Superintendent Updates

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Okaloosa County:
Marcus Chambers

Early registration for the 2021-22 school Year
The Okaloosa County School District now is accepting early registration for the 2021-22 school year for children new to the school district, including those entering kindergarten. Florida law provides that any child who will be five on or before September 1 is eligible for kindergarten that school year.

Registration may be completed online at www.okaloosaschools.com/schools/2021/registration-portal or at any time during the regular school day at your child’s zoned school.

To complete the registration process, parents/guardians must have:
• Proof of the child’s age (birth certificate)
• Florida certificate of immunization
• Social Security card
• School physical dated no later than 12 months before the first day of school
• Proof of residency

Parents/guardians may obtain further information by calling your child’s zoned school or Curriculum and Instruction at 850.833.4208.

Summer VPK Registration for the 2021-2022 School Year
Registration for the Summer VPK Program in Okaloosa County is now available. Florida law provides that any child who turned five on or before September 1, 2021, and is eligible to attend kindergarten in the 2021-2022 school year and did not attend VPK during the current 2020-2021 school year is eligible to participate in Summer VPK.

To register for Summer VPK, a certificate of eligibility must be obtained from the Early Learning Coalition.

For Summer VPK enrollment, parents/guardians must have:
• Proof of Florida residency
• All registration documents listed above for school registration

The Summer VPK site will be Elliott Point Elementary (South area), enrollment permitting.
Parents must provide transportation for Summer VPK students. Further information for Summer VPK enrollment may be obtained by calling the Early Learning Coalition Program at 850.833.3627 or Ms. Debbie Haan at 850.689.7211.

State Testing Update
Students are about to begin state assessments and end-of-course exams. Due to state requirements, all students, including mySchool Online students, must test at their brick-and-mortar school. Each school has developed an assessment plan to ensure a safe testing environment for their mySchool Online students. Families will be provided information from their school detailing the COVID-19 safety protocols for mySchool Online students.

Assessment Schedule—We Need Your Input!
State standardized testing began this month. Each school has created its testing calendar for administering the FSA, Statewide Science Assessment, and End-of-Course Exams for middle and high school students.

A. Russell HughesWalton County:
Russell Hughes
Walton County School District moves closer to ending the 2020-2021 school year. Teachers have worked hard to maintain normalcy and create environments that support student achievement.

Students will soon showcase their academic achievement during the upcoming testing period. Third grade students will participate in FSA Reading exams while fourth through tenth grades will take FSA Writing exams in April. Parents are encouraged to make sure their child is prepared to do their best by sending them to school well rested and having had a healthy breakfast. Superintendent Hughes values community and says, “Our community support for the work of the Walton County School District is unmatched!”

It’s hard to believe, but Walton County Schools are entering the last nine weeks of the year! May 26, 2021, is the final day of the second semester and the end of the academic year. Graduating seniors are busy choosing rings, ordering caps and gowns, and making continuing education choices for career or college. We congratulate all students on their perseverance and adaptability this year! Our District Mission is: Preparing the whole child for a life of Success,” but learning isn’t only for students! During the month of March, our maintenance staff participated in a training on Bloodborne Pathogens, Mandatory Reporting and Student Safety. There are no exceptions when considering student safety and safe schools; only high expectations!

The Walton Republican Women Federated welcomed an update from Superintendent Hughes in March at the Sandestin Hyatt conference room at Grand Boulevard. Members of the Federation were informed on the response of Walton County School District to campus closures which included:

– Educating 10,700 students from home during 9-weeks time, with only 1 week of planning
– Distributing 1,100 computers for home use assisting student with virtual learning
– 22% of students completing paper-based “At-Home Learning” assignments
– Providing breakfast and lunch during last 9-week period – 236,318 total meals
– On average, between 2,300 – 2,900 children were served each week, provided at school sites & on buses

Superintendent Hughes shared with the group of women that we were only able to accomplish this with the E.P.I.C. work of Bus drivers, food service workers, custodians, plant managers, guardians, non-instructional staff, ESP’s, nurses, administrators, and many district staff members working tirelessly to ensure our students lost minimal hours of academic instruction.

In recognition of Women’s History Month which is highlighted yearly during the month of March, Superintendent Hughes acknowledged two leading ladies who are making a difference in the Walton County School District. Ms. Jill W. Smith, serving as Director of Facilities and Maintenance and Ms. Michelle Doggett, serving as District Facilities Planner were selected for this honor. Jill Smith was selected to lead as Director of Facilities and Maintenance for Walton County School District in July 2019. Ms. Smith has a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies – Policy from the University of West Florida and is currently completing a Master of Business Administration from Louisiana State University. Ms. Doggett has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Education and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of West Florida. These ladies are taking our District facilities forward in E.P.I.C. fashion!