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June 2011

School Grades 2011

    School grades released last night show the St. Johns County School District has maintained its ranking as the number one district in the state for the third year in a row.  St. Johns County Schools had 23 “A” schools and 2 “B” schools. Fifteen elementary schools, all seven middle schools and the district’s only K-8 school all received “A”s this year.
The district earned a total of 594 points, 18 points ahead of the second-ranked district.
“I continue to be amazed by the commitment of our students, teachers and school administrators, particularly given the fact that this level of performance was achieved with the new more rigorous FCAT 2.0 in place,” said Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner. “St. Johns County Schools’ grades and its top ranking in the state is an indication of everyone’s hard work. Even with this outstanding performance, conversations are already focused on how to become even better.”
Thirteen elementary schools retained their “A” status, including Cunningham Creek Elementary, Durbin Creek Elementary, Hartley Elementary, Hickory Creek Elementary, R. B. Hunt Elementary, Julington Creek Elementary, Mason Elementary, Mill Creek Elementary, Ocean Palms Elementary, Osceola Elementary, Ponte Vedra-Palm Valley/ Rawlings Elementary, South Woods Elementary and Wards Creek Elementary.
“Once again, I am very proud of the work that has been accomplished in our district.  Everyone works so hard and it’s gratifying to see that translate into excellent marks,” he added.
High school grades are expected to be released in November.

Preregistration

   The St. Johns County School District is encouraging parents to register kindergarten students and new students to the county and/or the public school system before school begins on August 22.
Elementary and middle schools are currently operating out of their area high school but can be contacted at their regular phone number. Hours of operation are 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Schools will return to their campuses on Monday, August 1.
To be eligible for public kindergarten, children must be five years old on or before September 1 and must reside in St. Johns County. To register for first grade, children must be six years old by September 1 and have successfully completed kindergarten. The child’s certified birth certificate is required at the time of registration. Only the legal name is acceptable on student records.
Parents must register children at the school where they have been zoned for the 2011-2012 school year and should bring one of the following proofs of residency: a mortgage statement, lease or rent agreement. An additional proof of residency is required, preferably an electric bill.
In addition to the child’s certified birth certificate, Florida law requires any student entering a Florida school for the first time to show proof of a physical examination and certain immunizations. Parents are also encouraged to bring proof of the child’s social security number.
A physical examination that has been performed within one year prior to enrollment in school will be accepted. Physical examinations can be obtained from either a private physician or from the St. Johns County Health Department, 1955 U.S.1 South.
If all required immunizations have been received, the health department or private physician will issue HRS Form 680, copies are acceptable. In addition to other required immunizations, children must have received two measles immunizations (preferably MMR), two varicella (chicken pox) vaccines and at least the first Hepatitis B Shot before starting public or private kindergarten.
The purpose of early registration is to help reduce the number of students that need to be enrolled at the beginning of school. Parents should visit the individual school website for registration information. Additional information on registration and school attendance zones may be obtained from the Student Services Office at 547-7598.

District-Wide Orientation

  The St. Johns County School District is hosting a district-wide orientation on Friday, August 19 from 8 a.m. to noon.
Many schools have also scheduled special times for groups of students and their parents to come on campus prior to the district orientation date. This allows them time to get supply lists, receive class schedules and meet their teachers.
Parents are encouraged to call or visit the school website to verify any changes in orientation and open house dates.
All schools will return to their campuses on Monday, August 1 following consolidation. All district offices and schools will resume a normal five-day work week on August 8.
It is also recommended that parents register their children for school as soon as possible. Parents may access information regarding registration requirements and their child’s attendance zone by visiting the school district website at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us and clicking on the “For Parents and Students” link.
The purpose of early registration is to help reduce the number of students that need to be enrolled at the beginning of school and to help the district prepare for the appropriate number of teachers.
The 2011-2012 school year begins on Monday, August 22.
Additional information on registration and school attendance zones may be obtained from the Student Services Office at 547-7598.

