UNDER ONE ROOF: Nationally acclaimed Jefferson County IB School is moving to Fultondale

Jefferson County Schools
Rendering of the new Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School (Jefferson County Schools)

The nationally acclaimed Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School (JCIB) is moving to the former Fultondale High School off of Carson Road.

Last week, the Jefferson County Board of Education voted to accept a bid to build a new (JCIB) a new school that will house 6th through 12th grade students.

Nationally ranked

“JCIB consistently ranks as one of the best schools not just in Alabama, but in the entire nation. It only makes sense for these students to have their own campus,”  Superintendent Dr. Walter Gonsoulin said in a news release.  “I am personally excited about what the future holds for this program and these students, who are some of our best and brightest.”

Presently, JCIB students are currently split among two campuses. Middle school students go to class in Pleasant Grove, while high school students attend classes on the Shades Valley High School Campus.  

Under one roof

Jefferson County
Rendering of the new Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School (Jefferson County Schools)

“We are beyond excited to work together as a cohesive faculty on one campus.  A unified campus will foster greater teacher and student collaboration, sharing of best practices, and a unified approach to student development,” said Lori Lightsey, JCIB Principal.

Construction of the new campus will begin this fall and take two and a half years to complete at a cost of $68 million. The former Fultondale High School, site of the new campus, has been vacant since January 2021 since a tornado struck the school.

Centrally located

Superintendent Gonsoulin confirmed middle and high school students will be housed in different parts of the building.

“We were also intentional in placing this school in Fultondale as it is a central location in our district,” Gonsoulin added.

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Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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