Teachers & Staff,
I don't know where the time goes. It seems like just a few days ago we watched as 175 seniors walked across the stage to receive their diplomas. Now we are making plans to welcome almost 2500 students into Polk County’s classrooms. For some of our students, this will be the first time they enter a classroom. For others, this will be our last opportunity to prepare them for life after high school. These students, and all of those in between, will be greatly influenced by the work you will do this year. As teachers, staff, and administrators for Polk County Schools, you are part of a family that makes our schools warm and inviting places for all students.
I know many of you have spent at least part of the summer thinking about how you will make this year better for your students. Hopefully you have also taken time to rest, travel, visit with friends and family, and recharge for another exciting year. As we start this year, many of you are also thinking about the changes that will happen during the next few months. There is the new Standard Course of Study (Common Core and Essential Standards), new EOG and EOC Assessments, new Measures of Students Learning, and Educator Effectiveness ratings. Although there are many changes, we know that the most important thing is to provide high quality instruction every day. By keeping this as our focus, we will ensure a successful year for our students.
The 2011-12 school year finished with Polk County students performing well. Polk County can proudly boast about having 3 Honor Schools of Excellence and 3 Schools of Distinction. We can also be proud that all of our schools met 100% of the Federal AMO Targets. The Federal AMO standards show that we are making considerable progress in ensuring that all students are on grade level. These accomplishments happened because of the work you do each day.
As always, your dedication to our students will make this a very successful school year. On behalf of myself and the Polk County Board of Education, I want to thank you for all you will do this year.