Co-Lead Teachers: Melissa Jimenez and Becky Villagran
Check out more about our program in our BIHS Handbook.
Berkeley International High School (BIHS) is a small learning community within Berkeley High School, focusing on holistic learning and building international mindedness for students in grades ten through twelve. The four-year interdisciplinary curriculum has a focus on cultures, history, artistic expression, and political, economic, and belief systems. Students also carry out Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) experiences and projects and an extended essay research process so as to be college, career, and life ready upon graduation. Students will graduate with critical thinking skills and the knowledge to participate confidently in our interdependent world.
BIHS, an authorized International Baccalaureate school, prepares students for the option to participate in the IB Diploma Programme, an internationally recognized curriculum in 11th and 12th grade that is highly regarded by U.S. universities and colleges around the world. During the course of the three years, students in BIHS develop strong relationships with their teachers who help to build students’ sense of identity and cultural awareness. The integrated 3-year study of humanities focuses on the study of geographical regions and elements of culture including literature, art, history, economics, and beliefs. It then progresses through the study of nations and the dynamics of global relationships, building in complexity each year.
Balancing the richness of Berkeley High School’s elective options with the value and challenge of the IB curriculum, BIHS creates a supportive community where diversity of perspective is valued and encouraged. With an emphasis on student centered learning, including cooperative groups and classroom presentations, BIHS students develop strong speaking and leadership skills. They also develop the ability to bring perspective to conversation and participate confidently with people of all backgrounds in our increasingly complex world. Tenth grade students take four of their classes with the same core of students to provide community and support. As our students reach the upper grades, they develop the skills of inquiry through guided independent research and experiential learning. Additional community building, student leadership, and support programs are in place to further ensure a sense of belonging and success for all BIHS students.