- Hometown stories that count from people who care


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Dual Enrollment Helps High School Students Jump Start College Education

Polk State College serves nearly 3,000 students each year through its dual-enrollment, early-admission, and collegiate high school programs, providing a variety of... — Updated 1/8/2020


Foundation Kicks Off Annual Fundraising to Support Charter Schools

The Lake Wales Charter Schools Foundation has kicked off it's 2019-20 giving campaign, committed to improving the educational opportunities for all students in the community, accord... — Updated 12/11/2019


Polk Schools Break Ground for New High School in Davenport

Polk County Public Schools broke ground Dec. 4 on a new high school in fast-growing Davenport. The new school, located adjacent to Davenport School of the Arts, is scheduled to... — Updated 12/11/2019


Polk State to Graduate 550 at Dec. 12 Commencement

More than 550 students with Polk State College's 121st graduating class will walk the stage Thursday, Dec. 12, at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland to receive their diplomas. The... — Updated 12/11/2019


Polk State named Philanthropic Corporation of the Year; Student Also Recognized

Polk State College and the Polk State College Foundation were collectively named the Philanthropic Corporation of the Year during the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP)... — Updated 12/5/2019


Area Students Now Can Access Free Library Materials and Resources

Library cards are still a thing. And now, every single student in the Lake Wales Charter Schools and Polk County School system has one. The Polk County Library Cooperative has... — Updated 12/5/2019


Polk State Wins Florida College System Chancellor's Best Practice Award for First Year Experience and Guided Pathways

For the second consecutive year, Polk State College received a Chancellor's Best Practice Award from the Florida College System – this time for its First Year Experience and... — Updated 11/27/2019


Polk Avenue Developing Students into Confident, Effective Leaders

Reading, writing, math and other academic subjects are important, but Principal Gail Quam wants to make sure students also leave Polk Avenue Elementary with leadership skills.... — Updated 11/21/2019


Polk County Public Schools and Educator Union Reach Tentative Agreement

Polk County Public Schools and the Polk Education Association have reached tentative salary and contract agreements for the 2019-20 school year. "I am grateful that the district... — Updated 11/6/2019


Polk State Opens Enrollment for January Classes

Enrollment is open at Polk State College for the spring 2020 semester that starts January 6. Currently enrolled students may register for classes through PASSPORT. Prospective... — Updated 11/6/2019


UCF, Charter System Launching Program to Produce Homegrown Teaching Talent

What's better than hiring a good young teacher? How about finding a good, young, homegrown teacher? That's the goal of a new affiliation between the University of Central Florida... — Updated 10/30/2019


New Silver Streak Academy Gives Youngest Students a Leg Up

The new Little Silver Streak Academy at Janie Howard Wilson Elementary is giving 20 young students an early leg up on their educational journey this fall at Janie Howard Wilson Elem... — Updated 10/30/2019


Establishing Culture and Building Up Students: It's a New Era at McLaughlin Middle

It's a new school year at McLaughlin Middle & Fine Arts Academy - and it's also shaping up to be a year like no other. From the school's administrative structure to... — Updated 9/25/2019


Florida Poly Engineering and Computer Science Degrees Achieve ABET Accreditation

Four Florida Polytechnic University bachelor's degrees have been accredited by the Computing and Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, the global accreditor of college and... — Updated 9/5/2019


New Career Academy Points Students Toward High Paying Jobs in Engineering Technology

Michael Sargent is the only member of his family to graduate from college, so he knows a four-year degree is not the only way to build a successful career. He's literally bustling... — Updated 8/27/2019


More Changes Ahead for Charter School Transportation

The start of any new year brings changes – large and small – not only in the schools and classrooms, but to every aspect of the operation of a charter system, including the... — Updated 8/20/2019


Charter System to Train Aspiring Leaders

Leadership has long been a trait Lake Wales Charter Schools have stressed for their students. Now, a new program is aiming to help more quickly develop future leaders among... — Updated 8/20/2019


Polk Avenue Genius Club More than a Brilliant Idea

You don't have to be the smartest kid in the school to be part of Polk Avenue Elementary School's "Genius Club." Of course, there are plenty of smart youngsters already there ... — Updated 8/20/2019


Hospital Employees Donate School Supplies

Employees at Lake Wales Medical Center donated three carloads of backpacks and school supplies to help area children go back to school with all the tools they'll need for success.... — Updated 7/30/2019


Regional Accreditor Approves 2 New Webber Degrees

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC, the University's regional accreditor) approved Webber International University's applications to... — Updated 7/24/2019

 By Alex DePrimo    Schools

Bok Students Lend a Hand to Citrus Greening Conversation

When you have a middle school science classroom full of about 30 incoming sixth graders, most people would not expect much productivity. However, I recently saw these soon-to-be... — Updated 7/17/2019

 By Drew Truitt    Schools

Above and "Beyond..." An Afternoon Glimpse of The Vanguard School's Summer Camp Program in Action

When I met Roberta "Bobbie" Halfacre, director of The Vanguard School Summer Camp program, she explained it is named "Beyond..." because students, faculty, indeed anyone associated... — Updated 7/17/2019


Polk Schools to Open Call Center to Handle Bus Questions

Polk County Public Schools is opening a call center to handle school bus inquiries and issues for the beginning of the 2019-20 school year. Parents and guardians can dial... — Updated 7/17/2019


Bok North Principal Eyes Smaller Things to get Big Picture

New Bok North Academy Principal Donna Drisdom learned at an early age, from two teachers at Mulberry High School, a philosophy that continues to serve her well even today. "It's... — Updated 7/13/2019


Highlander Guild Promotes Vocational Careers, Connections with Local Trade Employers

Over the past six years, the graduation rate at Lake Wales High School has soared, from just over 70 percent for the 2013-14 school year to over 90 percent last school year. While... — Updated 6/26/2019


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