close to the middle.

5. The final step in completing CAS for the class of 2009 is submitting the Programme Completion Form (PCF). If you must put a student’s name on this form that is bad news for the student. If you get to fax in a blank form with only your signature and your IB Coordinator’s signature, that is good news for your students. I live in California in the USA so I fax my form into the IBNA (North America) office in New York. Their fax number is 212-889-9242 and I make it to the attention of Gloria Mc Dowell.

So that’s how Rowland High School rolls. I’d love to hear how other students at other schools complete CAS.


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