SR 8-29-16 Volume 6, Issue 2

Congratulations to Cynthia Williams, principal of St. Johns Technical High School (SJTHS) and St. Johns Virtual School (SJVS), who has been selected as the St. Johns County School District’s (SJCSD) nominee for the 2016-2017 Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership and to Jeanette Murphy, assistant principal at Cunningham Creek Elementary School (CCES), who was chosen as the district’s nominee for the 2016-2017 Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award.

These programs honor principals and assistant principals who utilize teamwork and leadership skills to increase student performance, establish partnerships with parents and community members, and promote safe learning environments.

Awardees are also recognized for ethical leadership and their use of innovative technology as well as their commitment to forging personal, social, economic, and cultural relationships in the classroom, the school and the community to build and support a learning organization focused on student success.

Williams has been the principal of SJTHS since 2014 and was appointed as principal of SJVS in 2016.  With a career in education spanning 27 years, Williams has served as the turnaround specialist and assistant principal at SJTHS and assistant principal at Pedro Menendez High School and South Woods and Hastings elementary schools. From 1995-1999, she was the guidance counselor at Hastings Elementary School. She was selected as the St. Johns County Teacher of the Year in 1998 and went on to represent the district at the state level. She also worked in higher education supporting students in their quest for academic success at Florida A&M University (FAMU) and Bethune-Cookman University.

SJTHS has expanded programs under Williams’ leadership and she never misses an opportunity to market the school to potential students and their parents. She was instrumental in adding sixth grade to the school in order to serve more students in a way that meets their career goals and learning styles. The graduation rate of SJTHS students has nearly doubled under her tenure and she implemented the Academy of Culinary Arts last year.

“Cynthia is a wonderful example of outstanding leadership and her focus to ensure an individual learning path for her students is admirable,” said Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner.  “She is dedicated to ensuring that we hire the very best through her overwhelming commitment to the district’s recruitment efforts and it is not uncommon that she remains a mentor to new teachers years after their first days in the classroom.”

Williams holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree as well as certification in Educational Leadership from FAMU.

Outstanding Assistant Principal Nominee Jeanette Murphy has over 19 years of combined educational experience. Before joining St. Johns County in 2004 as a middle school math teacher, she was an elementary school teacher and reading specialist in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. In 2008, she became the assistant principal at John A. Crookshank Elementary and went on to serve in this capacity at Fruit Cove Middle School before joining CCES in 2015.

As an assistant principal Murphy has developed and guided a team to review and create a standards-based grading policy and served as a mentor to other assistant principals. Her love of professional development has spurred her to form a leadership cadre, perform technology demonstrations and create professional learning communities for paraprofessionals and new teachers.

“Jeanette takes the initiative to ensure that she becomes ingrained in the culture of a school,” said Joyner. “At CCES she has furthered efforts to recognize students through CHARACTER COUNTS! and streamlined processes at the school to be more efficient.”

Murphy holds a bachelor’s degree from Florida International University and a master’s degree from Barry University. She also has a certificate in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University.

These two St. Johns County nominees have been forwarded to the state where they will compete at the regional level. The statewide winner in each category will be announced later this year.

Department Updates

Academic and Student Services

ACCOUNTABILITY AND INTERVENTION SERVICES

Exceptional Student Education (ESE)

Disability History and Awareness Weeks

The first two weeks of October are designated as Disability History and Awareness Weeks.  Florida Statute Section 1003.4205, Disability History and Awareness Instruction, was signed into law in 2008. It requires school districts to designate the first two weeks of October as Disability History and Awareness Weeks and promotes providing instruction for students in all public schools to expand student knowledge, understanding, and awareness of individuals with disabilities, disability history, and the disability rights movement.     

Planning, Accountability and Assessment

Local Education Authority (LEA) Training

The Intervention Services Department has recently provided training to more than 10 assistant principals who are new to the LEA role in their schools.  Training and support will continue through one-to-one and on-site training throughout the year.  Additionally, nearly 50 principals, assistant principals, and district program specialists attended the LEA refresher training where updated tools were provided to start the 2016-2017 school year.  Both of these training opportunities included a focus on facilitated IEP meetings as well as state and federal compliance rules related to ESE and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) processes and procedures.  In addition, participants also benefited from a review on addressing dyslexia in the public school system.

