Polk County Public Schools’ history stretches back more than 150 years, to a time when students studied in one-room schoolhouses and the school calendar was built around the strawberry harvest. The Polk County Board of Public Instruction, which later became the Polk County School Board, was formed in 1869. By the turn of the century, the school district had grown to over eighty schools — and the growth hasn’t stopped.
Today, Polk County Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the nation, encompassing more than 150 schools and serving more than 100,000 students through both traditional K-12 schools and a variety of other programs. While expanding its physical footprint, Polk County Public Schools has also built a reputation for educational excellence, as evidenced by its more than 20 nationally accredited workforce academies, five Florida Arts Model Schools, and rising number of schools offering Advanced Placement and Cambridge International programs. In 2018, Polk County Public Schools garnered national attention for becoming one of the first districts to launch a school safety guardian program. Developed in conjunction with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the guardian program ensures every campus has either an armed school district employee or law enforcement officer on site.
As it grows and innovates, Polk County Public Schools remains true to its mission of delivering a high-quality education to every student … because at Polk County Public Schools, students always come first.
The mission of Polk County Public Schools is to provide a high-quality education for all students.
In accomplishing this mission, we envision that students will effectively:
- read, write, compute, speak, listen, and use complex thinking skills to solve problems
- be self-directed in creating personal purpose and vision, setting priorities, choosing ethical action, and creating their own knowledge
- cooperate and collaborate with others in working with and leading groups, interact positively in diverse settings, recognize the value and contributions of all individuals, and make positive contributions to their communities
- understand and use social, organizational, and technological systems; design, monitor, improve and correct performance within a system; and create viable products
These desired student outcomes and practices will be fostered and nurtured in schools and classrooms in which:
- adults assume instructional and ethical leadership to create efficient, effective environments perceived as safe, healthy, and equitable, where students are recognized as unique individuals capable of learning and independent thinking
- adults use varied and reliable teaching and evaluative procedures through relevant curricula
- adults enable students, families, and communities to work cooperatively to assume responsibility for the total educational experience
- adults engage in professional growth and training activities to effect continuous improvement
- students are guided in their total physical, mental and emotional development through activities that are student-centered and focus on positive expectations and encourage intrinsic motivation
District At a Glance
The School Board of Polk County, FL prohibits any and all forms of discrimination and harassment based on race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sex, age, gender, marital status, disability, genetic information, or other basis prohibited by law in any of its programs, services, activities or employment practices. The Board is committed to taking immediate action to eliminate harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects. Students, parents, and district staff are encouraged to work together to prevent harassment. Any student who believes that he or she has been subjected to harassment on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sex, age, gender, marital status, disability, genetic information, or other basis prohibited by law is encouraged to report the harassment to the district. Students or employees found to have engaged in acts of such harassment will be promptly disciplined including, if circumstances warrant, suspension or expulsion for students, or suspension or termination for employees.
The Board will provide equal access to its facilities to the Boy Scouts and other identified Title 36 patriotic youth groups as required within 34 C.F.R. 108.9.
To file concerns, you may contact the Equity & Compliance Analyst in Human Resource Services at 863-534-0513 or P.O. Box 391 Bartow, FL 33831.
The School Board of Polk County, Florida, Policies 1122, 2260, 3122 and 4122, Florida Educational Equity Act, Section 1000.05, F.S., Rule 6A‐19.000 through 6A‐19.010, FAC, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as amended, Vocational Guidelines, Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Title IX and Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act 34 C.F.R. 108.9.