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July 2013

Free and Reduced Lunch

The St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) has announced its policy for free and reduced price meals for students unable to pay full price for meals served under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs and Child Care Food Program. Anyone interested may review a copy of the policy by contacting Sean Prevatt, SJCSD director of Food and Nutrition Services, 10 Hildreth Drive, St. Augustine, FL 32084 or (904) 547-3960 or toll free (866) 984-7084.

Household size and income criteria will be used to determine eligibility. An application cannot be approved unless it contains complete eligibility information. Once approved, meal benefits are good for an entire year. You need not notify the school district of increases in income or decreases in household size throughout the year.

Application forms will be sent home with a letter to parents or guardians or a copy can be found on the Food and Nutrition Service’s website at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/food/free. To apply for Free or Reduced-Price Meals, households must complete the application and return it to the school or district office, or an application can be completed online. Additional copies are also available at the front office in each school. The information provided on the application will be used for the purpose of determining eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year. Applications may be submitted at any time during the year.

Households that receive SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) or TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) are required to list on the application only the child’s name, SNAP/TANF case number, and signature of adult household member.

Foster children will receive free benefits regardless of the child’s personal income or the income of the household.

Households with children who are considered migrants, homeless, or runaway should contact Homeless Liaison Chris Stone at (904) 547-7589.

For the purpose of determining household size, deployed service members are considered a part of the household. Families should include the names of the deployed service members on their application. Report only that portion of the deployed service member’s income made available to them or on their behalf to the family. Additionally, a housing allowance that is part of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative is not to be included as income.

All other households must provide the following information listed on the application:

Total household income listed by gross amount received, type of income (e.g., wages, child support, etc.) and how often the income is received by each household member to include all children whether in a school or not;

Names of all household members – check the “no income” box if applicable; if household member is a child, list school name for each;

Signature of an adult household member certifying the information provided is correct; and

The last four digits of the social security number of the adult signing the application or the word “NONE” for this household member if he or she does not have a social security number.

The district should be contacted if a household member becomes unemployed, or if the household size increases. Children of parents or guardians who become unemployed should also contact the district.

Under the provisions of the Free and Reduced-Price meal policy, the Food Service Director or approved designee will review applications and determine eligibility. If a parent or guardian is dissatisfied with the ruling of the official, he or she may wish to discuss the decision with the determining official on an informal basis. If the parent wishes to make a formal appeal, he or she may make a request either orally or in writing to the Director of Student Services, 40 Orange Street, St Augustine, FL 32084, 904-547-7536.

Unless indicated otherwise on the application, the information on the Free and Reduced-Price Meal application may be used by the school system in determining eligibility for other educational programs.

FREE MEAL SCALE
Effective July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014

Household Size Annual Monthly Twice per Month Every Two Weeks Weekly
1 14,937 1,245 623 575 288
2 20,163 1,681 841 776 388
3 25,389 2,116 1,058 977 489
4 30,615 2,552 1,276 1,178 589
5 35,841 2,987 1,494 1,379 690
6 41,067 3,423 1,712 1,580 790
7 46,293 3,858 1,929 1,781 891
8 51,519 4,294 2,147 1,982 991
For each additional family member, add 5,226 436 218 201 101


REDUCED-PRICE MEAL SCALE
Effective July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014

 
Household Size Annual Monthly Twice per Month Every Two Weeks Weekly
1 21,257 1,772 886 818 409
2 28,694 2,392 1,196 1,104 552
3 36,131 3,011 1,506 1,390 695
4 43,568 3,631 1,816 1,676 838
5 51,005 4,251 2,126 1,962 981
6 58,442 4,871 2,436 2,248 1,124
7 65,879 5,490 2,745 2,534 1,267
8 73,316 6,110 3,055 2,820 1,410
For each additional family member, add 7,437 620 310 287 144

To determine annual income:

If you receive the income every week, multiply the total gross income by 52.
If you receive the income every two weeks, multiply the total gross income by 26.
If you receive the income twice a month, multiply the total gross income by 24.
If you receive the income monthly, multiply the total gross income by 12.

Remember, the total income before taxes, social security, health benefits, union dues, or other deductions must be reported.

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or if all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at [email protected].

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (in Spanish).

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Districtwide Orientation

The St. Johns County School District is hosting a districtwide orientation on Friday, August 16 from 8 a.m. to noon. Orientation is an opportunity for students and parents to get supply lists, receive class schedules and meet teachers.

While many schools have orientations on other dates and times, staff will be available at all schools on Friday, August 16 from 8 a.m. to noon. Parents are encouraged to call or visit their school’s website for any additional orientations scheduled.

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. Additional information on registration and school attendance zones may be obtained from the Student Services Office at 547-7598.

The purpose of early registration is to help reduce the number of students that need to be enrolled at the beginning of the school year and to help the district prepare for the appropriate number of teachers.

The first day of class for the 2013-2014 school year is Monday, August 19.

School Grades

School grades released today show that the St. Johns County School District has maintained its ranking as one of the top performing districts in the state. St. Johns County had 15 “A” schools, four “B” schools, five “C” schools, one “D” school and one school with a pending status.

