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International Baccalaureate at JCHS

Jackson County High School has been authorized as an IB World School and will begin offering the IB Diploma Programme in 2020. We encourage any Jackson County families to consider IB as an advanced educational pathway. Students can take the full IB Diploma programme,  a humanities track (History and Literature), a STEM track (math and science), or IB elective courses (Film, Psychology, or Visual Art).

The full IB Diploma Programme is a 2-year program of study that begins in a student’s junior year of high school. It is a highly-acclaimed, cohesive academic program that emphasizes international study and independent student research. Students who earn an IB diploma stand out among peers for their ability to think with depth and creativity and are among the most successful university students. An IB diploma can also open the door to broader post-secondary studies, including competitive elite universities. All JCSS sophomores are welcome to apply for the full diploma program. 

Students who are naturally curious about the world, value collaboration over competition, and seek greater depth of knowledge in their studies align well with the IB educational approach. The curriculum is rigorous, but components such as active reflection encourage students to learn how to learn in a way that encourages success at the university level. Students will take courses in Literature and Languages, Language Acquisition (Spanish or French), Individuals and Societies (History), Sciences, Mathematics, and the Arts. They also complete 3 components known as the diploma core that are unique to IB:

  • Theory of Knowledge (TOK): A course about learning and knowledge- a little brain science, a little philosophy, a lot of fun
  • Community, Activity, and Service (CAS): Students participate in extracurricular activities and track and reflect on their experiences
  • Extended Essay: A self-directed research paper on a topic of the student’s choosing

Most IB courses are 2 years long (a few courses may be completed in a single year) and all courses culminate in exams. Exams are scored on a 7-point scale, and scores of 4 or higher often allow for college credit. 

Students interested in taking a partial IB route (humanities, STEM, or electives) should ask teachers to recommend them for the appropriate IB course during registration. (Rising 11th and 12th grade students only)

Students interested in applying for the full IB Diploma Programme can do some things to prepare:

  • 7th-10th grade: Fill out the brief intent to participate form.
  • Middle school students: it can help to take a few courses for high school credit in 8th grade (for example, physical science, 9th grade Language Arts, and/or Spanish).
  • 9th grade students: begin or continue a modern language (French or Spanish), take the required Health & PE classes, and take American Government and Economics (note: this is not the typical course sequencing and is *optional* but may result in easier scheduling in later years). During 9th grade, apply to our Future International Team (FIT)
  • 10th grade students: take recommended courses to prepare for IB coursework. This may also include doubling-up on science or math. Apply to the IB Diploma Programme if not in FIT

Once students have applied for and been accepted into FIT, they will have personalized schedules to suit their individual needs for both Georgia graduation requirements and the IB diploma requirements.

Please visit the resource and information site linked below or please direct any questions to the IB Coordinator at or call JCHS at 706-367-5003.


JCHS IB Resource Site