International Baccalaureate (IB)
Benefits of IB
IB is an acronym for International Baccalaureate. IB high schools use a specific rigorous curriculum that aims to develop and challenge inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who are motivated to succeed.
IB schools strive to develop students who will build a better world through intercultural understanding and respect.
IB programs are different from other curricula because they:
- Encourage students of all ages to think critically and challenge assumptions
- Develop independently or through government and national systems, incorporating quality practice from research and our global community of schools
- Encourage students of all ages to consider both local and global context
- Develop multilingual students
There are presently two high school IB sites in Polk County. A student’s residential address within the school district determines which IB high school the student could be eligible to attend. See below for a specific listing of schools.
Students who complete the high school requirements of IB will earn a specific type of diploma called an IB diploma. The IB diploma is recognized by the state of Florida as a more rigorous diploma than a regular Florida high school diploma.
Prerequisites and How to Apply
In order to attend one of the IB high schools, a student must apply and qualify for one of the limited seats during the open enrollment period during his/her eighth-grade year. For the upcoming school year, interested students must apply online during November/December, and select an available screening testing date in January. Based on the results of the screening test, students will be invited and notified in March.
Students whose middle school grade-point average is high enough during sixth and seventh grade, and who will have earned at least one high school credit during their middle school years, are eligible to apply during the open enrollment process. To find out more specific information regarding prerequisites, please view the school website for the IB school in your area.
Students who successfully complete coursework and requirements in ninth and 10th grade are eligible to continue in IB and work toward earning an IB diploma during their junior and senior years.
High School IB Programs
Bartow High School
Students zoned for the following high schools are eligible to attend the Bartow High IB Program:
- Bartow High
- Kathleen High
- Lakeland High
- George Jenkins High
- Mulberry High
- Fort Meade High
- Frostproof High
- And those living in the former attendance zone for Lake Wales High.
Haines City High School
Students zoned for the following high schools are eligible to attend the Haines City High IB Program:
- Haines City High
- Ridge Community High
- Lake Region High
- Winter Haven High
- Auburndale High
- Tenoroc High
- Lake Gibson High
Students are expected to adhere to all the academic, ethical and behavioral requirements described in the Code of Student Conduct. Depending on the location of a student’s residency, students and families need to be aware of the additional time commitment involved in utilizing district transportation.
Florida State Statutes
f.s. 1009.534 (1)(c):
A student is eligible for a Florida Academic Scholars award if he or she meets the general eligibility requirements for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program and has been awarded an International Baccalaureate Diploma from the International Baccalaureate Office or an Advanced International Certificate of Education Diploma from the University of Cambridge International Examinations Office.
f.s. 1009.535 (1)(b):
A student is eligible for a Florida Medallion Scholars award if he or she meets the general eligibility requirements for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program and has completed the International Baccalaureate curriculum but failed to earn the International Baccalaureate Diploma or has completed the Advanced International Certificate of Education curriculum but failed to earn the Advanced International Certificate of Education Diploma, and has attained at least the score required under f.s. 1009.531(6)(b) on the combined verbal and quantitative parts of the Scholastic Aptitude Test, the Scholastic Assessment Test, or the recentered Scholastic Assessment Test of the College Entrance Examination, or an equivalent score on the ACT Assessment Program.