Ten elementary schools, four middle schools and the district’s only K-8 school were “A” schools this year.

“I have always advocated for higher standards and it is very difficult to explain how school grades can go down at the same time students’ test scores improve,” said Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner. “This year’s school grades are not reflective of lower student performance, but rather of the higher proficiency standards. The revised passing scores and additional changes had an obvious negative impact on school grades.”

“We remain focused on individual student growth. I am very proud that our students continue to improve and excel with the higher standards.”

The 10 elementary schools receiving an “A” status are Cunningham Creek Elementary, Durbin Creek Elementary, W. D. Hartley Elementary, Hickory Creek Elementary, R. B. Hunt Elementary, Julington Creek Elementary, Ketterlinus Elementary, Ocean Palms Elementary, PVPV/Rawlings Elementary and Timberlin Creek Elementary. The four middle schools with an “A” status are Fruit Cove Middle, Alice B. Landrum Middle, Pacetti Bay Middle and Switzerland Point Middle. Also receiving an “A” is Liberty Pines Academy (K-8).

Schools receiving a “B” include Mill Creek Elementary, Palencia Elementary, Wards Creek Elementary and Gamble Rogers Middle. Schools receiving a “C” include Otis A. Mason Elementary, Osceola Elementary, South Woods Elementary, R. J. Murray Middle and Sebastian Middle. With the new rigorous proficiency standards, John A. Crookshank Elementary drops to a grade of “D” and The Webster School’s grade is pending due to its ESE population.

High school grades are expected to be released later this year.

SJCSD Receives Healthy School District Award

The St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) has been recognized by the Florida Coordinated School Health Partnership, Florida Action for Healthy Kids and the Florida Association of District School Superintendents as a Florida Healthy School District and has been awarded the Silver level. The Healthy School District awards have been bestowed since 2009 to school districts that maintain a healthy environment for students, employees and the community.

Out of the 67 Florida school districts, SJCSD is one of only seven that was awarded Silver or Gold level this year. This status for SJCSD at the Silver level is for a two-year period; however, the district will be eligible to apply for Gold level status next year.

The evaluation process involved gathering information from schools and communities across the district over a two-month period. School districts were evaluated using the Florida Healthy School District Self-Assessment Tool. Scores are given based on eight areas of assessment criteria. These assessment areas are Health Education, Physical Education, Health Services, Nutrition Services and Education, Psychological and Social Counseling, Healthy School Environment, Employee Wellness and Family and Community Involvement.

SJCSD scored highest in the areas of Counseling, Psychological and Social Services, Healthy School Environment, Employee Wellness, and Family and Community Involvement. Based on 140 indicators, SJCSD was determined to be a leader in the state maintaining practices and policies that foster a healthy environment.

SJCSD Teacher of the Year Receives Award

Jessica Geronimo, an Autism Spectrum Disorder teacher at the St. Johns County School District’s (SJCSD) Transition School and the St. Johns County School District’s Teacher of the Year, has been awarded the Mary J. Brogan Excellence in Teaching Award. She was honored at the 2014 Florida Department of Education/Macy’s Teacher of the Year Breakfast in Orlando on Friday, July 12.

“Jessica Geronimo is the kind of teacher that would have made Mary proud, and the kind that all of us in education strive to be,” said State University System Chancellor Frank T. Brogan. “Her dedication will enrich generations of students to come – not only while in her classroom, but as they move into the real world, taking with them the values she helped to instill.”

The Mary J. Brogan Excellence in Teaching award honors an educator who goes above and beyond the classroom experience. As a teacher of students with severe autism, Geronimo demonstrates every day her belief that all children can learn. Through diligence, determination and love, she emphasizes real-world skills so students can transfer what they are learning to the outside world. Geronimo integrates life experiences into her students’ instruction, ensuring their future success. She was presented with a $1,000 cash award and a plaque.

For more information, visit 2014 Florida Department of Education/Macy’s Teacher of the Year.

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 starts on August 19.

Even though elementary and middle schools are currently operating out of their area high school, parents may contact schools at their regular phone number to register their children. Parents are also able to go to the high school to register their children. The schools are currently operating Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

To be eligible for kindergarten, children must be 5 years old on or before September 1 and must reside in St. Johns County. To register for first grade, children must be 6 years old on or before September 1 and have successfully completed kindergarten.

The child’s certified birth certificate is required at the time of registration and only the legal name is acceptable on student records. In addition, parents should bring two proofs of residency: current utility bill, lease and/or mortgage statement. Florida law also requires any student entering a Florida school for the first time to show proof of certain immunizations and physical examinations.

A physical examination that has been performed within one year prior to enrollment in school will be accepted. Physical examinations can be acquired from either a private physician or from the county health department.

In addition, there will be a registration day on Saturday, July 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Ponce de Leon Mall for Crookshank, Ketterlinus, Osceola, Otis Mason and South Woods elementary schools as well as The Webster School.

Parents should visit the individual schools’ websites for registration information. Additional information on registration and school attendance zones can be obtained from the Student Services Office at 547-7598.