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Twenty-seven community leaders will soon begin exploring the complexities of managing one of the largest school districts in the nation.

Inside PCPS — a new countywide leadership program — was created through the collaboration of Polk County Public Schools and Polk Vision.

Superintendent Frederick Heid said the new program addresses an important goal within the district’s new strategic plan.

“One of our major goals is to better engage families and the community,” Heid said. “More people need to have a deeper understanding of how our school system works. Over the course of 10 months, Inside PCPS classmates will experience firsthand the challenges that come with keeping our schools safe, effective centers of learning.”

“This collaboration between Polk Vision and Polk County Public Schools demonstrates our shared commitment to better inform and engage the community by sharing new insights and perspectives and delivering an immersive, transparent experience,” said Kim Long, executive director of Polk Vision.

The inaugural class of Inside PCPS was assembled from Leadership Polk graduates with a demonstrated commitment to improving educational outcomes in our community. 

Members will meet once each month for daylong sessions filled with hands-on experiences. Participants will gain a new appreciation for what it takes to operate as the seventh largest school district in Florida and the second largest employer in Polk County.

  • How do you provide a high-quality education to more than 110,000 students every day?
  • What does it take to balance an annual budget of $2.25 billion?
  • How do you manage a bus fleet that clocks over 55,000 miles per day?
  • How are schools caring for the “whole child” and addressing the social, emotional, and physical needs of students?

Inside PCPS will tackle these questions and other topics covering every facet of the school system.

The attached class photo was taken during orientation (Aug. 18). Three class members were unavailable for the photo.

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