March 31, 2020
COVID-19 Update April 2, 2020
Parents, we want to ease your mind regarding food. Governor DeSantis issued a new executive order which defines essential services during our COVID-19 Emergency. One of those essential services is food distribution in which the Walton County School District is providing for our community during this pandemic.
Food distribution will continue as scheduled today, Friday, and Monday (April 6th). Beginning, Tuesday, April 7th, Superintendent A. Russell Hughes has streamlined food distribution to minimize exposure to COVID-19 and to also help you maximize your resources (gas costs and time). Our revised plan will focus on a single week day distribution - Tuesdays. On Tuesdays, parents will be provided with 10 meals per child (five breakfasts and five lunches). Our five food distribution sites will remain the same (Paxton, Mossy Head, Maude Saunders Elementary, Walton Middle, and Freeport High School); however, transportation routes will adjust slightly due to the larger distributions (please see the attached list). Our revised plan will begin April 7th and run every Tuesday for the month of April (April 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th). On Tuesdays, food distribution sites will stay open longer - from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. - to accommodate the larger amounts of food being disbursed.
In addition to providing food, education is also an essential service and K-12 schools in Florida will continue to facilitate distance learning. Walton County Schools will continue to provide virtual education for your children through the At-Home Learning Calendars provided on your school’s website. Although our school campuses will minimize interactions to help slow the spread of COVID-19, our school leaders, teachers, and other support staff are essential workers and are able to be a resource for you and your family. Please continue to call or submit online questions to your child’s school if you need information about food, technology help, computer devices, paper portfolios, and more. We are here to help and continuing your child’s education is important to us!
COVID-19 Update March 31, 2020
We have just received official word from the Florida Department of Education regarding school campus closures. The 3/31/20 press release states:
"Today, Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran recommended that all Florida public and private K-12 school campuses extend campus closures through May 1, 2020. This recommendation follows President Donald J. Trump and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) extension of social distancing guidelines until April 30th."
Parents, please know that we always want to provide you with accurate and up-to-date information, which is why we waited until FDOE’s official press release. Based on the information above, Walton County School District will continue our At-Home Education Plan and school campuses will remain closed to students through May 1st.
Please be sure you have visited your child’s school website to receive this week’s school-based At-Home Learning calendar. The calendar will provide a list of resources for core subject areas. For specific questions about curriculum, instruction, and/or technology, please refer to your child’s teachers and/or your school. The district is continuing to work with the Florida Department of Education regarding attendance and grades, and updates will be provided soon.
Please remember that you can submit a question online to your school or school district by using the “Contact Us” tab on our websites. We are also available during regular school hours by phone. Again, thanks to everyone for being patient and understanding during this trying time.
COVID-19 Update March 27, 2020
We hope you can watch our newly released video message. Superintendent A. Russell Hughes, along with his district office staff, would like to dedicate this message to all Walton County School District students, parents, and employees. The video serves as a special thank you to parents, who are the rock stars of our first ever At-Home Learning model. We could not have done this week without you, and we appreciate you! We also miss our students and employees dearly and all of you are in our hearts and minds as we navigate these uncharted waters TOGETHER.
Before we get to academics, we must give a big thank you to our extraordinary bus drivers and food service workers. Because of you, along with district and school teams, the WCSD is feeding approximately 1,500 children, a total of 3,000 meals, on a daily basis. Due to this response, we will continue to provide meals for children ages 1 to 18 at our five school sites and on bus routes throughout Walton County. We also want to thank our partners, the Florida Department of Agriculture, Food for Thought, The Matrix, and numerous restaurants and organizations throughout Walton County.
We do have two changes that are coming Monday, March 30th in regards to food distribution. First, food pick up at our five sites (Paxton, Mossy Head, Maude Saunders Elementary, Walton Middle, and Freeport High School) will now be from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Also, there has been small changes to our bus routes, which were posted yesterday. These changes include lengthening stop times and adding additional stops.
Looking at academics, we want to thank and recognize our parents who have started WCSD’s At-Home Learning plan. We have heard from so many of you, and we appreciate your dedication to your children and your positive attitudes. We can see our students logging on daily to Class Link and their success in our many online platforms, such as Compass Learning, Study Island, Khan Academy, and more, which we are now so grateful to have had in place.
