Hi. My name is Steve Elder and this is my 17th year as CAS Coordinator at Rowland High School in Southern California in the USA. If you have a questions or suggestions, leave a comment on any of these posts or pages and I’ll get back to you. Hope you have a great CAS year!


130 thoughts on “Contact

  1. Hi Steve!

    My name is Sarah Jackson and I am a first year CAS coordinator at Muskegon High School in Michigan. I wanted to get your insight and opinion on a few things. I was unable to attend training this past summer so I am hoping you can answer a few questions. Are we still tracking hours? From what I understand we are concentrating more on the growth than hours. Also I have a student who is playing with the West Michigan Youth Symphony every Tuesday night…can she count all of her hours if she continues this through the entire school year? What about when kids play a sport? Can they count all of thier hours that they practice and play games toward Action? If not, where is your cut off at? Do you only allow a certain amount of hours to be obtained per activity? Does it even matter if the focus is not on hours but more on the growth of the students (AIMS and Learning Outcomes)? I would love some feedback on this issue. I know that I can count the activities…I am just confused as to how many hours are acceptable or if it really matters.

    Thanks for any input that you may have!!

    Sarah Jackson

    1. Hi Sarah. Let me see if I can answer some of your questions:

      Q: Are we still tracking hours? From what I understand we are concentrating more on the growth than hours.
      A: You’re correct. The focus is not on tracking hours but instead meeting the 8 Learning Outcomes, however, IBO still wants students to come close to earning 150 hours. Most of my students earn way more than 150 hours so it’s usually not a problem.

      Q: Also I have a student who is playing with the West Michigan Youth Symphony every Tuesday night…can she count all of her hours if she continues this through the entire school year?
      A: I’m assuming this activity is not a class in school that will help her obtain the IB Diploma so I don’t see why she couldn’t count all these hours. More importantly than counting hours is deciding which Learning Outcomes she’ll meet through this activity.

      Q: What about when kids play a sport? Can they count all of thier hours that they practice and play games toward Action?
      A: I count all of their hours, even practice hours. I bet some CAS Coordinators don’t count practice hours but I think it’s only fair.

      Q: If not, where is your cut off at? Do you only allow a certain amount of hours to be obtained per activity?
      A: I used to allow a maximum of 35 hours per any school-related activity, but I threw this requirement out with the new CAS Curriculum that switched the focus from hour-counting to meeting the 8 Learning Outcomes.

      Q: Does it even matter if the focus is not on hours but more on the growth of the students (AIMS and Learning Outcomes)?
      A: I personally don’t think it matters any more.

      Q: I would love some feedback on this issue. I know that I can count the activities…I am just confused as to how many hours are acceptable or if it really matters.
      A: How did I do? Did I just confuse you even more? I hope not. Write back if you need me to clarify anything. Have a great day.

      1. Just to reinforce what Steve said you DO NOT NEED TO COUNT HOURS for the IB anymore, just learning outcomes – although your school may have other reasons to demand it.
        So everything counts, hours don’t matter, learning outcomes do . 🙂

  2. Hi,
    This blog is great! I saw your link on the OCC in the CAS forum. I posted this question there also, but would love a quick answer since it is almost the end of the school year.

    I read on another school’s CAS guidelines that students there are expected to create proposals for CAS activities to be completed or worked on during the summer between their 10th grade and 11th grade school years. The VP at my school has said that the IB really stresses that the CAS be completed DURING the 11th and 12th grade school years. I cannot find anywhere that states this type of limitation and it seems to me that summer vacation is a great time for some students to get their feet wet without having to manage schoolwork at the same time. Is this allowed?

    Do you, or have you heard of, schools doing an information session about appropriate CAS activities and completing proposals for CAS projects at the end of the sophomore year that will be done during the summer vacation??

    I would me most appreciative of any feedback you could give me.

    Thank you.

    1. Once a student finishes grade 10 they ARE 11th graders so we allow them, and even encourage them, to begin their CAS activities in the summer between grade 10 & 11. We don’t accept activities before our students finish grade 10, but once they do they are encouraged to begin CAS activities. Does this help?

      1. Is this still valid that IB students can start the volunteer hours the summer before 11th grade? IB coordinator told me no at our school.

      2. Hi Anneli, your IB Coordinator is correct. Students may not begin their CAS activities until the first day of school of the 11th grade. Does it say somewhere on CASCorner to the contrary? If so, I need to correct this.

      3. Thank you. The issue at my son”s school was that the IB coordinator can not provide a logon to start tracking volunteer hours summer before the 11th grade.She
        just tells me that IB does not allow tracking till 11th grade starts. So confusing.

      4. Yes, it can be confusing. The IB Coordinator is right: your son can’t start tracking CAS activities until the first day of school his junior year. Let me know if you have other questions 🙂

  3. Dear Mr. Elder,

    My name is Carlos Hernandez, and I am a new Community Service Coordinator for high school of Colegio Internacional de Carabobo, Valencia –Venezuela, and wonder how I should calculate hours for the students. Could you please be so kind as to guide me? Questions pop up in my head you know, for example, are all kind of activities and different type of services worth of the same amount of community service hours? What would be a fair criterion? How are normally the Creativity Action and Service hours calculated?

