The student count for the St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) on opening day, August 19, 2013, was 30,503, an increase of 1,077 students or 3.7 percent over last year’s first day number of 29,426. During the past six 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.
The high school student count was 9,654, with 1,757 students at Bartram Trail High School, 1,868 at Creekside High School, 1,294 at Pedro Menendez High School, 1,619 at Allen D. Nease High School, 1,519 at Ponte Vedra High School and 1,597 at St. Augustine High School.
There were also 169 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 7,425, with student headcounts ranging from 596 at Sebastian Middle School to 1,306 at Fruit Cove Middle School. The other first day figures were Alice B. Landrum Middle School with 1,271, R. J. Murray Middle School with 738, Pacetti Bay Middle School with 1,025, Gamble Rogers Middle School with 769 and Switzerland Point Middle School with 1,257.
Liberty Pines Academy, the district’s only permanent K-8 school, had a first day headcount of 1,248.
The elementary school population totaled 12,818; 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 437 students are enrolled at the district’s alternative, charter and Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) schools.
“Today was a wonderful first day of school throughout the district,” said Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner. “I visited many schools throughout the district and the outstanding planning and preparation by principals, teachers and support staff was evident. Instruction was already taking place in the classrooms and students are eager to learn. Our maintenance and custodial staffs had the schools in immaculate condition and the food service team was very well prepared.”
“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. “Finally, our parents are the very best and much of our success today is attributed to their cooperation and support. I am extremely grateful for the efforts of everyone to make today special and welcome students into this year’s learning environment.”
SJCSD staff will continue to monitor attendance numbers, balance classrooms and refine bus routes throughout the week.