Outstanding Business Partners of the Year

Hydro Aluminum and the National Safety Commission were recognized as the 2010-2011 St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) Outstanding Business Partners of the Year at the 24th Annual Commissioner’s Business Recognition Awards (CBRA) held last Thursday in Tampa. The event was hosted by the Florida Department of Education in partnership with the Florida Education Foundation and highlighted contributions of the honorees selected from each school district.
For the past two years Hydro Aluminum has collected school supplies for students during the St. Johns County Education Foundation’s annual Tools 4 Schools drive. Each summer the company holds a contest with a trophy given to the department that contributes the most supplies. Their generosity has filled an entire school bus each year.
Hydro Aluminum is also a long time business partner of Hartley Elementary School. The company has contributed approximately $4,000 for each of the past five years to purchase licenses for the school’s Accelerated Reader (AR) program. In addition, Hydro employees help out in the school’s AR Café, which is a great incentive for students to learn to read.
The National Safety Commission (NSC) supported all seven SJCSD high schools through a service-learning project focusing on the dangers of distracted driving, including texting while driving. They contributed to the project by providing industry knowledge, marketing guidance and in-kind promotional materials to the Communications Academy at Nease High School, which coordinated the campaign entitled “WreckLess.”
Partners from NSC also conducted school presentations on driver’s safety, assisted at the High School Showcase, and created a sustainable means of revenue for the academies through a fundraising opportunity available to all high schools. NSC is also represented on the Advisory Board for Ponte Vedra High School’s Academy of International Business and Marketing.
The CRBA encourage successful alliances within the business community and among local school districts for the benefit of Florida’s students. Businesses were recognized with a reception at the Grand Hyatt Hotel where they were photographed with the Commissioner of Education and received an engraved trophy.
Both business partners will be recognized at the regular School Board meeting in July.

 

Summer Food Service Program

   The St. Johns County School District will once again be participating in the Summer Food Service Program for Children June 13 through August 5.
Nutritionally balanced meals will be provided to all children regardless of race, color, sex, disability, age, or national origin during summer vacation when school breakfasts and lunches are not available.  
All children 18 years old and younger are eligible for meals at no charge (if an open site) and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service.  The programs are only approved for geographical areas of need where 50 percent or more of the children qualify for free and reduced price meals during the school year.
Summer feeding sites that are located at schools provide meals to all children in the immediate vicinity in addition to those enrolled in summer school.
Production sites will be St. Augustine High School and Pedro Menendez High School.  Pre-packaged meals will be transported to sites and will be refrigerated at each site until served.  Site personnel will ensure all food items remain at acceptable temperatures before serving to children.
The sites listed below will be in operation as follows:  

Site Service Days Beg/End Dates Breakfast Serve Times Lunch Serve Times Break in Service
St. Augustine High3205 Varella AveSt Aug. 32084 Monday-Thursday June 13- Aug 4 8:15 – 8:45 am 11:15 – 11:45 am July 18-22
Menendez High600 SR 206 WestSt Aug. 32086 Monday-Thursday June 20 – Aug 4 7:30 – 8:30 am 12 -1  pm July 18-22
St Paul AME85 M.L. King Ave.St Aug. 32084 Monday -Friday June 20-Aug 5 8:15-9 am 11:30 am – 12:15 pm N/A
Restoration TimesDeliverance Center34 S. Leonardi St.St Aug. 32084 Monday – Friday June 20– Aug 5 8:15 – 9 am 12– 12:45 pm N/A
Park of Armstrong4950 Harvey Ave.Elkton 32033 Monday-Friday June 20 – Aug 5 N/A 11– 11:30 am N/A
St Aug Boy/Girl Club555 W. King St.St. Aug. 32084 Monday-Friday June 27 – Aug 5 N/A 12 pm -1 pm N/A
New St James Baptist Church135 N. RodriguezSt Aug. 32084 Monday-Friday June 20 – Aug 5 8–8:45 am 11 am – 11:45 am N/A
American Legion1029 Pearl St.St. Aug. 32084 Monday – Friday June 20 – Aug 5 N/A 12 pm – 1 pm N/A
ESHC Family Program62 Chapin St.St Aug. 32084 Monday-Friday June 20 – Aug 5 N/A 11:30 am – 12 pm N/A

