Diploma Programme Curriculum
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Lausanne is a Diploma Programme (DP) school. The Diploma Programme framework capitalizes on the inquiry-based, holistic classroom skills learned and applied in Lower and Middle School. This allows students to focus on discipline-specific curricula that are enriched by interdisciplinary collaboration. It also allows students to explore areas of interest in each of six content areas in preparation for college and life outside Lausanne.



Eleventh Grade

Eleventh-grade students at Lausanne take classes designed to prepare them for university-level work. They continue to enhance research skills while improving time-management skills. 

With our College Advising team's support, students in the eleventh grade prepare their college application materials. They work closely with their counselor to refine a college and universities list best suited to their interests and career aspirations. Students also work to find shadowing and internship opportunities in fields they may wish to pursue. 

Eleventh-grade students begin the year by visiting various college campuses as a part of their class college trip. As they tour large universities, small liberal arts colleges and a mixture in between, they begin to develop preferences for what they want in their own college experience. The tours create a great learning environment, showing students how to explore academic options and find their "right fit" institution.  

Students continue to receive guidance on their academic journey throughout the school year and participate in mock interview sessions with college representatives and Lausanne alumni. Resume writing workshops, career exploration sessions and essay brainstorming workshops led by college advising help students with the application process. Weekly meetings focused on college advising begin in the spring and optional trips to college campuses during Spring Break. With representatives from over 130 different colleges and universities visiting Lausanne annually, students have the opportunity to form their vision for life after Lausanne. 

Traditions like Homecoming, ArtsFest SportsFest and Junior/Senior Banquet prepare our eleventh-grade students for their senior year. 

Twelfth Grade

The twelfth-grade year for Lausanne students is an eventful year of closure and anticipation. Students are balancing the demands of the college application process with final preparations for their culminating IB assessments. Those in the IB Diploma Programme are completing their essays, which culminate many years of hard work. 

Twelfth graders benefit from the previous three years of personalized attention and the relationships forged with the college advisors. They complete their college applications and ultimately make decisions on the university to attend. Students and parents meet 1-on-1 at the beginning of twelfth grade to create a targeted and personalized college application list based on their academic profile, personal goals and professional plans. Together, they review application deadlines and identify potential scholarship opportunities.  

Seniors also attend the College Application Bootcamp held in the fall to learn tips and best practices for filling out the applications. The students participate in weekly group college advising sessions in the fall during advisory and prepare for college and scholarship interviews by participating in individualized mock interview sessions. 

Prom and Graduation are just two of the many annual events celebrating Lynx's work throughout their years on campus. Some other senior traditions include Senior Send-Off, Freshmen/Senior Appreciation Week, Junior/Senior Banquet, Senior T-Shirt Walk-Through and Senior Run-Through. 

As our seniors move their tassels and toss their caps after graduating, they end their time as Lausanne students and become new members of the Lausanne alumni family. Ready to employ all they have learned at Lausanne. 

Lausanne Lifelong Learning Program

The Lausanne Lifelong Learning program is a program that will be done through advisory and is designed to ensure that students have a well-balanced life through reflection on activities done in school and outside of school. It is based on the IB’s CAS program and its three components: creativity, action, and service. Students will work with their advisor and reflect on the activities they do.

The Lausanne Lifelong Learning program builds on the school’s identity as an IB school that prepares students for college and life in a global environment. It seeks to help students in the Upper School build a well-rounded experience for themselves in their time at Lausanne and learn from those experiences.

By working with their advisor in reflecting on the things they do outside of school, they will create meaningful learning that goes beyond the experience itself to help become a better person.

