About Rochelle

Our History

Mr. William A. Rochelle

Before the 24th Amendment was established Rochelle School of the Arts was a segregated black high school known as Rochelle High School, named for a noted black Polk County educator William A. Rochelle. Mr. Rochelle migrated to Lakeland and made a mark in the field of education. When segregation ended, Rochelle was closed down and later reopened then turned into an art school.

When Rochelle School of the Arts opened in 1992 as a K-8 Performing Arts school, it was the first of its kind in the State of Florida, and the second of its kind in the country. It has been a model for the various other performing arts elementary and middle schools in the state that have followed.

The school has very diverse students and teachers. The students at Rochelle have high expectations from the teachers and staff.  Rochelle School of the Arts has 8 periods a day, which gives the students a more well rounded experience in the arts and academics.

Our Mission

Rochelle School of the Arts is committed to doing “Whatever It Takes” to provide an enriched and rigorous curriculum through the arts and academics in a challenging environment.


Our exceptional staff is committed to providing students with a firm academic foundation which complements our vibrant arts program. Students spend 4.5 hours per day in academic classes (Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies) and 1.5 hours per day in art and/or PE classes (Dance, Drama, Music and/or Visual Arts).  Elementary students also attend PE every day.  

Core Values

Rochelle students are: Respectful, Safe, Active Learners, Unified and Creative.  

 Positive Behavior Support (PBS)

Rochelle School of the Arts is a Positive Behavior Support (PBS) model school.  This model focuses on teaching students the positive behaviors that are expected throughout the school, acknowledging and rewarding those behaviors, re-teaching the expectations when they are not met, and following a consistent set of consequences if positive behaviors are not followed. Parents and families are able to monitor their child’s progress throughout each month with the “Paws-itive” Card in the plastic sleeve of the agenda. Students have monthly goals for receiving Panther Paw stamps, and work toward meeting those goals to earn a designated monthly reward or privilege.

Awards & Recognition

The Golden School Award recognizes schools that meet the following criteria:

  1. A minimum of 80 percent of the school staff participated in training related to school volunteerism.
  2. A school volunteer coordinator is designated for recruitment, placement, training and supervision of school volunteers.
  3. The total number of hours of volunteer service equals twice the number of students enrolled in the school.

Rochelle School of the Arts was recently identified as a Silver Model School.  The FLPBIS (Florida Positive Behavior Intervention Support) Model School identifies and recognizes schools that:

  • Demonstrate highly effective student outcomes as a result of the implementation of PBIS
  • Demonstrate high levels of consistent PBIS implementation
  • Agree to serve as a demonstration site to others
  • Agree to share resources and artifacts that showcase best practices

What are people saying?

Amie attends Rochelle because she has always been artistic, in painting, singing, and creating.  I wanted Amie to expand and explore that gift, and I know she can take advantage of all the benefits Rochelle has to offer.  This is Amie’s first year at Rochelle, but my experience has been fantastic.  I see a lot of involvement with teachers and parents and teachers and staff that care about the students.  I appreciate that! Rochelle has different classes/courses that other schools don’t, and I think that’s excellent, specially in the Arts.  I also think Rochelle is different because of how involved Mrs. Ward is.  I see her every morning at drop off.  Lastly Rochelle has great events for the children to enjoy.
A. Aguilera