Jefferson County International Baccalaureate

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Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School
JCIB Logo.png
Established 1973
School type Public
District Jefferson County Schools
Grades 9-12
Principal Dr. April Lufkin Miller
Enrollment 363 (2014)
Colors Blue and gold
Mascot Tree
Location 6100 Old Leeds Road

Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School (JCIB) is a public International Baccalaureate school located on the campus of Shades Valley High School in Irondale. The school enrolls 363 students in grades 9-12 and is a part of the Jefferson County School System. Previously known as the Resource Learning Center, Shades Valley Annex, it is consistently recognized as one of the best high schools in the country:

  • JCIB was ranked first in Alabama and 11th in the U.S. in the 2015 Washington Post study of America's Most Challenging High Schools.
  • The Daily Beast ranked JCIB first in Alabama and 13th in the U.S. in its 2014 Top High Schools ranking.
  • 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".

Student Profile

JCIB students are diverse: 58% are white, 31% are African-American, 7% are Asian-American, and 4% are Hispanic. 15% of students qualified for free or reduced price lunch.

100% of JCIB students graduate and go on to attend four-year colleges and universities. The most recent graduating class earned over $10 million in college scholarships, an average of approximately $170,000 per student.

JCIB students have an average ACT score of 30, and the average SAT score is 1,908. The most recent graduating class includes three National Merit & Achievement Finalists, 52 AP Scholars, 16 AP Scholars with Honor, 33 AP Scholars with Distinction, and three AP National Scholars.


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.


AP & IB Courses

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 72% of the 2014 graduating class received an IB diploma.

Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) Work/Study Program

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

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 14:1. 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.

Student Activities

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, 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, scholars bowl, and science olympiad


  • The Daily Beast (August 27, 2014). "Top High Schools, 2014." The Daily Beast.
  • Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School. (2011, May 21). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21:45, June 12, 2011, from [1]
  • Kantrowitz, Barbara; Julie Scelfo; William Lee Adams (May 23, 2006). "The Complete List: 1,200 Top U.S. Schools". Newsweek.
  • Matthews, Jay (April 19, 2015). "Many US schools still resist challenging their students." Washington Post.

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