For the third consecutive year, two of Polk State’s charter high schools — Chain of Lakes Collegiate High School and Lakeland Collegiate High School — received A grades and retained their designations as high-performing charter schools.
The College’s third charter high school, Lakeland Gateway to College Collegiate High School, does not receive a school grade from the Florida Department of Education as per its charter due to differences related to its mission. However, it does receive a school improvement rating. For the 2016-2017 school year, Gateway’s rating was “commendable,” which is the highest rating achievable. It was the only school in Polk County to achieve this status.
The FLDOE awards high-performing status to schools that receive an A for at least two of the last three years while also exhibiting good financial health.
“We are pleased to once again be recognized as an A school in the state of Florida,” Lakeland Collegiate Principal Rick Jeffries said. “Our students, faculty, and staff have worked hard to pursue excellence in everything we do, and this grade reflects the daily commitment of the student body and collegiate high team to make our school great.”
“This grade reflects the daily commitment of the student body and collegiate high team to make our school great,” Lakeland Collegiate Principal Rick Jeffries said.
Both Lakeland and Chain of Lakes collegiate high schools became eligible to receive school grades three years ago after the state adopted the Florida Standards Assessments for students in K-12.
Polk State’s collegiate high schools serve only juniors and seniors, and this specialization had formerly made them ineligible for school grades, as these ratings were largely based on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test administered to sophomores.
“We are pleased to be able to continue to deliver high-quality education to our students in an ever-changing educational landscape,” Chain of Lakes Principal Bridget Fetter said.
Since Polk State’s collegiate high schools became eligible to receive school grades in 2014-2015, both Lakeland Collegiate and Chain of Lakes Collegiate have been recognized as A-schools each year.
As for Lakeland Gateway to College, Principal Corey Barnes said he is proud of the progress that has been made and he looks forward to continued student growth.
Lakeland Gateway to College and Lakeland Collegiate both have record enrollment this school year, with 219 and 303 students, respectively. Chain of Lakes has its maximum enrollment of 306 students, which it has been achieving for the past several years.
“We are at an all-time high with enrollment and have a healthy waiting list of interested students,” Barnes said. “Our plans are to continue to be as diverse as we can possibly be to continue to meet the needs of our very diverse student population.”