This program is built around the model of the Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS) program as designed by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO). Students will be expected to participate in this program for all four years of high school unless they enter the full diploma program to transition to the full IB CAS program, described below:

  • Creativity denotes anything that involves creative thinking. Traditional examples include the arts, music, and other areas generally associated with creativity. Still, other examples include Model UN, Model Congress, Destination Imagination, and other activities that require creative thinking on the part of the students.
  • Action denotes anything that involves physical exertion that contributes to a healthy lifestyle. Traditional examples include sports, but other examples include hiking, dancing in a performance, physical fitness plans and more.
  • Service denotes involvement in the community in a way that serves to better the lives of both the giver and the recipient of the service. Traditional examples include participation in service organizations. Other examples include tutoring, mentoring and more. Students are expected to do activities in all three areas in their time at Lausanne. They will work closely with their advisors over the four years to make sure their actions are meaningful and goal-oriented. They will also complete a project in their junior year, as well as an internship. 

Academic Honors Recognition

Proud of its strong curriculum and academic heritage, Lausanne Collegiate Schools’ faculty and administrators recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of our students. These ceremonies take place throughout the school year at convocation, assemblies, and special programs.

The Cum Laude Society

The faculty members of The Cum Laude Society at Lausanne review eleventhth and twelfth grade student scholarship and award membership to those students who demonstrate exemplary scholarship through their cumulative GPA, IB Scores/Predicted Scores, standardized assessment scores and level of coursework taken during their upper school program. Lausanne is one of a very select number of schools in the nation that offer this recognition to exceptional student scholars. Cum Laude membership is equivalent to Phi Beta Kappa membership at the collegiate level. Students with exceptionally high GPAs, College Admissions Test Scores and enrollment in the IB Programme are considered by a faculty committee for membership. Juniors are held to a very high standard of achievement and fewer eleventh grade students are admitted to membership than twelfth grade students. A limit is placed on the committee of inductees by the National Charter for Cum Laude.

National Honor Society

Students in the eleventh and twelfth grade with a cumulative GPA of 3.75 and above are eligible for membership in our chapter of the National Honor Society. This process takes place during the first trimester of the school year. Students will be provided information on potential membership in NHS during the spring trimester and again in the first trimester to ensure students are well aware of the key characteristics of citizenship, honor, leadership and service that are required for election into the society. Students will use their Naviance software to develop a resume of involvement and leadership that the NHS faculty committee will review in order to be considered for membership. 

Selection of Valedictorian and Salutatorian

The selection of the valedictorian and salutatorian is based on the following criteria: Both the valedictorian and the salutatorian must be eligible for a cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude diploma. These diplomas are awarded based on the above Quality Point Scale. Transfer students are eligible if they have attended Lausanne for four full, consecutive semesters and including all three trimesters of their senior year.

In comparing the ranking point averages of transfers to other students, only the grades for semesters and trimesters of common attendance at Lausanne will be compared. The final selection of valedictorian and salutatorian will be announced at Baccalaureate. If the top-ranking students are within a hundredth of a point of each other, numerical averages may be computed to make the final determination.

If the top-ranking students are within thousandths of a point, a tie can be declared. Each Lausanne Collegiate School student’s progress in coursework will be evaluated in a formal fashion on a periodic basis and communicated to the parents. The basis of this evaluation will include the student’s grasp of the subject’s content as quantified via quizzes and tests, as well as a more subjective evaluation of the qualitative learning exhibited through the skills of problem-solving, assessed for grades five through twelve.

Faculty members will assess students’ progress in a fashion that can be meaningfully reported to parents and to other educators. The type of assessment being used in each class must be written in the syllabus for each subject in the Middle School and Upper School, and in the class orientation packet for Lower School. All divisions will send home trimester report cards. Academic progress can be accessed for grades five through twelve on the internet. If a parent is concerned about low grades on papers brought home or a pattern of “no homework tonight” is stated by the student, the parent should call the division office, e-mail or send a note to the teacher inquiring about the child’s   refer to the class’s website for all current assignments and grades.

Student Assessment

The faculty measures the progress of students using MYP standards, DP standards, and Vertical Team Benchmarks and Skills.

