All of the following advanced programs are offered in the Lee County School District; however, some of the programs are only offered at designated schools within each zone.  For more information about any of the following programs, please contact your child’s school counselor.

Dual Enrollment (Available to all high school students)

The Dual Enrollment Program allows eligible high school students to enroll in a college course creditable toward both high school graduation and an associate or baccalaureate degree or a career and technical certificate.  Eligible high school students must be enrolled in a Florida public secondary school. Only students enrolled in post-secondary instruction that is creditable toward the high school diploma shall be classified as dual enrollment. Students who are eligible for dual enrollment shall be permitted to enroll in dual enrollment courses conducted during school hours or after school hours as determined by the School District. Any student so enrolled is exempt from the payment of registration, tuition, and laboratory fees.

The Department of Education adopted guidelines to achieve comparability across school districts of both student qualifications and teacher qualifications for dual enrollment courses. Students must:

  • Demonstrate readiness for college-level coursework and must have a 3.0 unweighted GPA to enroll in college courses
  • Demonstrate readiness for career-level coursework and must have a 2.0 unweighted GPA to enroll in career courses
  • Achieve the minimum PERT, SAT or ACT scores as defined in the inter-institutional articulation agreement

Career and Technical Dual Enrollment (Available to all high school students)

Fort Myers Technical College and Cape Coral Technical College provide advanced instruction for high school students who demonstrate an interest and readiness to engage in post-secondary certificate career prep courses. The technical colleges offer high school students who qualify for dual enrollment an opportunity to earn credit toward both a high school diploma and a post-secondary career preparatory certificate. Elective credits based on a wide variety of Career and Technical program choices are available.

Full-Time Early Admission (Available to all high school students)

Early admission shall be in the form of dual enrollment when students enroll in a post-secondary institution on a full-time basis in courses that are creditable toward high school diplomas and an associate or baccalaureate degree. Students enrolled are exempt from the payment of registration, matriculation, and lab fees. This program allows students to enter college following completion of grade 11 (completion of grade 10 with special permission from the school principal or designee) and to substitute two semesters of college work or its equivalent for one year of high school, provided requirements for mastery of District performance standards and statewide, standardized assessments have been met.

Advanced Placement (Course availability varies at each high school)

Advanced Placement (AP) is the program available to eligible secondary students offered by the Advanced Placement Program administered by the College Board. Post-secondary credit for AP courses shall be awarded to students whoscore a minimum of 3 on a 5-point scale on the corresponding AP exam.

AP Capstone

(Available to students at Cypress Lake High School, Ida S. Baker High School, Island Coast High School, Mariner High School, and South Fort Myers High School)

AP Capstone is an innovative diploma program that provides students with an opportunity to engage in rigorous scholarly practice of the core academic skills necessary for successful college completion. AP Capstone is built on the foundation of two courses — AP Seminar and AP Research — and is designed to complement and enhance the in-depth, discipline-specific study provided through AP courses. It cultivates curious, independent, and collaborative scholars and prepares them to make logical, evidence-based decisions. AP Capstone is a program built on student customization. Students take multiple AP classes in areas of their own interest in conjunction with the required courses of AP Seminar and AP Research.

International Baccalaureate Program

IB Primary Years Program (PYP) (Available to students at Heights Elementary)

The PYP is a curriculum framework designed for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. It focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside. It is defined by six transdisciplinary themes of global significance, explored using knowledge and skills derived from six subject areas, with a powerful emphasis on inquiry-based learning.

IB Middle Years Program (MYP) (Available to students at Lexington Middle School and Mariner Middle School)

The MYP is a challenging framework that encourages students to make practical connections between their studies and the real world.  The MYP aims to develop active learners and internationally minded young people who can empathize with others and pursue lives of purpose and meaning.  The program empowers students to inquire into a wide range of issues and ideas of significance locally, nationally and globally. The result is young people who are creative, critical and reflective thinkers. 

Access and eligibility

The MYP is open to any student aged 11 to 16, at schools that have been authorized to implement the program. The MYP is inclusive by design; students of all interests and academic abilities can benefit from their participation. Implementation of the MYP is a whole-school endeavor, although the program can accommodate academically-selective models.  

How the MYP Works

The MYP curriculum framework comprises 8 subject groups, providing a broad and balanced education for early adolescents.  Students take the core courses of language and literature, individuals and societies, mathematics, sciences, physical and health education, language acquisition, arts, and design. 

The MYP helps students develop both subject-specific and interdisciplinary understanding. The MYP curriculum framework includes:

  • Approaches to learning (ATL), helping students learn how to learn by developing skills for research, critical and creative thinking, communication, collaboration, and self-management
  • Key and related concepts, helping students explore big ideas that matter
  • Global contexts, helping students understand the relevance and importance of their study for understanding their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet.

