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The Rock School: International Baccalaureate’s for All

The Rock School: International Baccalaureate’s for All

The Rock School: IB For All

The diploma programme offering a gateway to a bright future


Greater Gainesville’s The Rock School has sought to redefine what it means to be an International Baccalaureate (IB) student. With an “IB for All” approach, The Rock School has shattered the perception that IB is only for gifted students. Their inclusive approach aims to meet the needs of every learner with a framework that is built from the ground up.

“We are IB for All which means that if you are a student at The Rock School, you are an IB student. There is no separate program or school within a school. The benefits of IB are for all of our learners,” said Arika Heise, Principal at The Rock School.

Prior to COVID, with the sole mission of trying to turn good into great,  leadership at The Rock began to explore different educational frameworks –– until finally settling on an IB Program as the best fit for their students.

The Rock School was recently authorized to offer the Diploma Programme in grades 11 and 12 as an official IB World School.

The Diploma Programme offers students the opportunity to take courses in six subject groups. They then have the chance to sit for exams or submit work to earn IB credit. Options to pursue a full IB diploma or just take a few IB classes, with some courses allowing students to earn college credit, are also available.

The IB diploma opens doors to many universities and colleges. Students who earn a full IB diploma in Florida are automatically eligible for bright futures scholarships, omitting other requirements like the SAT.

The Rock School is also a Candidate School for the IB’s Primary Years and Middle Years programmes, expecting to complete authorization of the MYP (grades six through 10) in the fall of 2023 and PYP (grades PK through five) in fall 2024.

Once authorized and providing IB curriculum to all students in all grades, The Rock School will then be known as a full IB Continuum School. This will make them only the third such school in Florida, and one of only four IB Christian schools to offer the continuum in North America.

“One of the soft skills that marks IB is the idea of creating graduates that know how to reflect well. Honest and accurate reflection about how you learn and what you’re learning is something that is built into the program from young ages all the way to graduation. That is one of the most important benefits of IB because quality reflection will benefit you no matter what you do,” said Heise.

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The Rock School seeks to fully equip its graduates with the skills to succeed in their careers post-graduation and provide them with the educational framework to carry through their adult lives.



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