The difference between an International Baccalaureate (IB) or Advanced Placement (AP) program


An Interview with Jeri Williar, Director of College Placement and Counseling at Admiral Farragut Academy. Williar earned her bachelor’s in Sociology from Eastern Illinois University and her master’s in Counselor Education from the University of North Florida. She has over thirty years of experience in college admissions, college registration, high school college placement, and guidance counseling.


Often times I am asked, “what type of program should I find for my child? Should they be in an IB program? Should they be in an AP program? Should they be in a Dual Enrollment program? What should I do?” And I respond that it’s an individual decision and you have to look at your child.

For example, parents have heard of and frequently inquire about the IB program. It is a prestigious program but I tell parents there is a place for it and there are students that belong in that program. See, with IB you have to be good at every academic area to do well and you can’t pick and choose your subject areas. A lot of students will apply to IB programs at high schools, but the first two years are pre-IB, not IB. I always tell parents to ask the high school about how many students are accepted as freshmen and how many students stay in the program as juniors. There’s usually a large difference in the numbers because in the first two years the students start to realize, “okay, I’m strong in math and science, but I’m not strong in English so I am struggling in the program” or vice versa. You have to be strong in all areas to be competitive in regard to earning the IB Diploma.

But what Farragut is doing is offering the AP Capstone Diploma, which is, in essence, similar – yet different. You get to pick and choose what AP courses you want to take so if the student’s strength isn’t in math, then the student can take AP Psychology or AP History. It gives students the ability to pick the courses that they are strong in.

Anytime parents are looking at these types of courses, they have to look at their student and they have to make sure that the student is ready for the courses they are enrolled in. The worst thing that can happen is that you’ve put your student in courses that they’re not ready for and they don’t do well, and it ultimately hurts the student’s self-esteem, their transcript, and their course progression. I guide all of our students to think about themselves and what they like. When students enjoy the coursework they will often succeed.

Religious Vs. Non-religious Education in Private Schools

Lower School Playground

What is the best choice when considering a Religious Vs. Non-religious education in private schools? There are certain parameters parents should consider when choosing between a religious or non-religious school. The values your children grow up on will be the values that shape their adulthood. Does the school you decide to enroll them have to be religious to be good? Read more

Upper School Math teacher Amy Smith uses teaching techniques that earn her $10,000 (video included)

Amy Smith

During the 2016-17 school year, Upper School Math teacher Amy Smith was busy finding creative ways to teach her students math. This innovative approach to teaching earned her a $10,000 award by the Barrett Family Foundation. Read more

Five Reasons Military School May Be Perfect for Your Teen

There are many reasons a teen may choose a military school instead of a traditional private school. A common misconception is that all military school’s are “like boot camp” and that is far from the truth. Ask yourself: Does your teen thrive in a structured environment? Is it important that they are involved and belong to something bigger than themselves? Are they interested in serving their country?  Read more

Boarding School Solution for Working Parents

Family life is challenging for everybody, bar none. A boarding school solution is great for families with the normal issues of time, distance, and education. Many boarding schools have strict discipline and training. They have modern facilities, provide a safe environment, and create a bonded community. Most young people who come out of boarding schools are well adjusted. They become mature adults that contribute to and make a difference in the world.

Boarding School Solution for Working Parents

A Boarding School Solution Solves Complicated Arrangements

Full time boarding is perfect for when family or work circumstances make full time care of your child difficult, and you don’t want to disrupt their school life. Those working shift work, freelancers, or moving frequently have their minds put at ease knowing their children are being well looked after.

No one would suggest that challenges don’t exist when placing your child in boarding school. However, there are tremendous benefits. Change is a normal part of life so why not make it a positive thing?

Boarding School Encourages Educational Development

(Boarding) schools demand the high quality teaching which your child receives. Teachers with advanced degrees usually have a wealth of experience and knowledge in their subject area as well as in the art of teaching.

At Farragut, there is a passion to infuse learning into each student.  We have a small teacher-to-student ratio that allows our teachers to work more closely with each individual. There is no substitute for the personal hands on instruction delivered by instructors who care. The results are astounding because it allows students to achieve their full potential.

