Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School Review
Jefferson County International Baccalaureate (JCIB) School, earlier known as Resource Learning Center, Shades Valley Annex is now located on the campus of Shades Valley High School, in Irondale, Birmingham, Alabama. As evident from the name it’s an International Baccalaureate school serving grades 9 through 12. It’s a public high school and a part of Jefferson County Board of Education system. JCIB now accommodates approximately 325 students and employs a faculty of its own comprising of 17 members other than sharing staff from Shades Valley high school. This reflects a 19:1 student to teacher ratio which is prominently higher than the national average.
The admission process is a little detailed where students are required to meet academic requirements which are GPA and recommendations and scores from the previous elementary school. Additionally, they need to submit a hand written essay along with the application for admission. Post tenth grade, students are free to choose between Advance Placement and International Baccalaureate programs and examinations.
The core subjects of the academic curriculum are Mathematics, Science, Social Science and English which are taught by the 17 faculty members and for other classes and subjects the faculty of Shades Valley High School (SVHS) is shared with. The IB coordinator however presides over all the teachers and also is responsible for scheduling, discipline and other vital functions of the school. Presently this post is secured by Dr. April Miller.
Being an IB school, an IB diploma is compulsory for every student of the school, which is facilitated by a work-study program in the school every Monday afternoon starting from the students of 11th grade. Here the students are free to choose their work places where they would need to put in at least three hours of work every week which is then counted for the Creative Action Service hours needed to complete and receive the IB diploma.
Whereas, for the students of the 12th grade, there is a mandatory requirement of completing a 4000 word extended essay, the freedom of choosing the topic for the essay is however with the students with a little condition that the topics should be categorized according to the IB extended essay curriculum. This generally varies among history, philosophy, geography, biology, English and mathematics.
As an academic extracurricular activity, the students of this school publishes a student magazine named ‘Counterpane’ which is a art, finance, literature magazine entirely produced by students both juniors and seniors of JCIB and SVHS. Out of all the participations and submissions the choice of articles which will make it to the final cut lays with faculty members.
Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School is quite a favored and famous name in the high school category. Newsweek has given JCIB #1, #2, #4 and #3 rankings respectively in consecutive years from 2005 to 2009 in its list of ‘The 100 best high schools of America’. Presently JCIB stands at #2nd position in the said list. JCIB is also one of the Public Elite high schools.
Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School is one of the choicest and desired IB public school for students of grade 9 to 12 and does ensure a prosperous and progressive future ahead.