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What Is IB?

IB stands for International Baccalaureate.  IB is a rigorous, liberal arts program that offers a top-level education in more than 2,000 schools and in 138 countries.  Please visit for more general information regarding IB schools.  At the PHS IB program, students receive college level instruction and can earn college credits through their AP and IB classes.  IB is recognized and respected by colleges and universities, including Ivy League schools.


Who should consider applying for the IB program?  

The PHS IB program is designed to prepare students for college. Students who like an academic challenge and want to be highly prepared for college should apply for the IB program.  In addition, students who like to learn, have been successful in school, and have college aspirations, especially Ivy League schools, would benefit from the IB program.


What advantages does the IB program offer?

IB is the best college/university preparatory program in the area.  While dual enrollment and other AP classes are available at surrounding schools, universities and colleges value IB as the most rigorous high school curriculum.  In fact, many colleges exclusively recruit students from the PHS IB program and only visit our school when in the area.


The IB program challenges students in both their strengths and weaknesses, while instilling the benefits of being a well-rounded individual.  IB provides a “private school” education in a public school setting with likeminded students for no cost.  All registration and exams fees are paid for by the district which equals thousands of dollars per student.


We hear that students have “no life” outside of school – is that true?

While it is true that to be successful in the IB program, a student must put in more effort than a traditional program.  Homework and studying is approximately 2-3 hours per night.  Many assignments are long term so students are able to manage their time accordingly. One goal of the IB program is to create a well rounded individual so students are encouraged to participate in a wide variety of outside interests.  95% of the IB students are active members in 2 or more clubs/sports.  If you have this concern, ask current IB students if they have a life outside of school.  In the Fall of 2012, we have implemented the PHS IB testing calendar and homework policy in order for students to have a manageable and balanced workload.


Can I enroll in the IB program if I do not live in the PHS school district? If so, is transportation available?

Yes, students can apply to the IB program if they do not live in the PHS district.  PHS is the only school that offers the program in Escambia or Santa Rosa County so the program is available for all, even students who live across the Alabama border.  There are some center to center bus routes available for students which parents are responsible to transport their student to the bus stop.  Also, some students carpool with other IB classmates in their area.  You may contact the director of transportation for specifics on bus routes at (850) 429-2949.


What are the requirements to be admitted into the program?

The following criteria are expected for admission into the IB program:

  • A/B average on most recent report card
  • FCAT scores for Reading- level 4 or higher
  • FCAT scores for Math-level 3 or higher
    • Standardized tests will be scored for students who did not take FCAT
    • Four satisfactory teacher recommendations in different subject areas
    • Short essay representing quality writing skills
    • No serious discipline infraction or repeated history of disciplinary problems
    • No persistent attendance problems


Is PHS a safe environment?

PHS is a safe environment.  If you ask any of our current or former IB students, they will testify to the same notation.  Our Resource Officer has worked in other high schools and states that PHS is one of the safest in the county.  Our campus is locked and secured throughout the entire day.  All visitors are required to check in at the front office and provide identification before entering the locked facilities. We have a state of the art camera system which is monitored by the resource officers regularly.  PHS has a zero tolerance policy for discipline problems which has enhanced the school climate during the past five years.


What if my child needs to take a bus to school but lives out of the PHS district?

There are multiple center to center bus routes where you can drop off your child to be bused to PHS. Transportation accommodations must be requested electronically and will be processed in the order they are received. Seat space is limited so be sure to apply ASAP. Requests must be submitted by July 15th to be considered. Please visit: for more information.


How can I sign up to receive notifications and information from the IB office?

To receive information and updates for the IB Class of 2023, text @ib2023phs to the number 81010.


How can I enroll my student in their classes?

Please fill out the green course registration card you received in the mail and return it to the IB office no later than February 22nd. Be sure to rank your elective choices from 1-4 on the lines provided on the back. Ms. Powers will be collecting these cards at public middle schools in Escambia County. If she has not collected yours, you may return it to the IB office during office hours no later than February 22nd.


Does my student have to take a placement test to enroll in their classes?

A qualifying math assessment is only for students interested in taking Geometry Honors and Algebra 2 Honors or are currently enrolled in Geometry Honors in 8th grade. This qualifying assessment is on Saturday, May 11th at 9 am at PHS in Room 17. A qualifying Spanish assessment is only for students currently enrolled in Spanish 1 and are interested in taking Pre-IB Spanish 2 as a freshman. This qualifying assessment is on Saturday, May 11th at 12 pm at PHS in room 29. 


