Enrollment soars as Polk County Schools reports smooth first day of classes

Smiling faces – and a lot of them – were the norm Monday morning as the 2022-23 school year shifted into full speed ahead for Polk County Schools.

While Polk County Early College opened its doors August 10, all remaining schools welcomed students Monday for the first time and enjoyed a smooth start to the school year on all campuses.

First-day enrollment rose four percent compared to the end of the 2021-22 academic year, with more than 2,200 students attending class at the district’s seven schools.

“I think it is great to see enrollment going back up a bit,” said Superintendent Aaron Greene. “I have spoken with several families this summer who told me the quality of our educators and schools are a big reason they moved to Polk County.  That is very affirming for us, and it reflects the ongoing commitment of our Board of Education members and staff as they provide outstanding educational experiences for all students.”

Board of Education Chairman Mike Ashworth joined Polk County Middle School Principal Todd Murphy to welcome students as they arrived for their first day while Greene and Board of Education member Rick Covil visited other district schools.

“The first day of school has gone well,” Greene said. “Long-time Board of Education Member Rick Covil and I visited each site earlier in the day and it was great to see kids and staff excited, smiling and enjoying the first day back. Our educators work hard to make sure that students feel welcome and that strong relationships are formed for the upcoming school year.  We look forward to serving our students and families.

Unlike many other school districts across the state, Polk County Schools also have no full-time teacher openings, with all schools fully staffed and ready to go for the year ahead.

“We feel very fortunate to have filled our instructional vacancies this summer and that we are starting with a full teaching staff,” Greene said. “There are still some positions like bus driver and custodian that will continue to be difficult to fill, but we are in much better shape than many other districts in North Carolina.”

Polk County Board of Education Chairman Mike Ashworth greets a student arriving for the first day of class at Polk County Middle School
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