Discovery Education Testing

Discovery Education testing is required for K-3 students. The test is available to students in grades 4-10 for use as a progress monitoring tool. The testing window opens on August 22 and closes on September 30.  All elementary and K-8 schools have created schedules, trained test administrators, and recruited proctors for this first round of required testing. If you are interested in volunteering at your student’s school, please contact your school’s testing coordinator to see how you can get involved.

The state assessment conference will take place in a couple of weeks. This conference is the main forum for dissemination of information related to all of the major state assessment policies and outlines important changes and updates. Members from the SJCSD Planning, Accountability, and Assessment Department will attend and return with important information to share with school administrators and school testing coordinators.  It is vital that St. Johns County school leaders are kept apprised of these details as they guide students and schools for the coming year.

CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION

Instructional Services – Elementary Education

Early Literacy Skills

Students in kindergarten, first and second grades will be building foundational skills in early literacy development through the implementation of the “Being a Reader K-2” program beginning this school year. “Being a Reader K-2” is a literacy resource developed by the Center for the Collaborative Classroom based on extensive research. The Center for the Collaborative Classroom also developed “Being a Writer,” which was implemented in SJCSD elementary schools last year. Both programs are based on best practices and support the development of the whole child while addressing social-emotional needs in tandem with reading and writing instruction. This is a proactive step in meeting the early literacy needs of every elementary student in St. Johns County.

Instructional Services – Secondary Education

District Resources for Educators, Parents and Students

As a new school begins, parents eagerly ask their children about school.  Being informed about what students are learning is an easy way to begin conversations.  Parents will find the Year-at-a-Glance for courses – elementary, middle and high school – on the Families tab of the district website.  The Year-at-a-Glance provides recommended pacing and topics to be taught week-by-week.  The classroom teacher is always the best source of information regarding content and pacing, but the Year-at-a-Glance is supplied as a model of one recommended path to the completion of a course.  The Year-at-a-Glance is available at:  www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/year-at-a-glance/.

Some state resources are provided below.

Florida Resources for Educators, Parents, and Students

  • As the new school year begins, educators, parents, and students are encouraged to visit the state CPALMS website at www.cpalms.org, where standards for each course and many student resources are housed.
  • The website www.FloridaStudents.org is also a valuable learning resource available 24/7 to students, educators and parents.  It is a great tool to help students improve Florida Standards mastery levels.
  • The Mathematics Formative Assessment System (MFAS) provides ongoing feedback to teachers that can be used to adjust instruction to meet students’ specific learning needs. Like all formative assessment, MFAS is a process rather than a test. The MFAS has resources for mathematics – kindergarten through Geometry and can be accessed through CPALMS.
  • Teacher toolkits provide assistance for teachers in state assessed areas and are now available on the Florida Department of Education website on the standards and instructional support page at www.fldoe.org/academics/standards/toolkits.

Contests and Awards

Hispanic Heritage Month Events

Once again, Governor Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott have invited all Florida students to participate in the 2016 Hispanic Heritage Month art and essay contests which will be centered around the theme, “Honoring Hispanic American Heroes: Veterans, Military, Law Enforcement and First Responders.” Students in grades K-3 have a chance to win a cash prize by submitting artwork, and students in grades 4-12 can earn a four-year Florida Prepaid Scholarship through the essay contest.

Students can read about Hispanic Americans and the significant contributions they have made to Florida’s diverse history. Students can then write an essay or create artwork for submission to the contest. The prizes could transform the life of a student. Please encourage your student/child to take full advantage of this opportunity to enhance their appreciation for Hispanic American History and prepare financially for their own future education aspirations.  Additionally, students, parents, teachers and principals are invited to nominate full-time, Hispanic American educators in elementary, middle and high schools for the Hispanic Heritage Month Excellence in Education Award.