When will my child receive his or her schedule?

Students will receive their schedules at the general Freshman Orientation this date is not set yet and will be sent our through email and Remind. Students will walk to each class period to receive a brief overview from their teachers and become familiar with the school. Schedules will not be available before orientation.


When does school begin?

School begins August 12th at 8:20am (late bell rings at 8:25am) and ends at 3:10pm. Please know that students are allowed to come before school starts with teacher permission only to receive extra help or tutoring. Please plan your vacations accordingly as missing school can be a determinant to your student’s success especially with the rigor of the program at the high school level. 


All incoming private and out of county students need to bring the following information to the PHS IB office:

-Proof of Residency: Utility bill only (gas, water, electric)

-Current Immunization: D680 form (CODE 8)

-Copy of social security card (will be shredded once entered)

-Copy of birth certificate

-Private and out of county students must have a current physical completed within one year prior to the first day of school (August 12, 2018-August 12, 2019)

-Please have these documents to Mrs. Stack no later than March 29th in the IB office (Room 49).


Is there a list of school supplies I need to get for my student?

There is no official school supplies list. We encourage students to have a planner, pens and pencils, notebooks, paper, and folders/binders for each of their classes. Students should develop an organization system to be successful in the IB Program.


Meghan Greskovich [Washington & Lee University] When I chose IB as the place I would attend four years of high school, I realized I was entering a program that would provide me with consistent challenges, provide a solid educational foundation that could give me an edge when applying to competitive colleges and university all over the nation, and also give me the necessary preparation and background needed to succeed in the college of my choice. While in the program, I played a sport year round and served on student government all four years. Though this added to the difficulty of balancing schoolwork, varsity sports, and extracurricular activities, it enabled me to attain the two most important qualities a student can have: confidence & time management. Confidence that assured me I could take on any challenge and how to manage my time while being a well rounded individual. Without these two qualities, college would now be an overbearing and rather daunting experience. I can attribute my current ease, preparedness and success in college to the IB program. After coming to a university in another region of the country, with students from all over, where most attended nationally recognized top tier boarding schools and preparatory academies, has truly allowed me to realize all that IB gave me over the past four years that has put me on the same level playing field as my peers as well as an academic edge in regards to time management and taking advanced classes as a freshman. Even though at times while I was in the program I wondered whether it would pay off, within my first month of college I have come to realize it was all worth it.


Sami Alsheikh [MIT] The IB program at Pensacola High is intense but completely worth it. Although college is definitely not easy, IB has equipped me to work the best way I can. I think that at every level, students will face increasingly challenging subject content and a growing workload. To cope with this intensity, every student has a method that works best for him or her. IB allowed me to discover my unique approach to tackling tough subject material while maintaining a balance with my non-academic life. I am so thankful that I undertook the task of learning my limits and developing personalized study habits while I still had access to the awesome teachers that IB has to offer. This way, I learned to make time for the extracurricular activities I really cared about: varsity tennis, table tennis club, frisbee club, math club, and teaching. On top of my self-development at IB through academics and extracurricular activities, I find that being surrounded by motivated individuals kept me on the right track. If you’re willing to work to learn more about the world but more importantly your own abilities, IB is simply the way to go. I cannot emphasize enough how glad I am that I decided to attend the IB program at Pensacola High.


~ Mary-Grace Reeves [Harvard] Though the IB Diploma Program at PHS may only last four years, the education prepares students for a lifetime of scholastic achievement, empowering them through a heightened awareness of their roles as rising leaders on a global level. Selecting where I would attend high school was personally a decision which I considered very thoughtfully, as I questioned what the IB curriculum could provide that other area high schools could not. Four years later, I will strongly affirm that selecting IB was the best choice. Yes, the course work is incredibly rigorous, and it is very demanding to balance extracurriculars and academics at the pace IB requires. Outside of the classroom, in addition to participating in clubs at PHS, I complemented my education by continuing to devote much of my time to dancing classical ballet as a member of my studio’s ballet company. I grew through CAS, an opportunity I encourage students to embrace, as it allows us to apply our global IB education to make a difference as youth. Now, as a freshman at Harvard College, I honestly believe that there is no better preparation for the rigors of college academics than the IB Program. PHS brings the message of IB to life with an amazing faculty that is unmatched at other high schools. The academic lessons, classroom memories, and friendships from IB will last forever.