Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the program of study at Polk Pre-Collegiate Academy (PPCA) and do the courses meet the Florida Graduation Requirements for a high school diploma?
The PPCA 9th and 10th grade course structure is listed below. The core academic honors-level courses and electives are aligned with the Florida Core Standards and meet the Florida Department of Education high school graduation requirements.
Florida Department of Education Graduation Requirements
-English - 4 credits
-Mathematics - 4 credits
-Science - 3 credits
-Social Studies - 1 credit World History; 1/w credit Economics
-Physical Education- 1/2 credit Personal Fitness; 1/2 credit Physical Educaiton elective
-Foreign Language not required for high school graduation, but it is required for admisstion to university
-Performing Arts- 1 credit - 1 credit Performing Arts/1 credit Practical Arts
-Electives - 8 credits
-One online course
Total required credits: 24
Additional graduation requirements;
*Passing score on 10th grade FCAT
*Cumulative GPA of 2.0 on 4.0 scale
2. Is it necessary for a student to have already taken and passed Algebra I to apply to PPCA?
No, a student does not need Algebra I as a pre-requisite to apply to PPCA. However, already having Algebra I would increase their opportunity of earning priority admission to PSC due to the structured program of study. Students must pass the Algebra I End of Course exam to get credit for the course.
3. Who will teach the classes and what are their qualifications?
PPCA instructors are highly qualified teachers possessing a bachelor’s or higher degree and a valid Florida Professional certificate. Core academics include Art, Drama, English, Civics, Government, Foreign Language, Language Arts, Mathematics, Economics, Music, Reading, Science, History and Geography. All teachers are experienced professionals dedicated to equipping students with the academic, social and workforce skills necessary for life. All teachers will be fully certified for the classes they teach.
4. Due to PPCA sharing the BAMS campus, where will the classes be located?
PPCA and BAMS are a combined campus. PPCA 9th and 10th grade students share the Berkley Accelerated School Middle School campus with students in 6th – 8th grade. PPCA classes will be held in various areas of the BAMS/PPCA campus.
5. Will the PPCA students be among the middle school students throughout the school day?
PPCA and middle school students may attend high school credit classes together due to the high school credit courses available at BAMS/PPCA. Student schedules and classroom compositions will be dependent on student needs.
6. What will the dress code be for PPCA students?
PPCA students are required to follow the dress policy outlined in the Student Handbook as well as the county-wide dress code detailed in the Polk County Student Code of Conduct.. PPCA students are given the school’s policy regarding details of the dress code that are emphasized and enforced by the staff. Students who do not comply with the dress code expectations of PPCA will incur disciplinary actions.
7. Where will lunch be located for PPCA students?
PPCA students will be provided lunch at a designated time and area. Lunch schedules are determined at the beginning pf each school year.
8. What is the application process?
Students/parents may submit applications during Open Enrollment Week. The date of Open Enrollment will be in the spring and posted on the school website homepage. Applications are available online at http://www.ppcacademy.net, in the main office and in the information packet obtained at the PPCA informational meeting. Applications are due by 3:30 p.m. on the last day of Open Enrollment Week.
9. Are certain students given priority to enroll at PPCA?
PPCA complies with state statutes by conducting a random selection process. Priority admission is granted to the following:
2012- and beyond
a. Children of active Board of Directors
b. Children of PPCA employees
c. Current PPCA students
d. Siblings of PPCA students
e. All other students
After priorities are determined, the remaining applicants participate in a random selection process. When all seats have been assigned, the remaining applicants will be placed on a waiting list. Students on the 9th grade waiting list will roll up to the 10th grade waiting list for the next school year.
10. Are clubs offered to students at PPCA?
Yes, clubs are offered at PPCA. Students will take ownership of creating clubs that will target and challenge their interests and goals. Student Government and Service Learning Projects will be created for students to work collaboratively with stakeholders to enhance their school and community. Other clubs will be offered as student interest arises.
11. Will PPCA students be able to play high school sports?
Florida Charter School Statute 1002.33(11) indicates a charter school student is eligible to participate in an interscholastic extracurricular activity at the public school to which the student would be otherwise assigned to attend.
It is the student’s/parent’s responsibility to inquire about the extracurricular activity at the zoned school.
12. What is the daily schedule and how many classes will students take each day?
The schedule is 8:00a.m. to 2:00p.m. Students attend six classes per day and have the option of staying until 3:00 p.m. to attend study hall seventh period.
13. PPCA has a STEM-infused curriculum. What does that mean?
STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM skills are crucial for the 21st Century workforce and global economy. Research for the PPCA program revealed a critical deficiency in STEM skills among high school students nationwide. PPCA teachers will participate in STEM-related professional development to stay current on STEM academics which will be infused throughout all courses.
14. Will PPCA and BAMS be governed by the same Board of Directors?
No, PPCA will have its own governing board. Meetings are held monthly and open to the public. Dates and times are posted on the PPCA website.
15. It has been stated the purpose of PPCA is to help students who want to pursue the collegiate track. Where are local collegiate programs located?
Polk State College has two collegiate high school campuses:
PSC Chain of Lakes Collegiate High School
999 Ave. H, NE
Winter Haven, FL
PSC Collegiate High School
3425 Winter Lake Road
16. How does a student receive admission into the Polk State Collegiate Program?
It is the goal of PPCA staff and administration to prepare students for the collegiate high school program.
During the collegiate's Open Enrollment period, students will complete an application for both campuses. Applicants are chosen by random selecton.
17. Why are Honors courses offered opposed to Advanced Placement courses?
The PSC Collegiate Program accepts the challenging and rigorous coursework that honors courses provide. There are many benefits to students taking honors courses and pursuing the collegiate track.
Students have the opportunity to earn their high school diploma and two-year degree at an accelerated rate at no cost resulting in significant time and financial savings. In contrast, students taking AP courses and not pursing the collegiate track, typically pursue college after high school graduation resulting in being behind the collegiate high school student by approximately two years.
18. Will bus transportation be available?
Yes, bus transportation will be available within the designated route established by our provider, Berkley Charter School. It may be necessary for students/parents to meet the bus at a designated stop due to the distance from their home to the school.
For further information, you may contact Cathy Carver, PPCA Principal, at 863-984-2443 or firstname.lastname@example.org.