Teachers and administrators of the Lake Wales High School exclaimed how excited and pleasant it was to see students awake for classes this year the first two days of school having gone to the later school start time. Students stayed awake in their first period of the day and were more attentive.
“I can’t begin to thank you enough for the difference this has made,” said Principal Donna Dunson at the Aug. 19 Lake Wales Charter School trustee board meeting at the high school.
Schools Superintendent Jessee Jackson noted, “the next few days will be critical for the Lake Wales Charter Schools in number of students attending each school in the system because the school system’s state of Florida Department of Education funds come to the district based on those student numbers.
“We have to watch those numbers and make adjustments to make sure the numbers are correct because the funds from the state are based on those numbers,” Jackson said. “If we don’t adjust those numbers, the state will do it for us.”
Brian Fisher, chief financial officer for the LWCS, shared the student attendance numbers for the first couple days of school with Polk Avenue Elementary at 484; Hillcrest Elementary, 664; Janie Howard Wilson Elementary at 461; Dale R. Fair Babson Park Elementary, 447; Edward W. Bok Academy, 585 and 1450 at the Lake Wales High School.
“We have 29-30 students on the ninth grade waiting list, and more in the high school,” said Anuj Saran, educational operations/International Baccalaureate Program, reporting for the high school and on students who have registered but have not yet attended class. “We will begin calling them at the end of the week and pickup our waiting list.”
He noted an increase in the more than expected numbers of students registered for the International Baccalaureate Program — 212 students; explained how the six-period day and 24 credits program fills the school day but “we don’t have fill their (students’) day with ‘artificial’ classes they don’t need to fill up that seventh period; and he was thrilled with the standing-room-only high school orientation this year.
Concerning the issue of another middle school for the district, Robin Gibson, attorney, shared he sent an email with LWCS survey information to the Polk County School Board members running for office who were invited to the LWC school’s information forum Aug. 20. The survey would help them get up to speed on the discussion of LWCS’s suggestion to manage The Polk County School District’s McLaughlin Middle and Fine Art School in Lake Wales.
Superintendent Jackson also shared that the school district is very much still active in its pursuit of another location for the second middle school.
“This has to be front and center of what we do and it will have a profound effect on the high school,” Jackson said. “We need to make sure we are doing the very best for that high school and that is preparing students for the high school.”