    Thank you so much in advance!!

    Carlos Hernandez

  4. Hi,
    I would like to join a gym to complete the action part of the CAS by taking aerobics/dance/yoga/cycling classes, but I’m not sure if those hours can be counted. Do you think it will be alright?

    Please reply soon

    1. As long as you have a non-family member adult over the age of 18 who will serve as your activity adviser I think the activities you’ve listed definitely count as Action. Remember, it’s not about hour-counting anymore but about meeting the 8 Learning Outcomes. Hope this helps. Happy New Year.

  5. Hi,
    I am at the start of my IB program, and I would like to know if blogging counts as a CAS activity (creativity). I am writing about my city. Can I do that?

    1. Hi Leva. You’ll have to check with your CAS Coordinator. Personally, I would allow it for my students as long as they were meeting one or more of the 8 Learning Outcomes, but you’ll have to check with your own CAS Coordinator. It sounds like a worthwhile activity to me. Good luck 🙂

  6. Hi Steve

    I have spent an hour going through your CAS corner and I just love the APM. I Would like to take your permission to try it with a few students for a couple of activities for them to see how other students are proposing cas actitivites.

    Your corner is interesting and quite resourceful. Thanks for sharing.


    1. Hi Vijayashree. Thank you for asking but you may absolutely use any document you find here for your own personal use. Thank you for the nice compliment and good luck with the APM 🙂

  7. Aloha Steve,

    I am so glad I stumbled upon this blog and all its information. Our school is in the process of becoming an IB school. Many of us have received training on IB and we are looking forward to be able to use that coveted IB World School label very soon. As we are getting ready to put all the pieces in place, we want to make sure to pay particular attention to the CAS piece, which seems to be at the heart of the IBDP. Would you happen to have some specific suggestions on what a CAS coordinator would need to be aware of before the CAS program is put into place? Is there some “leg work” that can be done to do away some pitfalls that may otherwise arise? I have studied the CAS guide and am aware of the what the IB suggestions are for starting the program. Maybe you have some insights that are not listed in the guide? It seems to me that rolling the CAS program out properly, with all the pieces in place, would be of utmost importance to avoid confusion later. Fortunately, we do have Managebac :).

    Thank you for your time,


    1. Hi Sabine. I’m glad you found my blog helpful. I don’t pay enough attention to it so I’m glad there’s stuff here that’s still helpful. I think one thing that’s important for students to know is that when they say they’re going to do an activity that they choose that: 1. they have to list at least one learning outcome that they’re going to meet through the activity, 2. that they have to provide evidence that they met the learning outcome(s), and 3. that their evidence needs to show these 5 things: what happened, why it happened, how it happened, what its value was, and what the student learned from it. If the IBO ever audits your kids and looks through their evidence, these are the 5 things they’ll be looking for.

      Does this help or were you looking for different advice? Please let me know. I’m happy to help. If you have ManageBac you’re golden 🙂

      Did you look at the CAS Quick Start Guide on my blog? It boils down the entire CAS curriculum to just 2 pages. My students have found it helpful, maybe you will too.

      Please let me know how else I can help. Don’t be shy 🙂

  8. Hi,

    My son is planning to volunteer in a hospital in our home country which is an developing country in asia. We live in North America. He will work there for a month. Will this be counted for CAS hours?

    Thanks in advance.


  9. Thank you for your blog .It is reassuring to know we can lean on your years of experience as I have yet to have any managerial experience of CAS. Rather bewildering !

  10. Hi,
    Thank you for your blog. It is extremely useful. My son has just commenced IB1 and the CAS activities. I have a question regarding learning obective #7 – ethical considerations. Does this reveiw/discussion need to be based on a completely different activity from the rest of the CAS activities or can this ethical consideration be carried out and discussed on activities already been carried out in order to achieve other learning outcomes. For example my son will be helping disable students at a therapeutic horse riding school as part of acheiving another learning objective. He is also taking part in the school annual musical production by which he hopes to achieve yet another of the CAS objectives. My question is that whether he could consider the ethical implications of these activities to meet learning objective #7 or whether it needs to be something completely different to any other activity undetaken for the CAS program.
    Thanking you

    1. Hi Zaf. Thank you for saying this blog is useful. I appreciate that 🙂

      Meeting Learning Outcome #7 can be part of an activity your son is already involved in, it does not have to be a separate activity. It is the most difficult Learning Outcome to meet because it’s the hardest to plan for. I have a document posted under the Documents tab that might help. But to answer your question, this Learning Outcome can be tied into an activity your son is already doing. I hope this helps.

      PS. You might want to check with your son’s CAS Coordinator just to make sure s/he is in agreement with me. Some schools do things differently 🙂

      1. Thank you very much for the clarification. I hope our school’s CAS coordinator shares your view as it is the more practical way to go about it in my view. Once again thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience with people across the world!

