Why the American / IB Curriculum?

At DAA, we start preparing our students to be university ready from the moment they step foot into high school. We believe deeply in challenging our students to the highest level possible and as such, we offer various pathways for students to choose from which align with their learning preferences.

From grade 9, DAA’s curriculum is aligned to Common Core (ELA/Math) and NGSS (Science) as well as other subject-specific standards are aligned to the state of Connecticut.  The US curriculum is unique from other curriculums as it allows for creativity of ‘how’ it is taught and assessed.  There is a strong foundation in the standards which outline what students should know and be able to do by the end of each grade, but allows for teachers to collaborate to create units of work that are centered around students researching and answering big, essential questions.  

Why an IB/AP/US Curriculum?

All programs offer rigorous courses which prepare our students for the challenges of university and ultimately career readiness.  Students are pushed to sharpen skills such as: Communication of thoughts/ideas, Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Reflection and Self-awareness.   

What is the main difference between IB/AP? 

AP courses are very content specific as they are condensed into 1 academic year. Several assessments focus on multiple-choice answers with a writing component.

IB courses are also content heavy but are taught over two academic years.  There is a strong focus on inquiry, asking and answering big questions. Assessment style varies course by course but there is a strong thread of research, writing, presentation of ideas, reflection on the process and exhibition of skills learned.  


80% of our current cohort of seniors have picked the full IB DP program. 19% of the remaining cohort have at least 1 IB course in their schedule leaving just a small handful of students not pursuing any IB courses. To bolster our non-IB pathways, we have introduced a small number of Advanced Placement (AP) courses which students have elected to take. For 2020-2021 we aim to add an additional 2-3 courses that students have shown interest in taking.

The IB learner profile represents 10 attributes valued by IB World Schools. We believe these attributes, and others like them, can help individuals and groups become responsible members of local, national and global communities.

The IB Diploma Program (DP)

The IB DP prepares our students for success in higher education and life in a global society The DP is an academically challenging and balanced programme of education with final examinations that prepares students, aged 16 to 19, for success at university and life beyond. It has been designed to address the intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being of students. The programme has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities.

As IB Learners we strive to be:


We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life.


We critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others. We seek and evaluate a range of points of view, and we are willing to grow from the experience.


We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines. We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance.


We show empathy, compassion and respect. We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us.


We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyse and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.


We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change


We express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways. We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.


We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives—intellectual, physical, and emotional—to achieve wellbeing for ourselves and others. We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live.


We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.


We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experience. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development.

How the DP Helps Students

The DP is able to develop students to posses the qualifications below.

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