Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School

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Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School
6100 Old Leeds Road

United States
MottoSecan, Scearu, Findan (Old English meaning "To seek, to create, to share")
School boardJefferson County School System
PrincipalJennifer Joines
Student to teacher ratio17:1
Campus typeSuburban
MascotThe Tree of Knowledge
Feeder schoolsJefferson County IB Middle School

Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School (JCIB) is a public International Baccalaureate school located on the campus of Shades Valley High School in Irondale, Alabama. The school enrolls 372 students in grades 9-12 and is a part of the Jefferson County School System. It is consistently recognized as one of the best high schools in the country:

  • JCIB was ranked first in Alabama and 9th in the U.S. in the 2016 Washington Post study of America's Most Challenging High Schools.[1]
  • The Daily Beast ranked JCIB first in Alabama and 13th in the U.S. in its 2014 Top High Schools ranking.[2]
  • In 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2009 JCIB was ranked #1, #2, #4, and #3 respectively in the annual Newsweek poll of "The 100 Best High Schools in America".[3]

Student profile[edit]

JCIB students are diverse: 56% are white, 32% are African-American, 6% are Asian-American, 4% are Hispanic, and 2% are multiracial. Twenty percent of students qualified for free or reduced price lunch.[4]

100% of JCIB students graduate and go on to attend four-year colleges and universities.[5] The 2016 graduating class earned approximately $12 million in college scholarships, an average of almost $160,000 per student.[6]

JCIB students have an average ACT score of 29, and the average SAT score is 1,831.[7] The most recent graduating class includes three National Merit & Achievement Finalists, 64 AP Scholars, 35 AP Scholars with Honor, 21 AP Scholars with Distinction, and two AP National Scholars.[7]


Students must apply to JCIB during the spring prior to the year of anticipated enrollment. The application requires students to submit a transcript and test scores from their current schools, recommendations from both a mathematics and language arts instructor, and an application essay. Students are also strongly encouraged to attend an open house and/or shadow a student prior to applying.[8] Students must also pay tuition if they live outside the school district. Students from other counties and even students from the same county that live in an area that falls within another school district must pay over $2200 at registration in tuition alone or they cannot attend even if they have been accepted.


AP & IB Courses[edit]

All academic courses at JCIB are taught at an accelerated pace. Many courses prepare students for Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate Exams. Students choose from among the following AP and IB courses:

  • Biology (AP and IB)
  • Calculus (AP and IB)
  • Chemistry (AP and IB)
  • Computer Science (AP)
  • English Language & Composition (AP)
  • English Literature & Composition (AP)
  • Environmental Science (AP and IB)
  • French (AP and IB)
  • German (AP and IB)
  • Human Geography (AP and IB)
  • Macroeconomics (AP)
  • Microeconomics (AP)
  • Modern European History (AP)
  • Music Theory (AP)
  • Physics (AP)
  • Psychology (AP and IB)
  • Spanish (AP and IB)
  • Statistics (AP)
  • Studio Art (AP and IB)
  • Theater (IB)
  • Theory of Knowledge (IB)
  • US Government & Politics (AP)
  • US History (AP and IB)
  • World Literature (IB)

While all students are required to take a rigorous curriculum that includes both AP and IB coursework, students may choose whether to work toward earning an IB diploma. Approximately 64% of the 2015 graduating class received an IB diploma.[7]

Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) Work/Study Program[edit]

Beginning in 11th grade, JCIB's students participate in a work-study program every Wednesday afternoon. Students choose whether to take on an unpaid internship in a career area of interest, volunteer for a nonprofit organization, or perform some other community service. These hours contribute to the 150 CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) hours that are required in order to receive the IB diploma. All students participate in the CAS program, even if they do not pursue the IB diploma.

IB Extended Essay[edit]

Students are required to write a 4,000-word extended essay on a topic of their choosing. The extended essay introduces students to the independent research and writing skills that will be necessary to succeed at top colleges and universities. Students choose research questions across a variety of subjects and work closely with JCIB faculty in executing their research and writing the essay.


JCIB shares staff with Shades Valley High School, but has its own faculty for the core curriculum subjects of English, Foreign Languages, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. The student/faculty ratio is 17:1. Twenty-one of the school's teachers have a master's degree and one has a doctorate. Nine JCIB teachers are nationally board certified. Average teacher experience is 18 years.[5]

Student activities[edit]

As a school within a school, JCIB students are able to participate in activities specific to IB students as well as those for students at Shades Valley High School. These include the following:

  • 6A Competitive Athletics, including baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross country, football, golf, soccer, softball, bowling, tennis, track, volleyball, and wrestling
  • Fine Arts, including art club, band, choir (concert choir, show choir, Valley singers), dance, and theater arts
  • JCIB Honor Societies, including National Honor Society, National Beta Club, Mu Alpha Theta, National Forensics League, and honor societies for foreign language, English, science, and art
  • JCIB Academic Competition Teams, including debate, math team, scholars bowl, ForensX hacking team, and science olympiad.


  1. ^ "National Schools - The Washington Post". Retrieved 2016-04-19.
  2. ^ Beast, The Daily. "America's Top High Schools 2014". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2015-09-02.
  3. ^ Kantrowitz, Barbara; Julie Scelfo; William Lee Adams (2006-05-23). "The Complete List: 1,200 Top U.S. Schools". Newsweek. p. 1. Archived from the original on 2007-04-23. Retrieved 2007-04-25.
  4. ^ "Jefferson County IB - The Washington Post". Retrieved 2016-06-17.
  5. ^ a b "Shades Valley High -". Shades Valley High. Retrieved 2015-09-02.
  6. ^ "Jefferson County Board of Education End of Year Spotlights". May 2016.
  7. ^ a b c "JCIB School Profile". September 2015.
  8. ^ "JCIB Catalog" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-11-23.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°32′32″N 86°40′02″W / 33.54216°N 86.66720°W / 33.54216; -86.66720