Five Polk schools in jeopardy of shutting down due to failing grades

Posted at 4:55 PM, Jul 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-28 17:59:23-04

School leaders in Polk County are working on a plan to get five schools off a list they don’t want to be on.

Denison, Kathleen, Lake-Alfred-Addair, Shelley S. Boone, and Westwood Middle Schools are all in jeopardy of shutting down if their grades don’t improve.

Earlier this summer, the state ordered the schools in Polk County to come up with a so-called “turn around” plan after consecutive failing grades.

The plan the school board presented this month got rejected.

“I can tell you we are opening schools this year as planned,” said Jacqueline Byrd, Superintendent of Polk County Schools.

Byrd tried to calm parents nerves Thursday, telling ABC Action News that the more than four thousand students enrolled in the five schools are not going to be turned away half way through the year.

“No, I don’t think the state board and commissioner would do that. It could be something that we would be planning for the future in the upcoming year, but this year we are opening schools,” she said.

The district has until August 15th to present a new turn around plan to the state, with more details that the last one that got rejected.

Byrd said their top priority this year is to put in place extra resources including academic coaches at the schools in question.

“We are going to do everything we can to get them over the hump this year,” she said.