In IB Diploma classes, the yearly grade is the average of grades from three terms and a final exam. In IB Middle Years Programme classes, the yearly grade will be determined by the skill level the student reaches at the end of the year. No grade can exceed 100%.

Short-term assessments are returned to the students in a timely manner, usually within a twenty-four hour period. Long-term, more substantive assessments are returned to students within one to two weeks.

Students may take all graded assessments home when completed. If parents are not receiving the graded work in a timely manner, please contact the teacher immediately.

Standardized Testing

Lausanne Collegiate School will assess student aptitude and performance periodically through the use of published, standardized testing instruments designed to assist in the evaluation of student aptitude and performance comparable to educational settings elsewhere. Testing materials and individual scores will be held in the confidential status they merit. Administrators and faculty will analyze testing results as one means of evaluating curriculum and teaching methodologies. Lausanne uses standardized tests in order to achieve the following goals:

  • To identify applicants possessing the aptitude and general knowledge base from which successful acclimation to Lausanne may be predicted
  • To evaluate the curriculum
  • To determine individual student scholastic aptitude and achievement
  • To assist individuals in making educational decisions
  •  To facilitate college entry

The following is a list of the instruments currently in use, the purpose for which they were designed by the publisher and the grade level at which they are administered:

  • Educational Records Bureau-ISEE (Independent School Entrance Examination)
    This is used as part of the admission process for students entering grades five through twelve.
  • Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT)
    Preparation for SAT; employed in educational and college counseling; scholarship qualifying test for eleventh grade. This test is also given in grades nine and ten (as a practice test).
  • ALIS
    Predictive and adaptive test used to help teachers support students in their IB classes. Taken at the start of grade eleven.
  • Scholastic Aptitude Test I and the Test of Standard Written English (SAT I)
    Required for college admission; students are asked to schedule and attempt for the first time by the end of grade 11. We do not offer special on-campus testing for students with learning plans.
  • Scholastic Aptitude Test II (SAT II) (formerly Achievement Tests)
    A supplemental requirement for admission to certain colleges; for students in grades ten, eleven and twelve.
  • American College Test (ACT)
    Required for college admission; students are asked to schedule and attempt for the first time by the end of grade eleven. We offer special testing on campus for students with approved accommodations for the ACT twice a year, in October and February.
  • International Baccalaureate External Assessments; grades eleven and twelve
    All students, unless otherwise noted, are expected to take the IB External Assessment for the IB class they are taking. All students will pay a registration fee with the IB of $172. Each subject examination is $119. Students in the full Diploma Programme will pay $886 in total for all classes. They are not responsible for the fee for the Theory of Knowledge assessment, the Extended Essay, or the Creativity, Action, and Service program.

Graduation Requirements

Lausanne’s graduation requirements are developed to ensure that students meet the entry requirements of the best universities, as well as fulfill IB class requirements.

To graduate, each student needs to have credits in the following areas:

  • English 12 credits
  • Social Studies 9 credits (6 must be history)
  • Mathematics 12 credits
  • Sciences 9 credits (6 must be lab sciences)
  • World Languages 9 credits (recommended consecutive same language)
  • Fine Arts (Performing or Visual Arts) and/or Design 3 credits (6 credits starting with Class of 2022)
  • Electives 9 credits
  • Personal Project/CAS Fulfillment of requirement through the advisory program

    *Total 63 credits (66 starting with Class of 2022)

Quality Points (Awarded at Graduation) Having satisfied course requirements, designations will be awarded as follows based on total earned quality points:

  • Honors 216 quality points
  • Cum Laude 252 quality points
  • Magna Cum Laude 270 quality points
  • Summa Cum Laude 288 quality points

Calculations are based on a 4.0 scale over all four years of upper school.

The curriculum offerings in the Upper School serve students through a sequential program of college- preparatory and college-level courses. This program prepares our students to take full advantage of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme or International Baccalaureate Certificates during their junior and senior years. We are focused on being the premier independent school in Memphis and one of the world's best. Our faculty is prepared to help students become inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective.