School Options

Did you know Polk County Public Schools has five preschool programs, two adult schools and two technical colleges? We do! Did you know our school district includes five Florida Arts Model Schools and more than 20 nationally certified workforce academies? It’s true! Polk County Public Schools encompasses more than 150 school sites, offering programs for learners of all ages, abilities and aspirations.

Open Enrollment Information

Applications for the 2021-2022 school year closed on January 12 at 4 p.m. and no further applications will be accepted at this time.

PCPS is currently processing applications. Families who applied for Harrison School for the Arts should begin receiving their official invitations via email on Friday, Feb. 12.

All other programs — including magnet/choice schools, Cambridge, International Baccalaureate and career academies — will begin sending their invitations on Monday, March 8. Parents will receive notification emails, and they can also check Parent Portal.

If you have questions about specific programs, please use the following telephone numbers:

  • Magnet/choice: (863) 534-0631 ext. 788
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) / Cambridge: John Miller, (863) 534-0631 ext. 794
  • Career Academies: Diane Young, (863) 519-8438 ext. 816
  • Harrison School for the Arts: (863) 499-2855

Completing The Application Process

Please check your Parent Portal account, as well as your emails, for notifications regarding your child’s application for Magnet, Choice, IB, AICE or Career Academy schools.

If your child has been selected, you will have 10 days to accept or decline your child’s seat through Parent Portal. You must also visit the school to provide proof of residence —unless your child is accepting a seat at a high school IB or AICE program.

The deadline to accept or decline and confirm residence is 4 p.m. on March 19, 2021.

If you do not accept or decline your child’s seat and provide proof of residence, your child will automatically be declined in the system and removed from ALL other school options for which you applied.

If your child is selected and you do not respond, your child will be removed from the acceptance list, as well as all other options for which you applied.

Please note that if your child has a WAITING status for a Magnet/Choice school, this means that your child has not been selected at this time. Your child will remain in the lottery pool in the event more seats open in the future.

School Options by Grade Level

High School

Our high schools feature challenging programs designed to prepare students for higher levels of education — and even earn college credits. Examples include Advanced Placement, Cambridge AICE, dual enrollment and International Baccalaureate. We also offer a vast array of career academies.

Adult School

Students over age 16 can enroll at two locations — East Area Adult School and West Area Adult School — to earn a high school diploma or GED. Our adult school programs also include English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), as well as transitional opportunities to help students successfully enter postsecondary education.

Technical College

We operate two sites — Ridge Technical College and Traviss Technical College — where high school and postsecondary students can prepare for technical professions and earn industry certifications. Our programs utilize hands-on instruction to meet the demands of employers in today’s labor market.

School Options by Program

Alternative Schools and Other Services

Polk County Public Schools operates a wide range of programs, centers and services to meet the needs of students. Visit this page to learn more about our Opportunity Centers, Teenage Parent Program and more.

Cambridge AICE

This challenging international curriculum emphasizes a broad and balanced study that requires an in-depth understanding of subjects. Students develop skills such as critical reasoning, research, teamwork and argumentation. They are able to tailor their studies to their interests, abilities and future goals. Cambridge AICE is available at Winter Haven High School.

Career Academies

Career academies are small, personalized learning communities within a middle or high school that focus on a specific field of study, such as the health sciences, business, or aerospace. Students must apply and be accepted with parental knowledge and support. Many of our career academies have received national certifications.

Charter Schools

Charter schools are independent public schools that operate under a performance contract (or “charter”) with defined rules and regulations. Visit this page for a list of local charter schools, and contact information for our district’s charter school office.

ESE & Learning Centers

Exceptional Student Education (ESE) programs serve students from preschool through age 22. We offer transition programs that help students become functional adults, as well as support services such as physical therapy and mental health counseling. ESE services are available at schools throughout our district, as well as at three learning centers for students with severe exceptionalities.

Fine Arts

These schools offer high-quality academic programs combined with an emphasis on rigorous study in performing and fine arts areas, including visual arts, dance, theatre and music.

Fresh Start Program

The Fresh Start Program allows students who have dropped out of the educational system the opportunity to receive an accredited high school diploma.

GED

Earning a State of Florida High School Diploma opens the door to new opportunities and pathways in your life! More than 860,000 adults worldwide take the GED test each year.

Home School

Home education allows parents the freedom to choose and direct the educational programs that best meet their child’s needs. Polk County Public Schools provides families with information that will help them establish a home education program, as well as resources to enhance the child’s educational experience.

International Baccalaureate

International Baccalaureate (IB)  is a demanding academic program through which students earn college credits and develop the skills and knowledge they will need to succeed at the postsecondary level. IB is available at the elementary-, middle- and high-school levels.

Magnet/Choice

Our magnet and choice schools offer unique themes designed to provide a rigorous academic program focused around specific areas of student interest, such as the arts, International Baccalaureate or STEM.

Virtual School

Polk County Public Schools offers virtual school options for students at the elementary-, middle-, and high-school levels. Students may participate in part- or full-time instructional programs. Our virtual schools aim to equip students with the academic and technological skills they’ll need to succeed.