- Hometown stories that count from people who care


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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 Full story


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 Full story


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 Full story


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


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 Full story


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


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 Full story


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 Full story


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 Full story

 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 Full story

 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 Full story


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


Charter System, Hospital Partner for Unique Training Program for Students with Disabilities

A new partnership between the Lake Wales Charter Schools system and other community stakeholders including Lake Wales Medical Center could truly be life changing for local... — Updated 6/19/2019


Polk Schools Schedule Online Teacher Job Fairs

Hoping to avert a teacher shortage in the fall, the Polk County School Board is holding online job fairs in July. School officials say they are trying to make it easier than ever... — Updated 6/28/2019 Full story


LWHS Student Learning Not Always in the Classroom

As Lake Wales area schools are preparing for summer, we are reminded that not all education takes place in the classroom. Here is a story about students participating in experience... — Updated 5/27/2019


Bok North Gets OK to Double Enrollment with 7th Graders at First Pres

The Polk County School Board Tuesday May 14 approved enrollment increases for Victory Ridge Academy and Bok Academy North for the 2019-20 school year and to hold the capacity at 1,650 for Lake Wales High School. Bok Academy North... — Updated 5/22/2019


Lake Ashton Association Awards $30,534 to 10 Area Schools

The Lake Ashton Community Benefit Association recently presented $30,534 in grants to 10 schools in the Lake Wales and Winter Haven area. This is the 15th year the Association has... — Updated 5/14/2019


Josh the Baby Otter Reaches 200 More Kindergartners with Water Safety Tips

Rotary on the Ridge members presented the "Josh the Otter" water safety program May 14 to about 200 kindergartners at Chain of Lakes Elementary School. The school's adult-size fuzzy... — Updated 5/14/2019 Full story


Kindergartners Learn Water Safety from Josh the Baby Otter

An adult-size fuzzy otter is visiting kindergartners at Spook Hill Elementary School in Lake Wales May 1 and May 3 to stress the importance of safety around the water. Rotary on... — Updated 5/14/2019 Full story


Unique Destiny to Open Cutting Edge Learner's Studio

Unique Destiny Learners Studio is soon to be established in the Bartow/South Lakeland area. Their focus is on hands-on learning services through project-based learning, tutoring,... — Updated 4/30/2019


Bok Knights Share Talents with Community

Bok Academy students recently put a new twist on an old idea. The Lake Wales Charter school's "Renaissance Knight" didn't look back at history but instead provided parents and... — Updated 4/23/2019


Superintendent to Honor Top Scholars

The top high school seniors from Polk County Public Schools will be honored on Thursday, April 18 during the fifth annual Superintendent's Scholars Awards. More than 1,000 seniors... — Updated 4/16/2019

 By David Williams    Schools

Grads Attend Special Bash

High school seniors from Lake Wales and all over Florida gathered in early April for one fun and exciting night at Universal Studios. The graduating seniors, who spent four years... — Updated 4/16/2019


Webber Expands Online Degrees

Webber International University in Babson Park is now offering six undergraduate and three master's degree programs online. Established in 1927, Webber is a nonprofit organization... — Updated 4/16/2019


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