General Information

The International Baccalaureate School at Bartow High School, an IB World School, provides students with an unrivaled educational experience. The IB is currently offered in over 3400 schools in 157 countries, making it truly international.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a global leader in international education—developing inquiring, knowledgeable, confident, and caring young people. Our programmes empower school-aged students to take ownership in their own learning and help them develop future-ready skills to make a difference and thrive in a world that is rapidly changing.

First Bell: 6:55 am
Dismissal Bell: 2:00 pm

School Information:

International Baccalaureate at Bartow High School
Address:  1270 S. Broadway Ave Bartow, FL 33830
Phone: (863) 534-0194
Fax: (863) 534-0077

Jacket PRIDE

P – Preparation

R – Respect

I – Integrity

D – Dedication

E – Engagement

Bartow High School IB Yellow Jacket Pride Logo

Why IB?

The International Baccalaureate program fulfills the requirements outlined by the state of Florida for a high school diploma; however, it goes far beyond the traditional curriculum. The IB stands strong, providing the 21st century student with the intellectual rigor and high academic standards necessary for success at the highest collegiate levels while promoting ideas of global understanding and responsible citizenship.  The IB Diploma Programme’s challenging pre-university curriculum strives to do more than any other curricula.  The IB educates the whole student, focusing on developing the capacity for critical thinking, nurturing inquiry and love of learning, and building research and problem-solving skills.  The IB experience also develops essential skills for communication and collaboration which are vital for success in collegiate and corporate environments.

IB Diploma Programme Logo

The International Baccalaureate is recognized by universities in more than 140 countries.  IB Bartow students have enrolled at some of the most prestigious universities and rigorous academic programs in the United States and around the world.  All the Florida universities recognize the IB diploma and offer college credit for IB coursework.  Many IB Diploma recipients begin college as sophomores, with 30 or more hours of college credit accumulated from their IB courses taken in high school.

Logos of various universities that recognize IB

For more information about the Benefits of IB visit

Our History

A Brief History of the International Baccalaureate School at Bartow High School

Led by former School Board member Nancy Simmons, educators and members of the Polk County community began to look for a way to challenge the county’s high school students who were looking for alternatives to an AP/Honors Program. The International Baccalaureate (IB) Program was determined to be an option worth considering. In 1993, the School Board approved the IB concept and selected Bartow High School as the site for the new school. With support from the Bartow Chamber of Commerce Education Task Force; John Stewart, Superintendent of Polk County Schools; Robert Helmick, Assistant Superintendent; Dr. Ed Vetter, Gifted Coordinator for Polk County Schools; Ernie Cooper, Bartow High School Principal; the Bartow business community and groups such as P.A.G.E. (Parents for Able-Learner & Gifted Education), the School Board gave final budget approval for the program at its meeting on January 24, 1995.

Bartow High School main building with orange door

Under the direction of Dr. Ed Vetter, IB Principal and Dr. Louise Katz, IB School Counselor, the first class of ninth grade Pre-IB students entered the program in August 1995. In July 1996, the school earned approval from the IB Organization (IBO) to offer the IB Diploma Program. IB at Bartow High School graduated its Charter Class in 1999.

The addition of the IB Program added to the already rich heritage of Bartow High School (BHS), which traces its beginnings to the first school in the City of Bartow.

Mission, Vision, & Beliefs

Mission – The mission of the International Baccalaureate School is to ensure each student has the opportunity to achieve his or her potential and creatively influence society by providing students with an advanced international curriculum. The overall Bartow High School’s mission is: Bartow High School is a cohesive and diverse learning community, promoting a global perspective. The three schools – Bartow High School, International Baccalaureate School at Bartow High School, and Summerlin Academy – are dedicated to providing distinct pathways of rigorous academic and social excellence encouraging students to achieve their greatest potential. Graduates will become contributing, influential citizens with a passion for lifelong learning.

Vision – The Vision Statement is: Bartow High School (Bartow High/IB Bartow/Summerlin Academy) will become an “A” school, graduating 100% of our students.

International Baccalaureate Learner Profile

IB Learner Profile – The IB learner profile represents 10 attributes valued by IB World Schools. We believe these attributes, and others like them, can help individuals and groups become responsible members of local, national, and global communities.

As IB learners, we strive to be:


We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life.


We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines. We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance.


We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyse and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.


We express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways. We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.


We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.


We critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others. We seek and evaluate a range of points of view, and we are willing to grow from the experience.


We show empathy, compassion and respect. We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us.


We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change.


We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives—intellectual, physical, and emotional—to achieve well-being for ourselves and others. We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live.


We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experience. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development.