Harris Comm Ctr.400 Harris St.Hastings  32145 Monday-Friday June 20 – Aug 5 7:30 – 8:30 am 11:30 am – 1 pm N/A
Solomon Calhoun Center1400 Duval St.St. Aug. 32084 Monday-Friday June 20 – Aug 5 7:30 – 8:30 am 11:30 am – 1 pm N/A
Hastings Teen Center6150 Main St.Hastings  32145 Monday-Friday June 20 – Aug 5 8am – 9 am 12– 1 pm N/A

         “In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.”
To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call toll free (866) 632-9992 (Voice).  Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).  USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Algebra 1 End-of-Course Exam Scores

    St. Johns County students placed first in the state on the newly required Algebra I End-of-Course exams.  
Of the 2,556 students tested, 58 percent scored in the top one-third compared to 35 percent for the state. St. Johns County’s mean score was 55 compared to the state mean score of 49.
Students taking the test included any student currently enrolled in Algebra I.
“I am so proud of everyone and very grateful for the hard work done by our teachers and curriculum staff,” said Superintendent Joseph Joyner. “This is special for the algebra teachers but a victory for math instruction at all grade levels.”
Dr. Linda Thomson, Director for Instructional Services, credits quarterly formative assessments with helping to keep teachers on track in the pacing and rigor of the material.
“Kim Wuellner, the district’s Program Specialist for Secondary Math, spent a great deal of time with teachers explaining the item specifications, working on district-developed end-of-course exams and assisting with professional development to help math teachers implement the Algebra I standards,” said Tim Egnor, Senior Director for Curriculum and Learning.
The Algebra I End-of-Course exam replaces the ninth grade FCAT Math exam. Next year there will no longer be tenth grade FCAT Math, and it will be replaced by an end-of-course exam for students taking Geometry. Likewise eleventh grade FCAT Science will be replaced by an end-of-course exam for students taking Biology.

New CFO Named

  Michael Degutis, Deputy Superintendent of the Indian River School District (IRSD), has been named by Superintendent Joseph Joyner as the new Chief Financial Officer for the St. Johns County School District.  
Mr. Degutis was selected following months of interviews and research by the district, and his appointment will become effective in July. He will replace Conley Weiss, who will retire in December to provide time for transition.
“Conley Weiss has been an institution around here and replacing him upon his retirement has been a monumental concern for me,” said Dr. Joyner. “Conley is personally and primarily responsible for the sound financial condition of our school district.”
The new CFO has five years experience in the IRSD, previously serving as CFO and Assistant Superintendent of Business and Fiscal Services. In his present position, Mr. Degutis is responsible for the overall operation of the district’s facilities, maintenance and transportation. He oversees the accounting, auditing, debt management, financing and investment functions for the IRSD and is also responsible for capital outlay planning and project implementation.
Other areas he supervises include purchasing, food service and information technology.  In addition, Mr. Degutis serves as chief negotiator for both the teachers union and the support personnel union.
“Finding someone with the skills and leadership ability of Mike is an incredible victory for our school system,” said Dr. Joyner. “He is extremely well respected all across the state and will be an outstanding addition to our leadership team.”
From 1991-2006 Mr. Degutis worked for the Brevard County School District serving as Assistant Superintendent of Finance, Director of Accounting Services and Accounting Manager. He also has three years experience as senior staff accountant with Lester Halpern & Company in Massachusetts.
“Mr. Weiss leaves large shoes to fill but I look forward to this opportunity and the privilege of serving the students of St. Johns County,” said Mr. Degutis.
Mr. Degutis received his bachelor’s degree from Westfield State College and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Central Florida.

