About The District

Our Mission

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

Our District

  • Student Demographics

    White: 33.4%
    Hispanic: 41.5%
    Black: 20.4%
    Indian American/Pacific Islander: 0.4%
    Asian: 1.6%
    Multiracial: 2.7%

    9.5% of our students are English Language Learners
    14.6% are students with disabilities

    7th Largest District In Florida
    Among The 30 Largest Districts In The U.S










Polk County Public Schools carries districtwide accreditation through Cognia.


Polk County Public Schools is led by a seven-member elected School Board and an appointed superintendent.

Graduation Rate

The school district’s graduation rate was 78.3%% in 2021-22.

Learn More about Polk County Public Schools:

Polk County Public Schools serves students from a wide variety of backgrounds, with a broad spectrum of abilities, who possess unique educational and personal aspirations. PCPS offers educational programs for students of all ages and abilities, including:

  • Preschool programs for students as young as 3
  • Polk Virtual, a program for students seeking additional opportunities for acceleration or credit recovery
  • Innovative magnet/choice programs specializing in STEM and the arts
  • Nationally recognized workforce academies that offer students the opportunity to earn industry certifications
  • Accelerated programs, including dual enrollment, Advanced Placement, Cambridge International and International Baccalaureate, that prepare students for post-secondary study
  • Technical colleges for students who want to enter and advance in the workforce
  • Adult schools for older learners aiming to further their education
  • Transition, a program for adult students with special needs
Student at desk icon Approximately 110,890 students
*Nov. 15, 2021 enrollment report
Schoolhouse Icon More than 150 schools Florida Icon 7th largest school district consecutive years in Florida; among the 30 largest districts in the U.S.
Grad Cap Icon 86.5 percent graduation rate (19-20), highest on record Courthouse Icon Districtwide accreditation by Advanced Trophy Icon 4 Florida Teacher of the Year winners and 9 state finalists

Nearly 30 certified or model career academies

Earth Icon

3 elementary, 4 middle and 2 high schools offering International Baccalaureate

Paint Palette Icon 6 Florida Arts Model Schools

School Grades and Report Cards

For our current school grades, visit the Florida Department of Education’s website.

For school, district and state report cards as well as additional performance data, visit the Know Your Schools.

*Information is current as of October 2021

Our Community

Located in the heart of Central Florida, Polk County offers an unparalleled quality of life.
Polk County spans 2,011 square miles, making it larger than the state of Delaware. It includes 17 municipalities, ranging from Lakeland with a population of more than 110,000, to Dundee with a population of just over 5,000.
The area has a rich history in agriculture, and its landscape is still dotted with citrus groves, blueberry farms, cattle pastures and phosphate mines. In more recent years, Polk County has emerged as a hub for high-tech industries including logistics and supply chain distribution, advanced manufacturing, health sciences and aviation.
Polk County is home to LEGOLAND Florida, Bok Tower Gardens, the spring training home of the Detroit Tigers, Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Child of the Sun” collection, numerous golf courses, more than 500 freshwater lakes, a thriving local arts scene, community theaters, First Friday events — and more. It is also located just an hour from Tampa and Orlando, world-renowned beaches and amusement parks, and two international airports.

Community Demo Graphics

County population: 724,777
*Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Community Partnerships

Polk County Public Schools has built mutually beneficial relationships with the county’s 17 municipalities, county government, Sheriff’s Office, higher education institutions, chambers of commerce, economic development councils, and numerous nonprofit organizations. These relationships resulted in the School Safety Guardian program and the ELITE teacher education program, both of which have served as models for other districts.

Community Facts

Cash Icon 10.5% lower cost of living than the national average and no state income tax House Icon Lakeland is one of U.S. News & World Reports’ 150 best places to live in the U.S. (2020-21) Lego Icon Home to LEGOLAND Florida, Bok Tower Gardens, and the Frank Lloyd Wright “Child of the Sun” Collection at Florida Southern College
Map Icon Less than an hour from Tampa and Orlando Sun Icon 240 sunny days on average per year Beach Umbrella Icon World-class beaches, theme parks, and major league sports (MLB, MLS, NBA, NFL) less than an hour’s drive away