Walton County Superintendent of Schools March Update

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We are proud to announce that the Instructional Employee’s Negotiation Session was completed on February 1, 2018 between the Walton County Education Association (WCEA) Instructional Bargaining Unit and the Walton County School Board.  The agreement was ratified by the instructional staff and was Board approved on February 20, 2018.

Instructional staff will be awarded a Step and $625 on the Salary Placement Schedule.  The proposed salary will be retroactive to July 1, 2017.  Staff will receive a revised 2017-18 contract to sign as soon as records have been updated in the payroll system.  Returning instructional staff will also receive 2018-19 contracts prior to the end of the school year.

The Non-Instructional Employees Negotiation Session was completed on February 15, 2018 between the Walton Support Professionals Bargaining Unit and the Walton County School Board.  Pending ratification and Board Approval, the tentative agreements include a Step and $0.40 cent salary increase. The proposed salary will be retroactive to July 1, 2017.

It is exciting to see the Walton County School District growing quickly and consistently.  The student enrollment district-wide has increased by over 750 students since September of 2015.  This type of growth speaks well of the reputation of our district for quality of instruction and achievement. South Walton High School alone has experienced the growth of over 270 students in this time.  Construction is set to begin the week of March 5, 2018 on 10 new classrooms at SWHS that will house a computer lab, a foreign language lab, as well as math, science and social studies classes.

Superintendent A. Russell Hughes, the Walton County School District Security and Safety Task Force, and Sheriff Michael A. Adkinson have been working diligently as a team to ensure the safety of the students of the Walton County School District.  Superintendent Hughes recently shared this statement in a district-wide message to the constituents, “Safety has and always will remain our top priority when it comes to educating the students of Walton County.  We continue to promote the “see something, say something” practice, and we expect all students, teachers, and staff to actively remain involved.  I beg parents to share with their students, if they SEE something, if they READ something; they are to SAY something to the proper authorities. As always, we expect our SRD’s , Administrators, and staff to remain visible and aware of potential threats to school safety.”

As part of the on-going and continuously improving safety initiative in the Walton County School District, each school and administrative building in the district has instituted the “secure lobby” program that includes automatic door latches, card readers, and panic buttons in classrooms and offices.  When visitors come to one of our schools, they are screened initially through a camera/intercom system, and must present a driver’s license or other similar identification that is checked through the Raptor Visitor Management System. This extensive system provides immediate, real-time screening of individuals seeking to enter our buildings.  We continue to implement ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate) active shooter civilian response training and drill in all of our facilities district wide. Superintendent Hughes, in collaboration with the Walton County Sheriff’s Department, has made certain that each school is provided with a full-time School Resource Deputy.  These officers provide an invaluable service to our schools through guarding and educating students, faculty and staff on safety and police-related topics.