Boarding School Enhances Youth Development

Forbes published an article years ago that still holds true today,

The vast majority of boarding schools still adhere to a proven formula–exercise the body and brain with academics, team athletics, and fine arts. Perhaps the greatest benefit of boarding school is the constant presence of your child’s classmates and friends. In the vast majority of cases they pursue academic growth with vigor. Many boarding school students go to college almost over-prepared for the tasks at hand.

Think of that – a young person entering college “over-prepared!” Sadly, many enter college as if they were going to “High School 2.0” except they’re older. Young adults from boarding schools have an upper hand. If you think that’s unfair, you can always reach out and help your neighbor’s child with this, but your main effort should be to help your child best prepare for a brave new world.

It’s well worth your time to explore the advantages of boarding school at Admiral Farragut Academy, and the benefits it can provide for your family later.

Boarding School Abroad Develops College Skills

The leap from high school to college can seem overwhelming for teens. Parents and students are finding that study abroad can help them not only survive but thrive. Also, it helps them build skills that colleges are looking for. Our students are aware of the benefits and challenges of living away from home. Boarding school abroad develops college skills and provides options for a broader experience from which students can prepare for their next life adventure.

Boarding School Abroad Develops College Skills

Boarding School Abroad Develops College Skills

At Farragut, we take college preparation for all of our boarding school students very seriously. Our teachers and staff understand the importance of producing well-rounded and curious students who will thrive in a more rigorous college environment.

One of the ways we encourage students to face these challenges is to study abroad. Farragut has found that students who choose to study abroad while still in high school benefit in the following ways:

  • Increased maturity
  • Global consciousness
  • Broader worldview
  • Proficiency in a second language
  • Learning in different cultures

All of these attributes are attractive to college admission boards, especially as the competition for entrance to universities grows. These experiences also dovetail with Farragut’s college prep courses and curriculum which have been designed to treat education as a discovery.

Boarding School Options

Farragut offers boarding for high school students (grades 8-12) through the academic year. Also, there are summer boarding school options. Each of these experiences give students confidence while learning social skills. Additionally, they enhance their academics in the areas of Science, Technology, Mathematics, and Engineering.

Farragut is dedicated to preparing students for success as they move on to college. This is reflected in our summer boarding school, high school boarding, and study abroad programs. We ask our students and their families to adhere to our mission and values, emphasizing the importance of integrity, self-discipline, perseverance, wellness, and fitness. We find that with parental support, Farragut students thrive throughout their academic careers on our campus and off.

Discover Next Steps

If you’re interested in finding out more about boarding school at Farragut including college prep tips and tricks, we invite you to reach out to us today for more information.

10 Reasons Boarding School Is A Great Option For Parents Living And Working At U.S. Embassies

For parents with jobs that demand more than the average professional’s commitment, it can be difficult to find an education for embassy workers’ children. They want one that truly emphasizes academics while also encouraging students to push their boundaries and explore. There are 10 reasons embassy workers choose boarding schools.  Parents who live and work at U.S. Embassies find boarding schools to be an excellent option for their high school aged children.

10 Reasons Boarding School Is A Great Option For Parents Living And Working At U.S. Embassies

10 Reasons Embassy Workers Choose Boarding Schools

Here are 10 ways that year-round boarding school or summer boarding school, such as the programs offered at Admiral Farragut Academy, are great options for parents working at U.S. Embassies:

1) Academic Excellence:

We realize that academics are of utmost importance to accomplished individuals, such as U.S. Embassy workers. Boarding schools are known for their high academic excellence, and Farragut is no exception. Our teachers and staff have developed a well-rounded curriculum, including STEM and hands-on experiences, field trips and travel.

2) College Prep:

At Farragut, we want all of our students to embrace a life of intellectual curiosity. We want them to stretch their limits. We work closely with students to aid them in preparing for college entrance exams, admissions interviews, and applications. Boarding school also provides an excellent “test run” environment for students to adjust to college dorm life. Also, it provides an excellent education for embassy workers’ children.

3) Discipline:

One of Admiral Farragut Academy’s primary values is discipline. It is highly esteemed by professionals like those who work at U.S. Embassies. We encourage students to understand and honor the importance of instilling discipline into their routines. Their parents obviously have achieved this and so can they. The mandatory Naval Science program helps to instill discipline to all high school students at Farragut.

4) Peer Support and Motivation:

High school boarding or summer boarding school can be tough for many students, especially with busy parents who live abroad. Peer groups are terrific to help students cope with being away from home or for dealing with academic rigors.