The MYP culminates in a Community service project. Students complete a significant piece of work over an extended period of time, encouraging them to consolidate their learning and reflect on the outcomes of their work.

IB Diploma Program (DP) (Available to students at Riverdale High School, Fort Myers High School, and Cape Coral High School)

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program is designed to meet the highest standards required of any high school student in the world. Successful completion of the Diploma Program earns the student a diploma recognized for university admission throughout the world and for course credit and academic placement at 1000 leading colleges and universities in the United States.

The IB Diploma Program is a system of syllabuses and examinations based on the idea that general education at the upper secondary level should encompass the development of all the main powers of the mind through which the student interprets, modifies, and enjoys his/her environment.

Embracing the last two years of secondary education, the curricula of the Diploma Program incorporates standards that assume a high level of achievement during the prior years. The subjects are outlined according to six areas:

  • Language A (English)
  • Language B (Foreign Language)
  • Individuals and Societies (Social Studies)
  • Experimental Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Arts and Humanities

In addition to the above courses, the IB Diploma Candidate must also take a unique course called Theory of Knowledge, participate in an intensive community service project, and write an extended essay. A Pre-Diploma curriculum for the ninth and tenth grades has been developed to prepare students for the full IB diploma that they can earn in the eleventh and twelfth grades.

Advanced International Certificate of Education Programs

Middle School Program (Cambridge Secondary 1)
(Available to students at Bonita Springs Middle Center for the Arts, Caloosa Middle School, Harns Marsh Middle School, and Lehigh Acres Middle School)

Cambridge Secondary offers a flexible curriculum with integrated assessment. Typically for 11-14 year olds, Cambridge Secondary develops learners' skills and understanding in Mathematics, English and Science for the first three years of secondary education. It builds on the foundations of Cambridge Primary, but it is not essential to have completed Cambridge Primary before beginning Cambridge Secondary. Cambridge Secondary provides excellent preparation for Cambridge Secondary 2 at the high school level. The curriculum sets clear objectives for the first three years of secondary education in English, Mathematics and Science, providing a natural progression from Cambridge Primary.

High School Program (Cambridge Secondary 2)
(Available to students at East Lee County High School, Estero High School, Lehigh Senior High School, and North Fort Myers High School)

The Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) is an international pre-university curriculum and examination system. It is a flexible, broad based curriculum which is being offered worldwide in schools and colleges through the University of Cambridge Local Examination Syndicate (ICLES) in the United Kingdom. For over 160 years the prestigious University of Cambridge has been setting worldwide curriculum standards through their examinations.

American universities have responded enthusiastically to AICE. The Florida Legislature has identified AICE as an acceleration mechanism that features courses written specifically as preparation for honors degree programs. It encourages high academic standards and provides an ideal basis for study at the college and university level.

The Cambridge AICE Program is intended for highly motivated, academically driven students. High schools offer a Pre-AICE program (IGCSE) for freshman with advancement to the AICE program beginning sophomore year.

Upon completion of the program, students will:

  • Receive a diploma from their high school and the University of Cambridge
  • Earn the Florida Bright Futures 100% Tuition Academic Scholars Award
  • Earn up to 45 college credits

Completion of the AICE curriculum requires students to complete a minimum of six AICE courses and take the exams for each, with at least one course and exam being from each of the following three subject areas:

  • Math & Sciences: Biology, Math, Physics, Chemistry
  • Languages: English Language, French Language, Spanish Language
  • Arts & Humanities: English Literature, Geography, World History

These six courses and examinations are completed during the Junior and Senior years. Students who complete the curriculum and take the exams will be recognized as AICE Program Graduates.

AICE program students are exempt from taking HOPE, Economics and Art. However, if at any time students are no longer participating in the AICE program, these courses would have to be completed as a requirement for graduation.

Gifted Program (Available to all students)

In Florida, the Department of Education defines a gifted student as one who has superior intellectual development and is capable of high performance, including those with demonstrated achievement and/or potential ability.

To be eligible for gifted program services, a student must demonstrate a need for a program, a majority of characteristics of gifted students according to a standard scale or checklist, and superior intellectual development as measured by an intelligence quotient of two standard deviations or more above the mean on an individually administered standardized test of intelligence. A gifted student may also be a member of an under-represented group and meet the criteria specified in the approved school district plan for increasing participation of under-represented groups in gifted programs.

The needs of the gifted are unique to the individual. Gifted students have strengths and weaknesses just as other students. A program that provides for their needs is important in helping students develop their abilities. To help meet these needs, Lee County offers a menu of services for the gifted. Students are eligible for gifted services from kindergarten through grade 12. All Lee County Schools offer services for gifted students.