        Sent from my iPhone

  11. Hello~

    My name is Malaka Donovan and this is my first year teaching CAS. I feel very lost and have used your site as a resource. So thank you for that already! My first question: Does each student need to create their own project (that’s what we have started with)? Or do we need to do one group project as a class?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Malaka. I’m glad you find this site useful. Thanx 🙂 You do not have to do a group project as a class. Each student needs to do a project with a few other students; that covers at least 2 of the 3 categories of creativity, action, or service; and that lasts for a significant duration of time (meaning several months). I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  12. Hi I was just wondering how can volunteering in a nursing home be
    “Engaged in ISSUES of GLOBAL importance”. Cuz i was the idea of my coordinator but she didnt wanna tell me how is it an global importance. HELP ASAP PLEASE.

    1. Hello. I don’t know how caring for the elderly can be considered a global activity, this would be for the CAS Coordinator to decide at your school. However, the CAS Guide of 2010 does give an example on page 6 of caring for the elderly as an example of a global activity. Sometimes caring for an elderly person might be a global activity, sometimes it may not. It’s up to the CAS Coordinator to decide. Here in the USA, most of the time caring for the elderly would not count as a global activity.

      1. Hello again. Caring for the elderly might be a global activity for another student, but it clearly is not for you. It wouldn’t be a global activity for my students either. Just because IBO will accept it as a global activity doesn’t necessarily mean it WILL be a global activity for all students. Like you said, if you can’t justify it in your reflections you can’t use it. You’re smart 🙂

  13. Hello,
    I am an IBDP student. I am wondering how much help do you give your students. Do you propose ideas for them? Do you tell them the opportunities at the school or is it an all by yourself experience? Would an internship and Student Council President or any position count for CAS? On average how many events do your students participate to for full CAS?


    1. Hi Alicia. I propose ideas for my students through this blog. I also meet with my students once or twice a year to answer questions and to check progress. We also use ManageBac for CAS so it makes communicating with my students really easy.

      Activities that count for CAS are up to your CAS Coordinator at your school, but at my school being a part of school council, leadership, or ASB would count. I don’t know if I would approve an internship for CAS, but volunteering for a business or doctor’s office would for sure count. I’d have to know more about the internship to make a decision.

      My students usually complete between 5-8 activities to complete their CAS. It varies, but 5-8 on average. Hope this helps some. Let me know if you have other questions. Take care 🙂

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  15. Hey Steven! I was part of the CAS training group in KC and have continued to check your blog out from time to time. 🙂 My school is just now (this school year) officially up and running and my students are struggling with reflections. I’ve given them the “official” guidelines (how they felt, what they perceived, what they thought about the activity, what it meant to them, what the value was, what they learned and how the learning applies more widely) but I’ve been considering having them prove that they met the LO’s through reflections like the KC school did. Those students had portfolios with brief reflections for each activity that stated the LO and how they met it. We are using ManageBac, so my kids aren’t going to have a big scrapbook, but I think it would be very clear cut to require their reflections be done in such a manner. Perhaps they’d do this kind of more structured reflection at the completion of a project? What are your thoughts?

  16. Hi Steven,

    I love your blog! We are a new IB DP school in Downingtown, PA. I was wondering if you could help us with a paperwork question? My CAS Coordinator and I would like a little clarification on the PCF form. We are in Year 1 (Sept. 2012 – June 2013) and our students will be registered to take their first external assessments in Year 2 (May 2014). Do we need to submit our CAS PCF form by January 2013 or January 2014?

    Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Shannon. Thank you for saying you like my blog. I appreciate the compliment very much. I’m going to ask my IB Coordinator with help in answering your question so that I don’t steer you wrong. I’ll be in touch very soon 🙂

  17. Hi Steven,
    I love your blog as well thank you!I am the CAS Coordinator in Addis Abba Ethiopia at ICS and we are moving to Managebac….tomorrow. I will be having the Y1 students “transferring” their reflections and activities from our CAS moodle site to Managebac. My question is forms…..I see you still have forms on your blog and I had a long conversion with Rob at Managebac this am from what I can see I don’t need my forms anymore it would be double work for the students am I wrong? They don’t need a CAS Year one plan. monitoring form, progress form or a completion form (other the IB one) SO am I missing something? Anyway would love to hear your thoughts..I am so excited about managebac! Thanks Sienna

    1. Hi Sienna, thanx for the nice words! You are correct… you don’t need any forms if you’re using ManageBac. It would be double the work and totally unnecessary. I have forms on CAS Corner for those poor CAS Coordinators who aren’t using ManageBac yet. Nyuk nyuk nyuk. The forms are just a resource in case somebody out there finds one of them useful. But you never have to worry about forms again as of tomorrow. Woot woot! I think you’re really gonna love ManageBac. It’s the only reason I’m still the CAS Coordinator at my school. Without it, I wouldn’t have the time to do the job correctly. Let me know if you have more questions. Good luck 🙂

  18. Hey I’m in my second yr IB and i love dance but i cant dance well at all. so if i take dance classes for a month and half will it count as CAS? if i take piano and cooking classes as well(purely for the fun of learning and because i badly want to be able to dance)
    thanx in advance!

