Walton County School District Superintendent’s February 2021 Update 

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Supt Hughes

Walton County School District is nearing the end of a successful and busy third nine weeks of classes and looks forward to more milestones into the last nine weeks!  Most significant is the phenomenal effort district teachers and staff made during COVID mandatory quarantines to contact all students and families.  Of the District’s 10,000+ student population, all but four are enrolled in some form of teaching and learning environment.  The unlocated four students most likely are registered with counties that are not now in session.  Quite an achievement when viewing the latest statistics from the Office of Economic and Demographic Research, which states 87,811 fewer students have enrolled in public schools than were predicted to sign up for the 2020-21 school year.

We take pride in knowing our district brick and mortar schools remain safe, sanitized, socially distancing places of educational enrichment. With the help of parents, diligent staff, and employees, Walton County Schools (14) have seen only six positive cases of the COVID virus of February 1, 2021.   Superintendent Hughes says, “We appreciate the cooperation and willingness of parents and students to follow the safety guideline we have in place.  These guidelines and precautions are the direct links to our low occurrences of the virus.”

Our celebration of success continues as we received state graduation data. Walton County’s graduation rate increased from 89% to 92% resulting in a State District Ranking increase from 29th to 18TH! The growth is the culmination of rigorous teaching, dedicated District Support Staff, and hard work from Walton County students!

When highlighting the county’s successes, recognition is due to Walton High School and South Walton High School, proud recipients of CollegeBoard’s Female Diversity Award for AP (Accelerated Program) Computer Science Principles (APCSP).  Schools receiving this award have expanded young women’s course participation, markedly closing the gender gap among students.  Research shows that female students who take APCSP in high school are more than 5x likely to major in college computer science.  Congratulations to you both!

Spring is not only the time for beginning new gardens; it also signals the beginning of new learning journeys as parents are encouraged to register their curious learners for Kindergarten!  All Walton County Elementary Schools will host on-site Kindergarten registration beginning Monday, March 1- Friday, March 12, 2021, from 8:00 am-2:30 pm.  Each school will have individual COVID safe registration processes. Contact your school for information.  Be sure you have all the necessary documentation before arriving; you will need your child’s official birth certificate and physical exam with updated immunization records (DOH 680-blue card).  We are excited to meet the next group of talented student academics!

Walton County School District desires to see every school become a community resource for families.  Each school has a Parent Engagement representative who would be happy to share resources that are practical for parents who want to help their student academically or socially/emotionally.  Parents are our most important allies, and we want each of you to feel empowered to support your child at home.  Should you have questions, concerns, suggestions, or a compliment, reach out to us through our new Let’s Talk system.  Let’s Talk is located on the district website as a dropdown tab on the page’s right side.  You may also text us at 850-204-9667.  Your submission is routed to the school district employee who can best address your need or comment. Let’s stay in touch!

Be on the lookout for your child’s mid-term report coming out Thursday, February 4, 2021.  Should you have questions or concerns about your student’s grades, reach out to your child’s teacher by email or phone.

Begin preparing for the Spring Break holidays March 15-19, 2021.  Spring Break alerts us that the end of the year is nearing.  We are sure to continue on our successful E.P.I.C. trajectory if parents, students, employees, and the community continue their collaborative efforts!