5) Diversity:

Our students come from varied backgrounds and many different walks of life which is important to parents who live a diverse life as well. It is also important for students to experience this for when they go onto college.

6) Distraction-Free Environment:

While life in a U.S. Embassy might be glamorous, it can also be distracting. In a boarding school environment, such as Farragut, students are able to avoid distraction and focus on their studies.

7) Extra-Curricular Activities:

It is important for Farragut students to nourish their hearts and bodies as well as their minds. We have many athletic opportunities to build camaraderie and teamwork. Also, we have other extra-curricular options to round out a student’s education.

8) Safety:

We know that U.S. Embassy personnel are highly vigilant about safety and security measures. Farragut takes the safety of its students very seriously and adheres to the Guardian SafeSchool Program®.

9) Home Away From Home:

Farragut dorms are designed to help students feel more at home. Our dorms are supervised 24/7. Parents living abroad can rest assured in their children’s safety and comfort.

10) Time and Attention:

Our sole responsibility at Admiral Farragut Academy is to provide a safe and academically rigorous environment for all students. We are dedicated to providing students with the time and attention they need. Parents are enabled to do important work around the globe.

These are 10 reasons embassy workers choose boarding schools. Hope you enjoyed them and they help you in making decisions for your child’s education.

Try Summer Boarding School

If you’re trying to determine whether boarding school is the right option for your high schooler, consider our summer boarding school program. With 2-, 4-, and 6-week sessions, it’s the perfect way for you and your teen to explore the benefits of boarding school. The staff at Admiral Farragut Academy looks forward to speaking with you regarding your family’s needs for boarding school. In conclusion, we take pride in helping to make the lives of U.S. personnel just a bit easier as they represent our country throughout the world.

Attending Summer Camp Boarding School

Summer Camp Boarding School is a proven life-changer for many people. Those who have had the privilege to be in one almost always cherish the memory.

Attending Summer Camp Boarding School

Nothing Surpasses Summer Camp Boarding School!

At Farragut, we encourage our summer camp boarding school as the perfect introduction to boarding in general. Often parents and young people are hesitant to consider the lifestyle change that comes with a boarding school but once they experience it, they are convinced!

Last year was a tremendous success:

With a total of 77 campers attending from 10 different states and 11 other countries, the summer-long boarding program brought together students from around the world to the campus in St. Petersburg for education and fun.

Summer Camp Boarding School is about BONDING with Peers

Any type of week-long camp brings young people together. The friendships that start at a camp often last a lifetime. Camp at a boarding school is even better. The staff and leadership know how to do it better because they do it all year round.

It’s about DISCIPLINE

Why not do the right thing? Send your young person to a camp that just might change their life. To some, discipline is a thing to avoid but to successful people, it is a goal. For decades people have found that discipline in boarding camp carries over to life in general.

It’s about PREPARATION for the Future

Attendees will not only be able to strengthen their academics but will also learn about different countries and cultures from the diverse group of other camp-goers. In the past years, attendees represented many areas of the world including China, Colombia, Denmark, Italy, Peru, Russia, Spain, and Ukraine to name a few, as well as numerous states within the United States of America.

Farragut has the expertise, facilities, and personnel to provide the best experience for young people. There’s no reason to stop learning and growing just because it’s summer.

Summer Camp Boarding School is about FUN

Obviously, camp is fun! But it’s useful fun. It’s fun with a purpose. The things we do at  Admiral Farragut Academy summer camp boarding school build character, skill, and integrity. Please read more about our great 2017 summer camps and consider this year’s program. It’s never too early to start the ball rolling for a bright future!

How Can Coaches Deal with Bullying?

No matter what sport you coach, bullying shouldn’t be acceptable on your team. If you coach for a long time, you’ll find that some form or another of bullying is almost unavoidable in competitive play. But, that doesn’t mean that it’s acceptable behavior from your team. Here are five things that you, as a coach, can do to deal with and prevent future bullying on your team. Read more

Why Choose a Boarding School in Florida?

Volleyball players at beach

Explore 13 great reasons to benefit from choosing a boarding school in Florida.

There are many benefits as to why students should attend boarding school, but what does Florida offer that other locations cannot? Well, if you’ve ever been to Florida you may be able to answer that question rather quickly. Here we list 13 reasons that may have you convinced to choose a boarding school in Florida. Read more