The Mulberry area will get a new elementary school for 2021-22 when Willow Oak School opens its doors in August.
We put together this Q&A — with the help of Principal Michelle Townley — to share some details about Willow Oak. Click here to read our previous update about the school.
Now, on to the questions!
– How do I know if I’m zoned for Willow Oak?
The attendance boundary for Willow Oak is posted at polkschoolsfl.com/zonefinder. Maps are also available in the offices of other elementary schools in the area (see next question). In addition, families who live within the Willow Oak zone will receive a letter from Polk County Public Schools.
– How will the opening of Willow Oak impact other schools in the area?
Mulberry-area elementary schools, including Sikes, Purcell, R. Bruce Wagner and Kingsford, are all affected. Redistricting in the area to maximize capacity at each site was completed through the recommendations of the Attendance Boundary Committee and a public meeting prior to being approved by the Polk County School Board.
– For Mrs. Townley: What can you tell us about the design and features of Willow Oak?
“Willow Oak will be a special place for children to learn and grow – academically, socially, and emotionally. Along with a beautiful new building, students will experience state-of-the-art technology, safety enhancements, and intentional instructional spaces such as a makerspace lab, art patio, music suite and a science laboratory.”
– Another question for Mrs. Townley: What would you like the first group of Willow Oak families to know as they look ahead to the new school year?
“We are excited to build a welcoming, inclusive culture for our families, where we all work together to provide the very best for the community of Willow Oak. As a Mulberry High graduate and native of the area, I am honored to serve my community as the principal, and for parents to trust us with their children.”
“We hope to have our social media and website up soon so parents can follow us, join our PTA, and get involved with our SAC committee, etc. We’ll have more details soon!”