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 by completing two steps:
- Step 1: Register online at TestRegistration.polk-fl.net to take a placement test. Students must be signed up prior to testing.
- Step 2: Submit an online application. Applications will be available through www.polkschoolsfl.com/SchoolOptions from November 5th through December 13th, 5:00pm
Available test dates are:
- October 19th – 8:15am–12:00 – George Jenkins High School or Winter Haven High School
- October 23rd – 2:30pm–6:00 – Bartow High School or Haines City High School
- November 9th – 8:15am–12:00 – George Jenkins High School or Winter Haven High School
- November 16th – 8:15am–12:00 – Bartow High School or Haines City High School
Free Informational Meetings Open to the Public
- October 21st, 4:30-6:30pm: Polk State College, Winter Haven Campus, 999 Avenue H N.E., Winter Haven 33881
- October 24th, 5:00-7:00pm: Lake Eva Event Center, 799 Johns Avenue, Haines City 33844
- November 9th, 10:00-2:00pm: RP Funding Center, 701 W. Lime Street, Lakeland 33815
For more information about our IB High Schools, visit the websites below or contact the school directly.
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.