International Baccalaureate Program

  • IB LogoThe International Baccalaureate program is a rigorous pre-university course of study that meets the needs of the highly motivated secondary school student. Designed as a comprehensive curriculum that allows its graduates to fulfill requirements of the various national systems of education, the IB program is based on the pattern of no single country. It provides students of different linguistic, cultural, and educational backgrounds with the intellectual, social, and critical perspectives necessary for the adult world that lies ahead of them. 

    The education of the "whole person" takes on a special significance in the twenty-first century when knowledge continues to expand dramatically; when advanced technologies and global economies have tied together vastly different cultures; when the world is bound too closely for provincial ideologies to guide political thought; when to exist in a world community requires appreciation and understanding of cultural diversity; and when cooperation alone will solve global problems. It is essential therefore that academic training provide students with the values and opportunities that will enable them to succeed in the competitive modern world. 

    All IB Diploma candidates are required to engage in the study of Languages, Sciences, Mathematics, and Humanities in the final two years of their secondary schooling. 

    The high standards implicit in the IB examinations assume high levels of achievement and preparation at the middle school and Florida’s Pre-IB levels. This program is a deliberate compromise between the preference for specialization in some countries and the emphasis on breadth often preferred in others. The intent is that students should learn how to learn, how to analyze, and how to reach considered conclusions about people, their languages and literature, their ways in society, and the scientific forces of the environment. 

    Since the International Baccalaureate Office was established in Geneva, Switzerland in 1965, the IB Program has grown to almost 5,000 schools in 150 countries. Working in three official languages (English, French, and Spanish), IB enjoys the respect and support of many governments, colleges, and universities. 

    Students are often accorded advanced standing in college based on their IB work. Significant numbers of IB Diploma holders both from within and outside North America have gained admission to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, Stanford, MIT, the University of Chicago, and other prominent institutions. 



  • IB Administrative Team:

    Dr. Joe Williams, IB Coordinator (850-414-5036)

    Dr. Aretha McNeil, AP Coordinator and Assistant IB Coordinator (850-414-5500)

    Mr. Fred Varn, IB Academic Dean (850-414-5597)


    IB Open House (Click link and enter passcode listed below): January 19, 2022

    Passcode: .#B4n3cm


    Tuesday, October 26th – PSAT Day at James S. Rickards High School

    The PSAT/NMSQT (or National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) is a preliminary version of the SAT. Taking the PSAT helps prepare students to take the SAT or ACT, and a great score on the PSAT can also open the door to National Merit Scholarships and other awards. The PSAT will be administered to all 10th-grade students free of charge; 9th grade, 11th grade, and non-Rickards students wanting to take the PSAT may register to take the exam. The cost of the exam is $18.00. Registration and payment for the exam can be completed through our e-funds system.  Study packets for sophomores will be distributed in their English class. Study packets for other students may be picked up in the main office. Students are to bring # 2 pencils and an approved calculator (listed in the practice book). In order to qualify for a National Merit Scholarship, students must take the PSAT/NMSQT during the 11th grade.  Scores from previous years cannot be counted for National Merit Scholarship qualification.

    2021-2022 National Merit Semifinalists Announced:  Please congratulate our six Semifinalists in the 2021-2022 National Merit Scholarship competition: Dylan Epstein-Gross, Jeffrey George, Ishrit Gupta, Prabhas Kurapati, Christopher Salvador, and Farzan Shiju.  We are proud of these outstanding IB students for their academic achievement!

    IB Senior College Application Day: IB Senior College Application Day will take place on Thursday, October 14, 2021, on campus here at Rickards.  IB seniors will go straight to the cafeteria and check in with Dr. Williams there at 7:30 am.  We will be in the cafeteria from 1st through 4th period, break for lunch, and return to the auditorium during 5th and 6th periods.  Dr. Williams will be taking attendance, and students who do not participate will be marked absent.  Students will have the opportunity to work on any aspect of their college applications for the entire day, and university representatives will be on hand to answer student questions about admissions and financial aid.  Students should bring either their Chromebook or a personal laptop to work on their applications.  Whatever device they bring needs to be fully charged, as access to power sources to recharge devices will be limited.