As we are transferring instruction back to schools, please visit your school’s website. Each individual campus will post their own At-Home Learning Calendar for the week of March 30th. Many of the schools’ plans may mirror our initial At-Home Learning Calendar as we are using parents’ feedback from this week. Many of you have said you appreciate straight forward and clear directions as you embark on this new journey.
Parents, we have mailed report cards home, so you can view your child’s grades for the third nine weeks, which reflects work prior to Spring Break. Please expect report cards on Monday. Teachers will also begin to reach out to you regarding how we will capture your child’s work during our At Home Learning model.
We also want to welcome back our teachers and staff at schools next week; however, as we continue to keep our employees safe, we may work in a variety of different settings and times in order to follow CDC guidelines. Parents, as teachers return, you will start to see them reach out to you via phone or other technology. When we reach out, please let us know any individual questions or concerns you may have. This can include technology help, curriculum clarifications, and content questions. Your school’s administration will also be available as school offices will be open Monday through Friday during your school’s typical hours. Please contact your individual school for questions and concerns. You can also submit a question via any school or district webpage. We are here to help you and your child!
As a final note, we just want to say thank you again to students, parents, employees, and the entire Walton County community. We have received well wishes and positive messages from so many groups and individuals, and it is appreciated more than you know. We are so blessed to be a part of such a strong community that values education! Please continue to stay safe, and thank you!
COVID-19 Update March 19, 2020
We have several updates for you today. Please see information below regarding food distribution and student medication pick up that will start Monday, March 23. Educational updates will roll out this weekend along with a video message from Superintendent A. Russell Hughes.
Starting Monday, March 23, 2020, five school sites will begin to provide food for children ages 1 to 18.
* Mossy Head School
* Maude Saunders Elementary
* Walton Middle School
* Freeport High School
These five sites will provide a grab and go meal in the school’s car rider line. You do not have to live in the school zone to receive food at the above sites. If possible, if your school is not a site, please visit the site nearest to you. For example, if your child attends Dune Lakes Elementary, a non-distribution site, you may pick up a meal at Freeport High School, a distribution site. Children must be present in the car to receive a free meal.
School sites haven been chosen based on specific criteria as put forth by the Florida Department of Agriculture. We may open additional sites as we can.
The schedule for food pick up at the five sites above are as follows:
* Monday, March 23 from 11:00 a.m.– 1:00 p.m. – lunch provided
* Tuesday, March 24 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – lunch provided and next day’s breakfast
* Wednesday, March 25 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – lunch provided and next day’s breakfast
* Thursday, March 26 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – lunch provided and next day’s breakfast
* Friday, March 27 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – lunch provided and next day’s breakfast
Starting Wednesday, March 25th, food distribution will also begin via bus transportation. Over 95 bus stops will be put into place throughout the Walton County School District from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and look similar to our summer routes. Buses will spend 10 minutes at each stop for parents to receive breakfast and lunch at the bus stop instead of visiting school sites. School sites will also remain open as well. More information about your area’s routes are to come.
As we provide meals, please know that we are taking health and safety protocols seriously. All individuals preparing and delivering meals will follow CDC guidelines.
If your child has medication at school that you need at home, you can pick up medication from the school’s nurse starting Monday, March 23 through Friday, March 27 from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Medication will only be released to a student’s parent.
All school campuses will be staffed with a small team on Monday, March 23. Parents may enter the school office based on CDC guidelines regarding gatherings of 10 people or less. If you are sick, please call your school instead of visiting.
The Walton County School District does have an online system to answer any of your COVID-19/School Closure related questions. Please click on the “Contact Us” tab on the right side of our website to submit a question or concern. District staff is available to answer questions over Spring Break. Thank you for your continued support and understanding in this time of uncertainty. We appreciate everyone’s flexibility and patience.
COVID-19 Update March 18, 2020
Please know that we are working on many topics that pertain to our students and employees over our Spring Break, especially as we continue to receive guidance from the Florida Department of Education regarding our school closure until April 15.
The following are updates for parents and students:
* We recognize the importance of being able to reach out to your individual school and hearing answers from a voice you know. Starting Monday, March 23, your school’s administration will be at work and able to answer your school specific questions via phone and email.
