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.
Controlled Open Enrollment
Parents seeking additional choice options for their students can apply for placement in any school in the state that has not reached capacity and still has seats available. The goal is to promote and encourage parental involvement and ensure students have access to a school that meets their needs.
Application window for residents of Polk County: April 1 – Friday, April 26.
Application window for non-residents of Polk County: May 6 – Friday, May 31.
Our preschool programs are designed to get Polk County’s youngest learners off to a strong start in their education. Available programs include Head Start, Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten, ESE Pre-K and Florida First Start.
Our elementary schools offer curricula that meet state and local standards. Many of our elementary schools also offer specialized programs for students interested in STEM and the fine arts. The International Baccalaureate program is also available at the elementary level.
Middle school students receive instruction in core academics and may pursue accelerated and advanced learning opportunities. Our middle schools also feature specialized STEM and fine arts programs, as well as a variety of pre-academies that allow students to explore career paths.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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 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 (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.
Our magnet and choice schools offer unique attractors and themes designed to provide a rigorous academic program focused around specific areas of student interest, such as the arts, International Baccalaureate or STEM.
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.