Fla. Department of Health Flu Advisory

The Florida Department of Health reports that influenza, or “flu,” activity levels have increased sharply over the last several weeks. Flu is a contagious respiratory disease caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. Some people, such as young children, the elderly, and people with certain health conditions are at high risk for serious complications from flu. The Department is encouraging families to get vaccinated for flu now.

Vaccination is the best way to protect against the flu and severe complications from the flu. Vaccination is most crucial for children with underlying health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions. The flu vaccine is offered in many locations including pharmacies, clinics, employers, and schools. Contact your health care provider, county health department, or visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/findaflushot to find a flu vaccine center near you.

The flu vaccine is safe. The national Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that all individuals six months of age and older receive the flu vaccine each year. Since infants under six months of age are too young to get vaccinated against influenza, it is important that family members (including pregnant or breastfeeding mothers) and other caregivers for these children be vaccinated to help protect them from the disease.

It is especially important that parents keep sick children at home to prevent spreading the flu virus to others. Additional flu prevention steps include staying away from people who are sick, covering sneezes or coughs with a tissue or your elbow, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and frequent handwashing.

If your child becomes sick with flu-like illness, contact your health care provider as soon after symptoms begin as possible. Symptoms of the flu often include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headaches, or fatigue. Antiviral medication for flu has been shown to reduce severity and length of disease, decrease the risk of complications from influenza, and reduce the risk of death among hospitalized patients, particularly in those that start treatment early in their illness. Health care providers can prescribe antiviral treatment if appropriate. Treatment is most effective when started within 48 hours, so contacting your health care provider as soon as your child becomes ill is important, especially if your child has underlying health conditions.

The best way to keep yourself and your family safe and healthy during flu season is to:

  • Get vaccinated;
  • Keep sick family members home;
  • Contact your health care provider if you or your child are experiencing flu-like symptoms; and
  • Follow your doctor’s guidance on treatment.

 For more information, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/parents/index.htm.

ATTENTION SENIORS! The Polk Education Foundation online scholarship is now available!

The online application will close Tuesday, February 6 at 12:00 p.m. (noon)

The full list of PEF scholarships, frequently asked questions and Helpful Hints can be found here:  (you may need to cut and paste this address into your browser)


Minimum criteria:

  1. Be a Polk County public or charter high school senior;
  2. Be on track to graduate, having passed the Algebra 1 EOC (or PERT concordant score) and having passed the FSA Reading (or concordant score on ACT or SAT);
  3. Have completed the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and have received your finalized SAR (Student Aid Report) to attach to the printed copy of your application.

Use the General essay to provide personal financial need information, college and career plans, and any other information you feel would help in the selection process. Things like medical problems, divorce, and special family situations are all considered when awarding scholarships. Honors, awards, clubs, volunteer time, leadership roles and extracurricular activities may be included in your essay; Since scholarship decisions will be decided on the information contained in this essay, make sure to include ANY information in the general essay that the specific scholarships ask about—AND know that some of the scholarships will require a separate essay on a specific topic.

The online application will close at 12:00 noon on Tuesday, February 6. In order to be considered for scholarships, students must:

  1. Submit the online application by noon on February 6
  2. Print a hard copy of the application
  3. Include both student and parent signatures on the signature page
  4. Attach a copy of the SAR (Student Aid Report), which is generated from the FAFSA.
  5. The application packet is due to Jamie Burris, in office next to athletic director, no later than 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 8. 

UthMpact Nominations

9th, 10th and 11th grade students—It is time for Lakeland High School to make nominations for UthMpact, the youth leadership program run by InnerAct Alliance.  Participants MUST be able to miss at least 6 days of school for this program, so grades and self-discipline for makeup work must be STRONG.  If you are interested in being considered for nomination, please see our Success Coach, Jamie Burris, in the Success Lab next door to Coach Collins’ office no later than Feb 2 for more information.

Graduation Date!

Our Graduation Date has now been finalized.   Our 2018 graduation will be on Thursday, May 17 at 4:00pm (Lakeland Center).  We are aware that AP exams fall on this day and are working with the District Office and College Board to create a plan to best serve our students. A letter, with an alternate test date, will be distributed to students affected.