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August 2017

Town Hall Meetings

Three Town Hall meetings have been scheduled to discuss potential Attendance Zoning changes for the two new K-8 Schools currently under construction and opening for the 2018-2019 School Year. K-8 School KK is located at 2135 Palm Valley Road, Ponte Vedra, FL, 32081 and is being constructed using monies from the school impact fees, school proportionate share mitigation fees and the half-cent sales tax passed in November 2015. K-8 School LL is located at 1365 Shetland Drive, St. Johns, FL, 32259 and is being constructed using monies from half-cent sales tax. Other possible attendance zone changes relate to Heritage Park located off of Woodlawn Road and the Sawmill Landing development located off of SR 207, both in St. Augustine.

The meetings will take place as follows:

  • Tuesday, September 5 at 6 p.m. at Creekside High School, located at 100 Knights Lane, St. Johns, FL 32259
  • Thursday, September 7 at 6 p.m. at Valley Ridge Academy, located at 105 Greenleaf Drive, Ponte Vedra, FL 32081
  • Thursday, September 14 at 6 p.m. at First Coast Technical College, Building C, located at 2980 Collins Avenue, St. Augustine, FL 32084This town hall was rescheduled due to Hurricane Irma
  • Monday, September 25 at 6 p.m. at First Coast Technical College, Building C, located at 2980 Collins Avenue, St. Augustine, FL 32084

The same information will be discussed at all three meetings. School Board members and district staff will be in attendance and there will be opportunities for public comment.

Proposals are currently being developed and could impact attendance zones and students at Cunningham Creek Elementary, Durbin Creek Elementary, Fruit Cove Middle School, Alice B. Landrum Middle School, Otis A. Mason Elementary School, R.J. Murray Middle School, Ocean Palms Elementary, Palencia Elementary School, Pacetti Bay Middle School, Patriot Oaks Academy, Sebastian Middle School, Switzerland Point Middle School and Valley Ridge Academy.

College and Career Night

The St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) will hold its annual College and Career Night Wednesday, September 6 from 5 – 7:30 p.m. in the gymnasium at St. Augustine High School located at 3205 Varella Avenue, St. Augustine.

College and Career Night provides an excellent opportunity for St. Johns County high school students from both public and private schools to receive firsthand information on post-secondary educational opportunities. Representatives from over 75 colleges, universities, armed services, career institutes and trade schools will be available from 6 – 7:30 p.m. Families will find an increased presence of representatives with a focus on meeting their student’s diverse needs and expectations.

The latest information on topics such as the college admissions process, college transition, scholarship and financial aid will also be available during information sessions from 5 – 7 p.m.

While this event traditionally focuses on juniors and seniors, underclassmen are also encouraged to attend. Many colleges have very selective admissions criteria and students should start planning early.

“We are delighted to provide an opportunity for families to meet with post-secondary representatives from across the state and the nation without having to travel outside of our county,” said Denise Sumerix, director for Guidance and Programs of Choice. “I love seeing the excitement that this event creates for our students as they explore their many options and renew their focus on goals.”

The event is presented by the SJCSD Department of Guidance and Programs of Choice. For more information, please contact your school’s guidance department, visit the website at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/gpc/college/  or call Dana Chapman, Dept. of Guidance and Programs of Choice, at (904) 547-7754.

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Opening Day

Welcome back!

Our teachers and staff have anxiously awaited your children’s arrival and we are excited to begin the year with each and every one of them.  In and out of the classroom, this year promises to be one filled with new and exciting learning experiences for students.   Our administrators, teachers, and staff are prepared to provide instruction that supports a positive learning environment and build on opportunities that motivate students based on the six pillars of CHARACTER COUNTS!

This school year also features the opening of Picolata Crossing Elementary and the expansion at Nease High School. The work of staff and school administration to get these facilities ready is nothing compared to the enthusiasm and delight students showed this morning upon arrival.

I am thankful and humbled to serve as your superintendent and this is just the beginning of a wonderful 2017/2018 school year for your child and your family.

The student count for the St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) on opening day, August 10, was 36,253, an increase of 1,347 students or 3.85 percent over last year’s first-day number of 34,906. St. Johns County has continued to be one of the fastest growing school districts in the state.

The high school student count was 11,509 with 2,453 students at Bartram Trail High School; 2,107 at Creekside High School; 1,324 at Pedro Menendez High School; 2,248 at Allen D. Nease High School; 1,739 at Ponte Vedra High School and 1,638 at St. Augustine High School. There were also 262 students in attendance at St. Johns Technical High School.

Middle school attendance totaled 7,426, with student headcounts ranging from 634 at Sebastian Middle School to 1,429 at Pacetti Bay Middle School. The other first day figures were Alice B. Landrum Middle School with 1,255; Fruit Cove Middle School with 1,162; R. J. Murray Middle School with 758; Gamble Rogers Middle School with 873 and Switzerland Point Middle School with 1,315.

The district’s K-8 schools totaled 4,369. Liberty Pines Academy had a first-day headcount of 1,424; Patriot Oaks Academy with 1,453 and Valley Ridge Academy with 1,492.

The elementary school population totaled 12,344, which included students attending the district’s new elementary school Picolata Crossing. This count only includes approximately 25 percent of all kindergarten students since schools stagger the kindergarten start date over a four-day period. Another 207 students are enrolled at the district’s alternative, charter and Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) schools.

First Coast Technical College has 238 students enrolled in its adult education programs at the St. Augustine, Palatka, Barge Port and North campuses. This number does not include those students enrolled in night programs that start today.

Today was a great first day. The dedication, time and effort that was put into preparations this year was proven in the smiling, happy students who walked through our doors today. I could not be more pleased with our principals, teachers and staff who enthusiastically stood ready to support and instruct each and every child.

Transportation, food service, custodial and maintenance staff did a stellar job in handling challenges and celebrating success realized on the first day. The St. Johns Sheriff’s Office, Public Service Assistants and Crossing Guards were incredible in supporting our operations. Lastly, I want to say a huge thank you to our parents and families as we manage the beginning of the school year.

SJCSD staff will continue to monitor attendance numbers, balance classrooms and refine bus routes throughout the week.