FCAT Scores

  St. Johns County students continue to score well above the state average at every level on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). On the Sunshine State Standards (SSS), which are required skills for graduation, St. Johns County students scored in the top five in reading and math at every grade level among all 67 Florida school districts. Students also ranked first or second in the state in 14 out of 18 grade-level categories.
FCAT Science was given to students in Grades 5, 8 and 11. St. Johns County fifth graders ranked first in the state, and eighth and eleventh graders both ranked third in the state.
The FCAT, which assesses reading, math and science skills, was given in April to students in grades three through eleven throughout the state. Achievement levels range from one to five, with Level 3 being considered proficient. The test is part of a statewide effort to increase student performance and school accountability.
“With the advent of FCAT 2.0, we fully expected to see a drop in scores,” said Dr. Joseph Joyner, Superintendent of Schools. “However, we were extremely gratified to see how well our students handled the more rigorous material. We increased our scores in 12 categories, remained stable in four and slightly decreased in only two categories.”
Grade level results on the SSS comparing 2010 to 2011:

3rd Grade Reading Percent of students with level 3 and above increased from 85% to 87% 2nd in the state (T)
4th Grade Reading Percent of students with level 3 and above remained at 83% 1st in the state (T)
5th Grade Reading Percent of students with level 3 and above increased from 82% to 84% 1st in the state
6th Grade Reading Percent of students with level 3 and above increased from 79% to 81 % 1st in the state (T)
7th Grade Reading Percent of students with level 3 and above remained at 80% 2nd in the state (T)
8th Grade Reading Percent of students with level 3 and above increased from 68% to 72% 1st in the state
9th Grade Reading Percent of students with level 3 and above increased from 66% to 68% 1st in the state
10th Grade Reading Percent of students with level 3 and above increased from 55% to 56% 1st in the state
3rd Grade Math Percent of students with level 3 and above increased from 87% to 88% 4th in the state
4th Grade Math Percent of students with level 3 and above decreased from 86% to 84% 5th in the state (T)
5th Grade Math Percent of students with level 3 and above increased from 77% to 78% 1st in the state
6th Grade Math Percent of students with level 3 and above remained at 73% 2nd in the state
7th Grade Math Percent of students with level 3 and above increased from 73% to76% 2nd in the state (T)
8th Grade Math Percent of students with level 3 and above increased from 80% to 83%. 2nd in the state
9th Grade Math Algebra 1 end-of-course results not in yet
10th Grade Math Percent of students with level 3 and above decreased from 85% to 84% 1st in the state
5th Grade Science Percent of students with level 3 and above increased from 67% to 69% 1st in the state
8th Grade Science Percent of students with level 3 and above increased from 60% to 63% 3rd in the state
11th Grade Science Percent of students with level 3 and above remained at 53% 3rd in the state

(T) = tied
School grades for elementary and middle schools are expected to be released in approximately three weeks. High school grades will not be announced until November because the high school grading system incorporates data not yet available such as graduation rates and results of advanced academic testing.
Additional information can be found at http://fcat.fldoe.org/.

LPA Relocation

Due to the continuation of residual smoke in the area, Liberty Pines Academy will be holding classes at alternative locations tomorrow.
Classes for students in Grades K-5 will be held in the Creekside High School (CHS) auditorium, and classes for students in grades 6-8 will be held in the Bartram Trail High School (BTHS) Ninth Grade Center.
Buses will pick up and drop off students at their normal bus stop and times.  Parent pick up and drop off will be located at the CHS main entrance and at the BTHS auditorium parking lot but may be delayed as a result of the change in location. Students will be able to purchase a hot lunch from the cafeteria.  
Extended Day Services for elementary students will be available for registered users from 6:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. in the CHS auditorium.  Extended Day Services for middle school students will be available for registered users from 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. in the BTHS Ninth Grade Center.    
Middle school students will be taking math final exams tomorrow morning.  Make-up exams for other content classes will be held tomorrow afternoon.
Eighth grade parents will receive additional communication regarding the end-of-the-year ceremony. Most other end-of-the-year activities have been canceled including the Liberty Parade.  
Parents are encouraged to visit their teacher’s website for specific information about their child’s class.  

 

LPA Smoke Shutdown

   Liberty Pines Academy (LPA) will be closed again on Friday, June 3 due to significant smoke still remaining in the building and the air quality being below acceptable standards.
This decision was made in cooperation with the Florida Division of Forestry and the St. Johns County Emergency Operations Center.
There will be no activities at the school tomorrow including extended day.
School district officials expect LPA to be back open on Monday on its regular schedule. However, if conditions necessitate the closing of school next week, a News Alert will be posted on the district website and parents will be notified.