    1. Hi there. If you were a student at my school I would allow you to count dance, piano, and cooking as Creative CAS activities. However, your CAS Coordinator knows you better than I do and this decision is completely up to him/her. But it seems like these activities would meet at least one of the 8 Learning Outcomes (such as Learning Outcome #2: Undertaken New Challenges). Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions 🙂

  19. LOVE this blog. I think it will help me with IB students. I want to get managebac for my school, your comments have motivated to call for a quote.

  20. Hi Steven – I was wondering how strict the IB is on the 18 month timeline? We have students who have some amazing CAS activities that are spread out among 12-16 months. How closely are we to adhere to the 18 month timeline?

    1. In my experience, they haven’t been that strict. Even if they didn’t like the fact that your students weren’t involved in activities over a full 18 months, I’m pretty sure the most you’d get is a write-up asking you to make sure your students are involved in CAS for a full 18 months. I think you’re adhering to the spirit of CAS, maybe just not the letter. I think you’re ok 🙂

  21. hi, im starting the ib diploma next year, i was wandering if i could start a social project this summer, before starting the actual course of CAS.

    1. Hi Miguel, you’re not allowed to count any activities as CAS activities until the 1st day of school. So if you’ll begin the IB Diploma programme your 11th grade year, you can’t count any activities as CAS until the 1st day of school your 11th grade year. Let me know if you have any questions about this. Good luck 🙂

  22. Hello, I am entering IB in a few week. I just had an operation and won’t be able to do sports for a few months at least of ib1. What will i do about Action?

    1. Hello there, I’m sorry to hear about your operation. I hope you’re feeling better immediately! For CAS, you need to only meet 8 Learning Outcomes and come close to earning 50 hours in each of the categories of Creativity, Action, and Service. The hours are not nearly as important as meeting the 8 Learning Outcomes so if you are just starting the IB program I’m confident you’ll have plenty of time to earn enough Action hours. But if your condition is such that you can not participate in Action activities for the rest of your high school years, I’m sure your CAS Coordinator can work something out with IBO. Let me know if you have more questions. Speedy recovery to you! 🙂

  23. Question about CAS hours. For 2014 IB Diploma candidates, can the students complete their hours in 12 months – rather than 18 months? This is 6 months early, but if their hours are complete is that okay?

    1. No, it’s not ok according to the IBO. 18 months is the minimum students should be spending on their CAS activities. Now, to be quite honest, nobody is probably going to know whether your students took 12 , 18 or 20 months to finish their CAS activities unless the IBO were to ask for a random sampling of your students CAS documentation, but you want to set the right precedent of having students do CAS right. The last thing you want to do is make them think CAS is a burden and they should get it over with as quickly as possible. CAS is at the heart of the IB program and should be given a place of importance and honor at your school. Forgive me if I just came off as preachy, I don’t mean to sound that way. Maybe I’ve been to one too many CAS Coordinator conferences. Haha 🙂

  24. Hello, I’m looking to become a CAS Coordinator and came across your page. You have some fantastic ideas, and I’m hoping you can share some of them with me about how to get my foot in the door to land a position in CAS Coordinating. I’m teaching internationally (2 years in Ecuador, 1st of 2 in Saudi Arabia now), and close to having a master’s completed in international development. I want to bring these two worlds together. Could you recommend any conferences, workshops, blogs, sites, resources, books, or even people that I could contact? I am really interested in shadowing a CAS Coordinator for a week to get a peek into the day-to-day as well, or attending a conference where I could meet other Coordinators. Thanks for any help you can provide! – Laurel Fiorelli, grade 4 core teacher, American International School of Jeddah

    1. Hi. You would have to work at a school that has been authorized to teach the IB curriculum. Once your school was approved, someone at your school would be tapped to be the IB Coordinator. The IB Coordinator would then decide who the CAS Coordinator would be and provide him/her with training.

  25. Hello!
    I’m a new ib student and I wanted to know if “zumba classes” would count as action for cas hours?

    1. Hello there! Yes, I would definitely count Zumba classes as Action. You are sweating like crazy and breathing hard and getting healthy… exactly what Action wants you to do. 🙂

    1. Hi Karin, you mean for free, right? You’re not charging to teach children to play the piano, are you? If you’re volunteering your expertise, then teaching children to play the piano is absolutely creativity AND service. Both 🙂

    1. Hi. I would need to know a few more details to be sure, but yes, I would count running as an Action CAS activity. It is exercise and a way to stay healthy and fit. I’m also certain you can meet at least one of the 8 Learning Outcomes through running. However, each CAS Coordinator is different and another CAS Coordinator may not want to approve of running as a CAS activity. I hope this helps 🙂

    1. Hi Cesar, you don’t need 150 reflections. IB wants you to earn close to 150 hours equally divided between Creativity, Action, and Service, but you don’t have to have 150 reflections. All you need to do is have enough reflections to prove you met each of the 8 learning outcomes at least once. Let me know if you have more questions 🙂

  26. My CAS coordinator said that I can’t put an accidental (for example I go to another country or city and gain a knowledge which I didn’t know I can get) activity as a CAS. Is it true? He said I need to tell him that I might do some CAS activity during my trip for it to work, not just saying that I go to a place and did activities. Thank you.

