Polk County School District


Polk County Schools Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd on Tuesday announced her retirement effective next year in a strongly worded letter to the school board that cited “disharmony” among board members.

graduates in blue caps and gowns sit in a large cluster, presumably mid ceremony
Creative Commons

Amid uncertainty about the coronavirus and the continuation of social distancing, school officials in Polk County are offering its more than 5,800 seniors the chance to vote on the format for their graduation ceremonies.

Among the options: rescheduling the traditional ceremony, a virtual recognition, or a drive-thru graduation.

According to the Florida Department of Education, nearly 87% of Florida teenagers earned a high school diploma last year, an increase of close to 1% over the previous school year.

Hillsborough County, the state’s third largest school district saw a slight graduation rate increase of 0.4%. The region’s largest bump was in Pinellas County which climbed by 2.5% to a total graduation rate of more than 88%.