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.