    1. Hello there. CAS Coordinators are supposed to approve of activities in advance so s/he is within the CAS Guidelines to not approve of your accidental activity. If s/he were to decide that it was a quality CAS activity that you stumbled into then s/he could also decide to accept it. S/he could make an exception, but if s/he doesn’t want to s/he doesn’t have to. In this case, you wouldn’t be able to use your accidental activity. I’m sorry.

  27. Hi Mr. Elder,
    Just 3 days ago (way past the deadline) I decided to take the IBDP after having a discussion about it with some of my IB friends. Thankfully, the IB coordinator allowed me to take the IBDP program because we are trying to expand it at Springbrook High School. However, I have a few questions about CAS hours. How consistent should they be? And can I finish one area and then be done with it or must I do all three area often around the same time? (eg. I do cross country during fall but don’t do activity hours from then until next year) Also, how balanced must the 3 areas be?

    1. Hi Loi, your school should have a CAS Coordinator who can answer these questions (separate from the IB Coordinator). Do you know who your CAS Coordinator is? If you can’t contact your school’s CAS Coordinator or if your school doesn’t have one, let me know and I’ll try to answer your questions. It would just be better if you got these answers directly from YOUR CAS Coordinator because each CAS Coordinator does things a little bit differently. But let me know and I’ll be happy to help 🙂

    1. This is for each CAS Coordinator to decide. As for me, I would count it as Action. Since I don’t really know the ins-and-outs of Zoomba I wouldn’t count it as Creativity until a student explained it to me and convinced me how it met the criteria for a Creative activity. There is flexibility for CAS Coordinators to use their professional judgment, and one Coordinator might count Zoomba as Creativity and another might not. And that’s ok 🙂

  28. Hi,
    I’m an 8th grade student in Canada, and I’m trying to apply for the IB program.
    I was reading the application package for the school, and I need to fill out a “Non-Academic Activity form”. The form tells me to “describe one activity from each CAS component (Creativity, Action and Service)”.
    I’ve read different examples of CAS, but they seem to be for highschoolers. Could you please give me a few examples of CAS activities?
    I’d also like to mention that I’m treasurer of my middle school student council.

    1. Hello there and Happy New Year 🙂

      I believe CAS is just for the IB Diploma Programme, meaning just for high schoolers. But if you want to see examples of activities that would qualify as Creativity, Action, and Service, check right here on my blog by going to the Rowland HS menu at the top of the page. Under Rowland HS are activities that my students do and they’re broken down into the 3 areas of Creativity, Action, and Service. If this doesn’t help, let me know and I’ll try to help you a different way. Good luck 🙂

      PS. Being Treasurer of Student Council would count as Service, btw.

      1. Hi Mr. Elder,
        i love your blog .its really useful for us as cas coordinators thanks so much for ur help .
        my question is:
        CAS advisers will receive training through a series of professional development seminars given by the CAS coordinator.what is this training llike ? answr to
        thank u

  29. other questions
    How will the CAS coordinator guide and supervise the advisers?
    What procedures will be in place to ensure consistency among advisors’ responses to questions related to proposed activities?
    IHow often will interviews with each student take place? Indicate length of interview and main

  30. hi Sir .
    please if u dont mind i have some other questions to ask .
    1) as our school is waiting for the consultants visit i wonder what kind of questions i will be asked as cas coordinator and what are the necessary and prior things i have to prepare ?
    2)could u supply me with a sample year subject schedule that u are applying in ur school ,?
    3) among the roles of the coordinator is ;
    -1) providing leadership for staff involved in cas .
    2) training activity supervisors .
    3) supervising the professional development of cas advisers .
    4) publicizing achievements .
    i did not understand these points
    please can you explain all these functions in an easy language or words

    5) can u explain to me the different kinds of reflection also in an easy language
    thank u so much in advance

  31. Thanks so much Elder………I am going to Mumbai for CAS worshop,the first one since I took over as CAS coordinator

  32. Mr.Elder
    For which batch will the & learning outcomes be relevant? Which one has been dropped?
    Also the pre-publication says Activity instead of Action…since we have our 5 year evaluation…I need to get it right.

    1. Hi Shalini, what do you mean by batch? I don’t think any of the learning outcomes have been dropped. I think students still need to meet the 8 learning outcomes.

      I don’t know what the pre-publication is, can you tell me what you’re referring to? 🙂

  33. Hi Shalini, I finally recovered my password for the OCC and was able to review the pre-publication document for the first time. It seems to me Action is now being referred to sometimes as Activity, which is a good change in my opinion. It still means physical exertion but the term Activity makes it more clear. I will have to read the document more closely to see what changes are on the horizon. I feel like I need to go to another training workshop now. Strands is new to me and I’m not sure what it means. And I have no idea what Batch means. Have you asked these questions to other CAS Coordinators on the OCC? I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful, this is all new to me 😦

  34. Dear Steve

    I have just started as CAS co-ordinator and there is a lot to be done! I was just wondering what you take on CAS trip is? How would they use it for their CAS Portfolio? Can they count it as hours? I was hoping to take them to the theatre, go to some museums which specialise in WW1 and WW2 and go to a science museum. Basically, they are having an experience from every group in the IB.

