At a ceremony starting now (8:30 a.m. Wednesday), Florida Polytechnic University breaks ground on a two-story, 85,000-square-foot Applied Research Center. It’s a short walk across a bridge from the landmark Innovation, Science, and Technology Building. Builder: Skanska USA | Architect: HOK
A Lakeland High School math teacher was placed on administrative leave and under mental health examination after students reported he told them how he would combine bullets and bombs to kill up to 1,000 people if he were a school shooter. The teacher told a police officer he was joking.
COVERAGE: The Ledger | Fox 13 News
Facing funding reductions mandated by the Florida Legislature, Polk School Board members are looking at options to increase revenues. At a workshop Tuesday, they discussed timing of a referendum on increasing property taxes. In addition, county officials are considering a phased increase in impact fees on new construction over the next few years.
The colony of live bees, part of the nonprofit Bee Cause Project, is one of two in Florida schools. It teaches students at Combee Academy of Design and Engineering about the importance of bees to agriculture and food production.
With a new website to track bus delays (here) and a new call center (863-534-7300), Polk public schools reported average transportation delays of 30 minutes on Monday, the first day of classes, compared with two hours last year. Bus driver vacancies stand at 25 compared with 70 at this time last year.
Polk County public school bus drivers now have quick access to emergency services, thanks to a $6 million radio system installed on buses. In addition, parents have a new number to call with questions about school transportation: Call (863) 534-7300 weekdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Aug. 23.
Principal Melissa Durrance has spent the summer coming up with ways to improve student performance at Griffin Elementary School, including a “sensory path” that incorporates learning into the simple act of walking down the hall. As a turnaround school, Griffin could close or become a charter school if the school doesn’t earn at least a C grade this year.
Academy Prep Center of Lakeland, a new private middle school that emphasizes academic rigor and offers scholarships for low-income students, is rushing to finish construction at the corner of Memorial and Lakeland Hills Boulevards. Classes may start in the new gym if remodeling of the old John Cox Elementary School has not been completed when school begins in about three weeks, the headmaster says | School website