The student count for the St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) on opening day, August 20, 2012, was 29,273, an increase of 787 students or 2.8 percent over last year’s first day number of 28,486. During the past five years when many districts have seen sustained or declining enrollment, St. Johns County has continued to be one of the fastest growing counties in the state.
High school student count was 9,257, with 1,608 students at Bartram Trail High School, 1,731 at Creekside High School, 1,289 at Pedro Menendez High School, 1,602 at Nease High School, 1,450 at Ponte Vedra High School and 1,577 at St. Augustine High School.
There were also 142 students in attendance at St. Johns Technical High School (SJTHS). SJTHS is located on the campus of First Coast Technical College and offers academic studies combined with career and vocational training.
Middle school attendance totaled 6,865, with student headcounts ranging from 620 at Sebastian Middle School to 1365 at Fruit Cove Middle School. The other first day figures were Landrum Middle School with 1,235, Murray Middle School with 709, Pacetti Bay Middle School with 986, Gamble Rogers Middle School with 813 and Switzerland Point Middle School with 1,137.
Liberty Pines Academy, the district’s only permanent K-8 school, had a first day headcount of 1,191.
The elementary school population totaled 11,559; however, this count includes less than 25 percent of the kindergarten population since schools stagger the kindergarten start date over a five-day period. Another 259 students are enrolled at the district’s alternative and charter schools.
“Today was a wonderful first day of school throughout the district,” said Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner. “The outstanding planning and preparation by principals, teachers and support staff was evident in the schools I visited, and instruction was already taking place in the classrooms. Our maintenance and custodial staffs had the schools in immaculate condition and our food service team was very well prepared. I am extremely grateful for the efforts of everyone to make today special and welcome our students into this year’s learning environment.”
“I am also very appreciative of our transportation department and the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office for making sure our children got to school and home safely,” he added. Today’s weather presented an additional challenge, but once again our staff stepped up to the plate to ensure that everyone was safe. Finally, our parents are the very best and much of our success today is attributed to their cooperation and support.”
SJCSD staff will continue to monitor attendance numbers, balance classrooms and refine bus routes throughout the week.