    Thanks for your help

    Best wishes

    Miss Hunter

    1. Hi Miss Hunter, IB doesn’t want students to absorb creativity and count it as creativity. In other words, IB doesn’t count Creativity as going to a museum or a play, they want the student to actually DO the creating. I know IB is making changes and I’m not sure of all the changes that are being made, so maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about here. I need to go to a workshop. But the last training I was at, I was told that students need to do the creating. Have you been to a CAS Coordinator training recently?

  35. Hi Steve,
    I just finished my pre- DP year and am going to start the DP program in this coming next school year. So each activity for each creativity, action, and service project doesn’t have to fullfil all of the learning outcomes, but altogether it should prove that all of the learning outcomes have been met. Would this be so? Since I am on my summer vacation I am anxious to get started but not sure if I can. I am thinking of writing an illustrated children’s book for the creativity part and I feel eager to begin.

    1. Hi Val, yes, that is so. You got it. Writing an illustrated children’s book would definitely count for Creativity if I were your CAS Coordinator, but you should really check with your own CAS Coordinator first. But I think it’s a great idea. And then read your book to kids too. That would be super special! Let me know if you have any other questions 🙂

  36. Hello.. I was supposed to complete a small CAS project this Summer and submit it 10 days before school starts at a set time.. I did a Short video and powerpoint, submitted it but I couldn’t find the add document option. When I finally did, I was one minute behind time and couldn’t upload it. Will my hours still count? Do CAS coordinators contact every supervisor students put in? And also, what will happen if I don’t get the hours for the summer, how does it affect me? Thanks.

    1. Hi. These are all good questions, but they need to be answered by your CAS Coordinator instead of by me. All CAS Coordinators are a little different so I can’t speak for your CAS Coordinator. Do you know who s/he is? If not, ask your IB Coordinator. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help. Good luck 🙂 PS. If I were your CAS Coordinator I’d accept your CAS even if it was one minute late. But that’s just me 🙂

      1. Hi Shalini. I did attend a workshop and learned a lot! Everything I learned I’ve posted under Documents. Look for “New CAS Guidelines for the Class of 2017 and beyond.” If you want to discuss anything further I’d be happy to, but look at my CAStartup and CASimplified documents first 🙂

  37. Hi, my son is a grade 11 student in Seoul Foreign School and he is taking IBD. Do you have any recommendation (such as creativity center, community) for him to attend CAS in Seoul? As we are new to this country, our contacts are very limited. Thanks.

    1. Hi there. I am not familiar with Seoul or South Korea. I can tell from Seoul Foreign School’s Wikipedia page that someone named Mr. Steve Dornbach is the IB Coordinator so you should start with him. He will probably refer you to speak to the CAS Coordinator. Good luck 🙂

  38. Hi Steve,

    I just wanted to let you know about some exciting things going on at The Philanthropy Project: this summer, we added tons of new features, integrated the Five Stages of Service Learning (identical to the Five Stages of CAS) into every aspect of creating and carrying out a campaign on our platform, and produced a curriculum “Guide for Educators” packed full of engaging service experiences for students that incorporate The Philanthropy Project platform. The guide is available here:

    Also, The Philanthropy Project now aligns with the IB Cas Programme!

    “The Philanthropy Project is a reliable and easy-to-use way for students to move through the Service in CAS with confidence and connection with other youth striving to find purpose and accomplishment.”

    – Cathryn Berger Kaye

    Is The Philanthropy Project compatible with the CAS Programme? Absolutely! The Philanthropy Project is designed to promote student engagement in meaningful service learning experiences that:

    –Begin by guiding students to identify their interests, skills and talents
    –Deepen understanding of societal issues through action research
    –Raise questions of meaningful ways to become involved in contributing to a cause or taking an initiative for the common good
    –Assist students in considering how they can apply their interests, skills and talents in ways that promote collaboration, identification of authentic needs, meaningful action, and a monitoring of the progress made
    –Encourage students to be well-prepared with partnerships and plans as they launch their service idea
    –Guide students in considering which form or forms of action will be most appropriate – direct service, indirect service, advocacy service, or research service
    –Provide a platform for thoughtful reflection in a variety of ways all throughout the process as they accumulate significant moments that call them to reflection
    –Inspire students to find purposeful ways to demonstrate their learning and their service to others

    The Philanthropy Project platform follows the Five Stages of Service Learning, which are identical to what is represented in the new CAS Guide as the Five CAS Stages. This is the process that students are expected to follow as they participate in S (service) and also serves as a template for their CAS Project.

    By following The Philanthropy Project sequence, CAS Coordinators and CAS Advisors can observe how students are maximizing their CAS experience.

    In the words of Cathryn Berger Kaye, “CAS is meant to be a joyful experience for students. Being part of The Philanthropy Project may be an ideal way for your students to discover their excitement and purpose and the joy that is CAS.”

    More information about how The Philanthropy Project aligns with CAS can be found here:

    Thanks for your consideration!

    Brooke Hill, Founder

  39. Hi Steve,
    My school is using Mangebac to keep track of CAS projects. Do I still need to ask my students to keep a separate log of the hours?


    1. Oh my gosh, this question is from a long, long time ago. I’m sorry! No, you don’t need to ask your students to keep a separate log of hours. ManageBac will be all you need. And more! 🙂

  40. Hey Steve, I am a full IB student and I was wondering whether shadowing a person in the medical field over the summer could count for CAS?

    1. Hi there. It’s up to your school’s CAS Coordinator. You’ll have to convince him/her that this is a legit CAS experience. If I were your CAS Coordinator, I would want to see what learning outcomes you’d meet through this experience, but in the end I’m sure I’d approve it. Good luck 🙂

  41. We are a backpackers in South Africa, close to the Wild Coast, offering volunteer opportunities to people from all over the world. We have been running for seven years and would love to learn more about the CAS requirements to see if we might be able to offer a programme suitable to IB students.

  42. Hey Steve, we have a proposal here at our school to award a 1-7 grade on students’ CAS “performance” on their quarterly reports. Have you heard of any other school that does this? What problems or issues can you see arising, and indeed, how might it be beneficial? Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Anthony, I’ve never heard of awarding a grade on a CAS experience, but you’ve got me curious now. I use ManageBac with my IB kids and the CAS supervisor either states that the student met the expected learning outcomes or that the student did not meet them. I’m not sure how it would be beneficial to give the student a grade, but I’m eager to hear your thoughts. Who proposed this idea? Hope to hear more about this from you. Take care 🙂

      1. I believe the idea came from the CAS coordinator who is also the DP Coordinator. There is a 1-7 markband scale but there is also quantification of the different components involved. At this point I don’t know how the component “grades” are arrived at. There may be an attempt to quantify the perfomance against the learning outcome descriptors, though how you do this I have no idea.

        I suspect the rationale is that grades are some sort of extrinsic motivator, which, for me, contradicts the principles of developing ATL’s and takes responsibility away from students for managing their CAS experience.

        I hope I’m wrong. I also believe that there is a proposal to provide quarterly grades for students for their extended essay, but that is another issue.

      2. Have you logged into the OCC and tried to get opinions there? You might get some knowledgable and varied feedback there. I’ll be curious to see what CAS Coordinators on the OCC think about grades for CAS experiences. Without knowing more details, I’m not too fond of the idea 🙂

  43. Holistically I AM DEAD AGAINST THIS it goes against the entire philosophy of CAS. I have recently heard a proposal for a pass/fail grade but even that is against the philosophy.

    Go back to first principles – no grade, break from study and pressure.

  44. BTW Steve did you ever get a copy of my book, I asked the publisher to send you a free copy? Ask around at school if not, you might find some interesting ideas to develop the program there. Let me know what you think.

    1. I JUST got your book a day before you asked me if I received it. Thank you!! I haven’t had a chance to read it yet but I can’t wait. It looks excellent! Can I advertise it here on CASCorner?

      1. yes please! If you send me your email I’ll send you a High Res promo. A book review would be awesome, or you can just link to the website of publisher/well known online retailer.

  45. Hey Steve,
    I was wondering if I do 30 hours of CAS but i only reflect about 7 of those hours, how many hours would I have done in total.

    1. Hi Nicolette, I’d say you completed 30 hours of a CAS experience. But hours shouldn’t be used as goals for CAS, just the 7 Learning Outcomes. However, this is ultimately up to your CAS Coordinator. All of coordinators do things a little differently so you should ask him/her. Good luck 🙂

  46. Hi Steve,
    My school has just asked me to write a CAS Course Outline. Could you please advise me as to what I should include.


    1. Hi Faith, I have no idea what a CAS Course Outline is. Are you a new IB school? Maybe this was something I did a long time ago when my school was just starting the IB implementation, but I haven’t heard of a CAS Course Outline to my memory. I’m sorry. If you figure out what it is please let me know. 🙂

  47. Hi Steve, Thanks for your quick response. I am not new to IB but I moving to a new IB school in August. I suspect what they are looking for is the CAS Outline a new school needs to send to IB before a visit. I have asked them to clarify.

    1. Hi Faith, I can ask my IB Coordinator about this if you’d like. Do you want me to do this? I think I remember filling out a document like this many years ago, but IB has changed so much over the years I really don’t know what this is. Let me know if you want me to ask my IB Coordinator about this. Have you posed this question on the OCC?

      1. I did this last year for my new school faith so if you want help let me know, it’s not too arduous. Adapting your CAS handbook is the easiest way and there are some great examples on OCC.

  48. Hi Steve

    I find your page really helpful! Thank you so much!

