Advanced Academics &

Career and Technical Education

Elementary Advanced Academics - Middle School Advanced Academics

High School Advanced Academics - Career and Technical Education

Elementary Advanced Academics

Highlands Advanced Academics Rising Together (HAART) is a program that serves advanced students in grades K-8 in all Highlands County elementary and middle schools. HAART provides high-achieving learners with curriculum that will academically challenge them through rigor and acceleration, with enrichment opportunities and higher expectations.

Middle School Advanced Academics


    • All middle schools will offer advanced academic classes in four core content areas:
            • Language Arts
            • Mathematics
            • Social Studies
            • Science
    • Rubrics will determine placement in an advanced academic class.
            • Priority placement is given to students identified as gifted.
    • Advanced academic students are given the opportunity to participate in a school level science fair.
            • A research class is available as support.
            • Students do not need to enroll in a class to participate in the science fair.
    • Teachers will implement differentiation and curriculum compacting.
    • All teachers will participate in advanced academic staff development activities at the district level, be gifted endorsed or work toward endorsement by taking at least one class per year. (SBHC 2215.01)

    • The following criteria is considered for a student to qualify to take an advanced course:

1. Teacher recommendation,

2. GPA in the specific content area and overall GPA,

4. FSA/FCAT score in the specific content area (on the most recent EOC/FSA reading test for social science course,

5. Placement test if available,

6. Performance Matters, iReady, FAIR scores,

7. Giftedness,

8. Attendance and conduct record

    • A parent may request that their child participate in an ACCEL (Academically Challenging Curriculum and Enhance Learning) program. If a student is allowed to participate in an ACCEL program, a performance contract must be executed by the student, parent and principal. The performance contract must include minimum attendance and conduct requirements; additional requirements may be established.


A middle school student may take courses designated in the Florida Course Code Directory as grades 9-12. These courses/credits may be used to satisfy high school graduation requirements and Florida Academic Scholars award requirements (F.S. 1003.428). They may take place at the assigned middle school or at a Highlands County high school or other than a Highlands County school as authorized by the Department of Curriculum and Instruction Administrator.

Students taking high school credit courses on the middle school campus are required to meet all expectations for earning high school credit.

• A student enrolled in a high school course requiring a state EOC assessment must take the EOC

• A student does not have to pass the EOC in order to get high school credit

• The Algebra, Geometry, Biology, US History EOC (FSA and FSAA) constitutes 30% of the student’s final grade

• A student must pass the Algebra EOC in order to earn a standard diploma

• A student is not required to take the corresponding subject and grade level statewide assessment

Beginning with 2012-2013 school year, to earn high school credit for Geometry (FSA and FSAA), a middle grade student must take the Geometry assessment EOC which constitutes 30% of the student’s final grade and earn a passing grade in the course.

To earn high school credit for a Biology course (FSA and FSAA), a middle grade student must take the Biology EOC assessment which constitutes 30% of the student’s final grade and earn a passing grade in the course.

A student with a disability, as defined in F.S. 1007.02(2), for whom the IEP committee determines that an end-of-course assessment cannot accurately measure the student’s abilities, taking into consideration all allowable accommodations, shall have the end-of- course assessment results waived for the purpose of determining the student’s course grade and completing requirements for middle grades promotion. (F.S. 1003.4156)

Scheduling conflicts, course offerings, and course prerequisite requirements may limit participation in high school courses.

When enrolled in a course at a school other than a Highlands County school, the parent(s) is solely responsible for monitoring student progress. Failure to successfully complete a course may result in consequences that impact the student’s eligibility for promotion. Counselors must inform parents and students taking high school credit while in middle school about the Grade Forgiveness Policy.

All high school credit being earned at the middle school must be reported on a report card and academic history.

High School Advanced Academics

  • ACCEL - (Florida Statute 1002.3105) Academically Challenging Curriculum to Enhance Learning (ACCEL) options are educational options that provide academically challenging curriculum or accelerated instruction to eligible public school students in kindergarten through grade 12. At a minimum, each school must offer the following ACCEL options: whole-grade and midyear promotion; subject-matter acceleration; virtual instruction in higher grade level subjects; and the Credit Acceleration Program. Additional ACCEL options may include, but are not limited to, enriched science, technology, engineering, and mathematics coursework; enrichment programs; flexible grouping; advanced academic courses; combined classes; self-paced instruction; rigorous industry certifications that are articulated to college credit; work related internships or apprenticeships; curriculum compacting; advanced-content instruction; and telescoping curriculum.

  • The International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme at Sebring High School provides highly motivated college-bound students the opportunity to participate in a rigorous liberal arts curriculum. The program is a four-year course of study with two phases: in grades 9 and 10 students take baccalaureate preparation classes in core subject areas, and in grades 11 and 12 students are in the IB Diploma Programme. Students apply in 8th grade to enter the program in 9th grade, unless transferring from another IB Diploma Programme school. Click here to learn more about Sebring High School IB Program.

  • Dual Enrollment - South Florida State College (SFSC) offers a rigorous dual enrollment program allowing eligible secondary students to begin working on their college degree or certificate. This dual enrollment program is an excellent opportunity for students to take challenging coursework, accumulate college credits, and accelerate their college entry. Click here to learn more about Dual Enrollment.

  • Collegiate High School - By enrolling in Collegiate High School, students may be able to earn an Associate in Arts (AA) degree by the time they graduate from high school. SFSC Collegiate High School students must be high school juniors or seniors. Click here to learn more about Collegiate High School.

  • AP College Board - The Advanced Placement Program® enables willing and academically prepared students to pursue college-level studies while in high school, with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement, or both.

  • STEM Scholars

  • AP - Capstone - AP Capstone™ is a diploma program from the College Board. It's based on two yearlong AP courses: AP Seminar and AP Research. Rather than teaching subject-specific content, these courses develop students' skills in research, analysis, evidence-based arguments, collaboration, writing, and presenting. Click here to learn more about AP Capstone.

Career and Technical Education

The focus of career and technical education (CTE) is to prepare students for the changing work place. Today, high-wage, high-skill and high-demand jobs can be filled by students who participate in CTE in Highlands County. Career and Technical Education are offered at the following schools.

To view the entire CTE Brochure, CLICK HERE.

~ High Schools ~

~ Middle Schools ~

~ Highlands Career Institute ~