The Winter Holidays are upon us, and so is the end of the first semester of School in the Walton County School District. It has been a phenomenal first half of the school year, with many amazing happenings throughout our district. Our teachers and students have worked diligently to meet the challenges of the second nine weeks and upcoming semester exams, and feel confident they will succeed in EPIC fashion!
We have some important dates to keep in the forefront of your December schedule and family activity planning. December 19 is the end of the 2nd nine weeks and first semester. December 20, 2019 through January 2, 2020 is the official “Winter Break” holiday. All students and school district employees will be off on those days to celebrate the holidays, and enjoy time with friends and families. January 3, 2020, our teachers will return to work, with the students following on January 7, 2020. As your students are off for the holidays, we encourage you to keep them mentally engaged and active to avoid the “winter knowledge slide!” Perhaps you might have them read a special holiday story, or come together to play a fun, family game that encourages higher order thinking skills. With the onset of electronic media, writing cards, “thank-you” notes, and letters have gone “out of style” a bit, but it is a wonderful way to galvanize your child’s language and communication skills.
Many special activities and holiday performances will be scheduled at schools across the district during this holiday month. Stay informed of these activities through your child’s school newsletters and social media platforms so you can be engaged, involved and present. We know you will be delighted to see how your child is progressing academically, creatively, and socially when you are able to visit in the school, and attend concerts and activities in which they are participating.
Superintendent Hughes is proud to announce the official opening of the Magnet Innovation Center at St. Joe Watersound, a STEAM high school unlike any other in the region. This EPIC collaboration between the Walton County School District and The St. Joe Company provides specialized classes in STEAM subjects: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. Currently, there are 60 students enrolled in the center. Officials expect that the school will grow, doubling in size next year and rising to as many as 250 students in four years!
Congratulations goes out this month to Kobe Phillips from Freeport High School for winning first place in the Regional Florida Farm Bureau Federation Youth Speech Competition and placing third in the state of Florida! Kobe’s speech, which he recently presented at a Walton County School Board Meeting, examined the impact of natural disasters on consumers and agriculture in Florida. We are extremely proud of Kobe and his accomplishments!
Congratulations also goes out to Grace Minton (AP CSP) for being selected as a winner in the 2019 district-wide Congressional APP Challenge representing South Walton High School and the Walton County School District!! Grace is a student at the Magnet Innovation Center, and received 2nd place honors in the competition hosted by Congressman Matt Gaetz. She is the first WCSD winner, and we are so proud of her, and excited for MIC! The Congressional APP Challenge was established in 2014 by the United States House of Representatives to encourage students to create and submit their own app for the opportunity to receive national recognition.
Superintendent Hughes wishes all the WCSD families and constituents a safe and meaningful Winter Holiday Season, and a happy and prosperous new year in 2020!