    I currently have a student who has not embraced CAS in the slightest, he has been hard to inspire since the start of his diploma but now I am struggling to get his portfolio is a ‘passable’ state. He is very short on ‘action’ hours. One of the things he did for CAS was learn the electric guitar from scratch and in nearly 2 years he has got quite good at it so that is a lot for creativity but do you think I could count some of it for action hours.

    How strict in the 50/50/50 hours for the three CAS threads…..if they are slightly below can I still pass them. I am new to IB and CAS and took this role on last year. I know this is the final year group with CAS hours which I am really pleased about.

    Thank you 🙂

    1. Hi Louise, I wouldn’t count learning the electric guitar as Action, even though this is an amazing feat. Action has to be physical exertion, like exercise where the student gets sweaty and out of breath. But the 50/50/50 hours thing is a goal, a guideline. If your student falls a little short of 50 hours of Action it will be ok. The main thing is that your student meets the 8 Learning Outcomes (or 7 Learning Outcomes if he is in the class of 2017). Tell him to get out and start jogging or walking. Tell him to do a beach cleanup or a brush removal project. These activities can definitely count as Action. I hope this helps a little. Thanx for saying this site is helpful. That means a lot to me! 🙂

      1. Thank you Steve.

        That’s what I interpreted it as and thought it may be a stretch of the imagination!. Looks like I might try and get him to a park run this weekend!

        I am finding the class of 2017 much easier to manage – I think partly I have taken them on from the beginning and secondly I prefer this no hours counting. My current class of 2017 seem to have embraced CAS much more than the year above!

      2. Although hour counting is not required i have asked my students to do 18 months of CAS with at least 50 hours of each and finally fulfilling all the 8/7 LOs.Creativity is not that important as Service.

  49. Hello,
    I am in my last year of IB(grade12). My cas coordinator has decided that the activities that i completed previously are not accepted, even though I believe many other schools accept them as CAS i would like to know your opinion.
    Gym-I’ve been going to the gym seriously as a body builder for whole ib 2 year duration and post reflections on managebac once I feel there is a change or I have accomplished something new. This is because gym is mostly repetitive. Therefore I would post a reflection maybe one a month or every month and a half. Also at least once to twice a month I would post a picture of me at the gym doing a workout(heavyweights) which is shows that I’m not just going to the gym taking a picture and leaving. Because It takes an advanced to intermediate bodybuilder to be able to lift these heavy weights.

    Student Council: in grade 11 I was the student council vice president and we were responsible for organizing and planning a lot of student based events, and holding spirit weeks etc. As well as being responsible for voicing the students opinions to the school to have rules and regulations changed etc. in which we did accomplish. I counted this whole year of Student council as creativity and service however my coordinator says that the Ib doesn’t count student Council…

    During the summer I volunteered at a food bank for 16 hours on different occasions and counted it as service, there I would be in charge of an assembly line to pack food for the poor into boxes that would be sent out to poor areas in my home country. However my coordinator is saying that this is not considered service as it “monotonous” activity even though I believe it is considered community service volunteering.
    What is your opinion on these activities?

    Also my coordinator is saying that the IB CAS new guidelines wants students to perform and write regular reflections of each activity per week per activity. She also is saying that all three strands of CAS (creativity action and service) must be performed weekly. Meaning that one cannot have gaps in his IB timeline. For example I can’t have a few months of gaps for service etc.
    Is all this true or is my CAS coordinator being to strict and expecting to much from us?

    Thank You

    1. Hi Karim, for what it’s worth, I would 1001% count all of these CAS experiences. They are definitely what IB considers valid CAS experiences. And I would count them for the categories that you have assigned to them (i.e. gym as Activity, Student Council as creativity and service, food bank as service). It doesn’t matter that the food bank service was monotonous. Most service is monotonous. If it was fun and exciting it would not be called service. I was recently trained in the new CAS guidelines 6 months ago, I read the new guidelines handbook from cover to cover, and I rewrote it in simpler terms for my students, and all of your activities are acceptable CAS experiences. As for requiring all 3 strands to be performed weekly, this must be your CAS Coordinators own personal requirement; it is not an IB requirement. All CAS Coordinators do things a little differently. I personally don’t think it’s realistic to perform all 3 strands on a weekly basis, but that’s just me. I don’t want to disrespect your CAS Coordinator or throw her under the bus; maybe she’s getting her orders from the IB Coordinator at your school. I’d encourage you to talk to both your CAS Coordinator and IB Coordinator about this. You can share with them what I’ve written to you if you’d like. If they want more input than from just me, suggest to them to go onto the OCC (Online Curriculum Centre) and post the question: does gym, student council, and food bank count as legitimate CAS experiences. They will get a response from an official IB person here on the OCC. I’m sorry you’re going through this Karim and I sincerely hope you’re able to work this out and use these experiences for CAS. Let me know what happens. Let me know if you have any other questions. Hang in there.

  50. Elder is absolutely right in every aspect….All of them come under CAS…..Pl keep going…you are doing a great job Karim.

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