* Food Service is preparing food distribution for students that will start Monday, March 23. Locations and times will be announced by Friday.
* If your child has medication at school that you need at home, we will be arranging medication pick up starting Monday, March 23. Times will be announced by Friday.
* The Walton County School District is working on continuity plans where education to students may be delivered in new and innovative ways, including virtually. We have great day-to-day plans for our students that include all core subject areas and guidance for parents. We also will have contact information for curriculum experts that will be available to assist students and parents. Walton’s continuity plan will be released in a video message by Superintendent A. Russell Hughes. Please look for the video on our website by Sunday.
* Governor DeSantis has waived state testing and school accountability grades for the remainder of the 19-20 school year. Student grades and other data points specific to students will be determined in the coming days as school districts continue to receive guidance from the Florida Department of Education.
* The Walton County School District does have an online system to answer any of your COVID-19/School Closure related questions. Please click on the “Contact Us” tab on the right side of our website to submit a question or concern. District staff is available to answer questions over Spring Break.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding in this time of uncertainty. We appreciate everyone’s flexibility and patience.
COVID-19 Update March 17, 2020
This afternoon, Governor DeSantis has announced and the Florida Department of Education has sent guidance for the closing of all K-12 public and private schools and career and technical centers in Florida through April 15, 2020.
Additional information has come with school closure guidelines:
- State testing and school grades are being waived for the 19-20 school year.
- Graduation, promotion requirements, and final course grades will be evaluated as though state assessments which were canceled did not exist.
- Eligibility for Florida Bright Futures scholarships shall be based on available data.
We will continue to update you as we receive additional information.
COVID-19 Update 3/14/2020
Just an update to let you know we are continuing to think about our children. Even during this confusing time, our students are at the forefront of our mind.
The Walton County School District is currently developing a plan to help feed students the week of March 23-27, our state mandated school closure. We know families and employees expected to be out March 16-20 for Spring Break and may be traveling safely to visit family and friends as anticipated. Therefore, we believe our students are in good hands with families this coming week.
However, beginning the week of March 23-27, the WCSD is working on a plan for food distribution and service because as always we are committed to the health and safety of our students. Superintendent A. Russell Hughes states, "We do not want any Walton County Student to go without food."
On Monday, March 23, the WCSD will provide one meal for students, lunch, and starting Tuesday, March 24 through Friday, March 27, the WCSD will provide two meals a day, breakfast and lunch. Time and locations are being determined, we will release more detailed information as soon as plans have been solidified.
We want to thank all of our partners in this endeavor. Robert Martin and Our Food Service Department is currently collaborating with the Florida Department of Agriculture, FLDOE, Food for Thought, local businesses, and more.
Covid-19 Update 3/13/20
We have just received word from the Florida Commissioner of Education that Florida schools will be closed for two weeks; therefore, the Walton County School District is now closed for students from now until Monday, March 30, 2020. More information will follow including guidance for employees the week of March 23-27, extra-curricular activities, testing, and SPICE.
In addition to the above, we also received the following updates from the Florida Department of Education in conjunction with the Department of Health:
· Anyone (students/faculty/staff/etc.) who goes on foreign travel, to any country, must self-isolate for 14 days upon return.
· Anyone (students/faculty/staff/etc.) who goes on a cruise, anywhere, must self-isolate for 14 days upon return.
· There should be no mass gatherings, which are defined by the CDC as “1,000-25,000 people, but the practical application is any gathering that would strain local resources”.
· If a student/faculty/staff has been exposed to a person with confirmed COVID-19, and that student/faculty/staff has been in a classroom, we do recommend that you clear the classroom and take necessary steps to sanitize the room.
In regards to specific changes today in Walton County, Superintendent A. Russell Hughes has directed all schools to postpone all out of state professional travel and in state professional travel where a confirmed COVID-19 case is present. All out of county field trips are also being postponed. In conjunction with these changes, Superintendent Hughes continues to oversee the deep cleaning of all area schools. We specifically want to thank our Facilities and Maintenance Department, school administration, plant managers, and custodians for their work in this area.
The district has added additional links to our website, including the Health Department and the CDC, and we have added a COVID-19 button that allows our stakeholders to submit questions via the “Contact Us” button on our website.
Thank you for your continued support. Stay safe and healthy, and continue to check back for more information.