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Polk seeks community involvement for struggling schools

#Polk seeks community involvement for struggling schools. @EmeraldMorrow reports.

  • Polk seeks community involvement for struggling schools
  • The district will present its plans for the eight schools to the state on October 26.
  • “If the plans for the eight schools are approved, they will have at least this year and next school year to raise their grades before facing stricter consequences, similar to the current situation with the five middle schools.”
  • “A school that receives an F or two consecutive Ds triggers the turnaround process,” said Kennedy.
  • District spokesman Kyle Kennedy said none of these eight schools are in the same danger as the five middle schools, and are in an earlier stage of the turnaround process.

Thirteen schools in Polk County are now on the watch list of the state department of education for poor academic performance, and the district is calling on the community for help.

@10NewsWTSP: #Polk seeks community involvement for struggling schools. @EmeraldMorrow reports.

LAKELAND, Fla. (WTSP) – Teachers can’t do it alone.

Thirteen schools in Polk County are now on the watch list of the state department of education for poor academic performance, and the district is calling on the community for help.

On Friday, Polk County Schools held its annual community involvement conference in Bartow as an effort to get more people outside the classroom involved with what’s happening inside school doors.

Volunteers, mentors and stronger business partnerships are some of the areas the district says it’s weak in, and outlined in turnaround plans to the state that strengthening these connections can help improve its struggling schools and the district as a whole.

As of late September, the district was working on turnaround plans for eight more schools with D or F rankings from the state. This comes after creating plans to present to the Florida Department of Education for five middle schools that face the possibility of closing or being taken over by the state if there is no improvement.

The eight newest schools on the list are Bartow, Crystal Lake and Lake Marion Creek middle schools as well as Combee, Eagle Lake, Garner, Griffin and Palmetto elementary schools.

District spokesman Kyle Kennedy said none of these eight schools are in the same danger as the five middle schools, and are in an earlier stage of the turnaround process.

“A school that receives an F or two consecutive Ds triggers the turnaround process,” said Kennedy. “If the plans for the eight schools are approved, they will have at least this year and next school year to raise their grades before facing stricter consequences, similar to the current situation with the five middle schools.”

School board member Hazel Sellers said the district is determined to make enough progress to prevent a state takeover. She added she has seen the community step up and get involved in areas where the district needs help, but admits that problems like high teacher turnover and issues with student behavior are roadblocks to school success.

The district will present its plans for the eight schools to the state on October 26.

Polk seeks community involvement for struggling schools

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