JCCHS named International Baccalaureate World School

Nov. 14, 2019 — Jackson County Comprehensive High School has achieved International Baccalaureate World School status, providing the opportunity for an international education to local students.

JCCHS officials announced today that the school is the newest member of a growing global community – 5,175 schools in 157 different countries – to offer the International Baccalaureate Programme. 

In the U.S., this puts JCCHS in a select group of only 948 IB world schools offering the diploma programme, and just 30 other public schools in Georgia.

Gathered together for the announcement of Jackson County High School’s formal designation as an International Baccalaureate World School are, from left are, Dr. Michelle Golden, Jackson County’s IB Diploma Programme coordinator, and prospective IB students Meghan Harris, Michael Howard, Brooke Johnson, Tiffany Holly, Lilly Johnson, Emily Kimbrell, Kieran Turner, Collin Davis, Riley Rewis, Anna Gebo, Ashley Harris, Moustapha Diallo, Iris Thao, Savannah Adams, Shayla Gibson.

Gathered together for the announcement of Jackson County High School’s formal designation as an International Baccalaureate World School are, from left are, Dr. Michelle Golden, Jackson County’s IB Diploma Programme coordinator, and prospective IB students Meghan Harris, Michael Howard, Brooke Johnson, Tiffany Holly, Lilly Johnson, Emily Kimbrell, Kieran Turner, Collin Davis, Riley Rewis, Anna Gebo, Ashley Hayes, Moustapha Diallo, Iris Thao, Savannah Adams, Shayla Gibson.

Students enrolled in Jackson County School System are eligible to enter the Diploma Programme course of study in their 11th-grade year. The first cohort will begin studies in the Fall of 2020. 

Officials said IB has a positive impact on students, schools and their wider communities with learning going well beyond the classroom. 

Its unique and innovative approach to learning means both students and teachers are genuinely engaged with the program and benefit from being a part of an unparalleled global network. 

Students are able to participate in international conferences and educators work with their peers internationally to ensure that IB remains at the cutting edge of international education.

“We are very excited to have received official approval for authorization to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme to our students and families here at JCCHS,” said Jason Wester, JCCHS interim principal.  

“I am very proud of all the hard work that our amazing staff members have put into the authorization process and I am confident that our students and community will benefit from this accomplishment.

“We look forward with great anticipation to our initial cohort of IB students beginning the programme next year and all of the opportunities that this authorization will provide for our Panthers.”

Dr. Michelle Golden, Jackson County’s IB Diploma Programme coordinator, also reflected on the process of becoming an IB authorized school.

“Achieving World School status has been a 6-year process, and we’ve had many teachers, administrators, community members, and prospective students working hard towards this goal,” Dr. Golden said.

“This has been a collaborative effort every step of the way, and implementing and maintaining the program in the future will continue to bring out the best in teamwork among all stakeholders. 

“The IB diploma programme is well-respected and encourages deep and authentic learning; it has the potential to open doors to new opportunities for JCSS students for years to come,” she said. 

A group of prospective IB students were part of the authorization process, Dr. Golden said. They were interviewed by the visiting team from the International Baccalaureate Organization during the application and approval process and have been learning about IB over the past two years. 

“These sophomores and juniors are excited to join the first cohorts of IB diploma programme students at JCCHS,” Dr. Golden said.

The JCCHS students are Savannah Adams, Collin Davis, Moustapha Diallo, Anna Gebo, Shayla Gibson, Meghan Harris, Ashley Hayes, Tiffany Holly, Michael Howard, Brooke Johnson, Lily Johnson, Emily Kimbrell, Justin Parry, Riley Rewis, Iris Thao, and Kieran Turner.

Adrian Kearney, Regional Director for IB Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, said IB is recognized “across the world for its innovative approach to education. 

“We strongly believe that it is important to place an equal focus on academics and other, transferrable skills, in order to best prepare students for success beyond high school.

“That Jackson County Comprehensive High School has now successfully completed the authorization process and can now start offering the IB marks an exciting time for JCSS and more importantly, for the students who will benefit from an IB education.”

JCCHS has approximately 1,300 students in grades nine through 12. It is one of ten schools in the Jackson County School System, which serves more than 8,300 students in pre-k through 12th grades across the county.

To learn more about the JCCHS program, call Dr. Golden at 706-367-5003 or email ibcoordinator@jcss.us.

Founded in 1968, the International Baccalaureate is a non-profit foundation that offers four high quality and challenging educational programmes for a worldwide community of schools. 

For more than 50 years, IB programmes have gained a reputation for their rigour and high academic standards, for preparing students for life in a globalized 21st century, and for helping to develop citizens who will create a better, more peaceful world. 

For information about the number of IB World Schools and programmes offered in the United States, visit: https://www.ibo.org/country/US/

For further information about the International Baccalaureate, visit www.ibo.org.

Click here for a report about the program presented on Live at 5, the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Communications newscast, on Nov. 18, 2019.