IB CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service)
From its beginning, Eugene IHS has made experiential learning a part of our identity. We are committed to Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) as an aspect of an international studies curriculum, for it is one more way students gain confidence and knowledge in a broader world than home and school.
The CAS experience as a whole should show evidence of the seven CAS learning outcomes:
* Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth
* Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process
* Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience
* Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively
* Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences
* Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance
* Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions
CAS hours can start being earned towards the Eugene IHS CAS requirement after July 1st of the summer between sophomore and junior year. Students should keep track of their hours as they will be recording their total hours earned along with a reflection for each entry. Students will be introduced to CAS at the end of sophomore year and/or the beginning of junior year.
All students in Eugene IHS are expected to fulfill the CAS requirements.
Creativity is defined as “exploring and extending ideas leading to an original or interpretive product or performance” (IB Creativity, Activity, Service Guide 8). This is interpreted as imaginatively as possible to cover a wide range of arts and other activities that involve creative thinking. Examples could include participation in music, theater, fine arts, or design. In a student’s CAS program, creativity fosters an appreciation for the arts. “Creativity in CAS provides students with the opportunity to explore their own sense of original thinking and expression. Creativity will come from the student’s talents, interests, passions, emotional responses, and imagination; the form of expression is limitless…Students are encouraged to engage in creative endeavors that move them beyond the familiar, broadening their scope from conventional to unconventional thinking” (IB Creativity, Activity, Service Guide 18).
Activity is defined as physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work. In a student’s CAS program, activity focuses on the physical, and thus, mental, well-being of the student. “The aim of the ‘Activity’ strand is to promote lifelong healthy habits related to physical well-being. Pursuits may include individual and team sports, aerobic exercise, dance, outdoor recreation, fitness training, and any other form of physical exertion that purposefully contributes to a healthy lifestyle. Students are encouraged to participate at an appropriate level and on a regular basis to provide a genuine challenge and benefit” (IB Creativity, Activity, Service Guide 19).
Service consists of an unpaid and voluntary community contribution that has a learning benefit for the student and fosters a greater sense of commitment to community—local, national and international. In a student’s CAS program, service focuses on an endeavor beyond a student’s current experience and shows engagement in meeting a community need. Service involves “Collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic need. The aim of the ‘Service’ strand is for students to understand their capacity to make a meaningful contribution to their community and society. Through service, students develop and apply personal and social skills in real-life situations involving decision-making, problem-solving, initiative, responsibility, and accountability for their actions. Service is often seen as one of the most transforming elements of CAS by promoting students’ self-awareness, offering diverse occasions for interactions and experiences and opportunities for international-mindedness” (IB Creativity, Activity, Service Guide, page 8).
Total CAS Hours Requirement. Students in Eugene International High School will complete 100 hours of CAS activities over the course of junior and senior years: at least 40 hours of service, 20 hours of creativity and 20 hours of activity with a reasonable balance between the remaining 20 hours. Hours must be concurrent over two years—that is, they should be spread out over the course of both junior and senior years—and should reflect an ongoing commitment to the principles of the CAS Learning Outcomes. Each term, there will also be a minimum required hours of CAS to be completed.
Immersion students will be asked to conduct one or a series of CAS experiences in their immersion language and then reflect upon that experience. The purpose of this reflection is to show how they sustain a commitment to dual literacy outside of the classroom in a way that supports the student’s growth in one of the CAS Learning Outcomes.
Additional Requirements for your CAS experience:
- Set personal goals for what you will achieve through the CAS program while participating in a range of activities and projects;
- Communicate with your Seminar teacher at various points during the junior and senior years to assess progress and measure outcomes;
- Maintain records of CAS activities that show both total hours accomplished and hours required per term.
- Show evidence of achievement of the seven CAS learning outcomes via reflection and evidence submitted at regular intervals (details to be shared in class).
- Complete a minimum of 20 CAS hours each semester. At the end of each semester, students will reflect upon a combination of all three strands.
- Hours earned after the end of the school year between sophomore and junior year and during the entire summer between junior and senior year count toward the first semester of each year.
- Complete a CAS Group Project (see below).
In addition to completing CAS hours students must participate in a student-initiated group project. Details are provided in the CAS Student Handbook.