The deadline for all submissions is 5:00 p.m. Eastern on Friday, September 9, 2016.

To learn more about Florida’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration and contests, visit www.FloridaHispanicHeritage.com.

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

Nominations/applications for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) will open to teachers of grades 7-12 in the Fall of 2016. These are the nation’s highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education. Elementary and secondary categories alternate each year.

Since 1983, more than 4,400 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession. If you know great teachers, nominate them to join this prestigious network of professionals. Teachers may be nominated or apply at the PAEMST website at www.paemst.org.

Career and Technical Education

During Summer 2016, the Career Academies had 74 high school juniors interning at more than 35 business sites listed below.  The district is very grateful to the business community for their support of our students.

  • APEX
  • ASEC, Inc.
  • Black Knight
  • Cady Studios
  • Carter Environmental
  • Castillo de San Marco
  • Citi
  • City of St. Augustine Public Works
  • Creekside High School
  • Doyle Group
  • E & S Consulting
  • FL Aviation Career Training
  • FL Blue
  • FL Flyers
  • Gannet Fleming
  • GTMNERR
  • Herff Jones
  • Jacksonville University
  • Leonard’s
  • Matthews Design
  • National Guard Armory
  • Nocatee Development
  • North FL Regional Airport at St. Augustine
  • Old City Helicopter
  • Osceola Elementary
  • Passero Engineering
  • Peters and Yafee Engineering
  • PGA Tour Entertainment
  • Regency Center
  • SAM Maintenance
  • Samaritan Blue
  • Simple Safety
  • St. Johns County Government Television
  • St. Johns County Public Works
  • St. Johns County Utilities
  • STD Engineering
  • Stellar
  • VyStar Credit Union

STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES

Health Services

Rotary Club Donation

The Rotary Club of St. Augustine donated over $6,000 to the Health Services Department to provide a rolling emergency medication cart for each school clinic within the district.  The number of students with life-threatening health conditions requiring emergency medications at school continues to grow and the need for appropriate storage and accessibility of these medications can be challenging.  Thanks to the generosity of the Rotary Club each school will not only have a safe place to store emergency medications, but also a method for transporting them during emergency evacuations.

School Services

Software Training

The School Services Department has been providing training at several of schools presenting the benefits of using online software for discipline referrals. To date, almost half of our schools are utilizing this very efficient piece of the student management software.

School Safety Coordinator Training

The district Safety Coordinator is attending the monthly meetings, held by the St Johns County Emergency Operations Center, to participate in discussions reagrding hurricane preparedness.  The coordinator has also been attending School Safety Team meetings and assisting in updating school Emergency Operations Plans.  Beginning this year, the coordinator will be observing fire drills, tornado drills, and lock down drills at each  school in order to provide assistance with best practices in ensuring student and staff safety across the county.

Pursuing Victory With Honor

A video of Superintendent Dr. Joyner’s presentation to the county high school coaches and athletes at the annual Pursuing Victory With Honor in-service training is now available online at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/schoolservices/athletics/   Dr. Joyner’s contributions in instituting the Pursuing Victory With Honor program in St. Johns County Schools and athletic programs have been remarkable to say the least.  His pursuit to bring heightened awareness to character and leadership to both coaches and students will remain a focus long after his retirement.

Investing in Kids (INK!)

New Partnership with RSM for matching grant

As the nation’s largest provider of assurance, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market, RSM partners with the Davis Love Foundation, the host organization of The RSM Classic, a PGA TOUR event, to raise funds that assist children and their families. The RSM US Foundation will be providing a potential match of up to $500,000 for the funds raised by Birdies Fore Love, provided that RSM meets its regional fundraising, partner participation and employee participation goals. These funds will be distributed amongst the Birdies Fore Love charities, including INK.

 

On the Horizon

College and Career Night 2016

The St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) will hold its annual College and Career Night on Wednesday, September 7 from 6 -7:30 p.m. in the gymnasium at Pedro Menendez High School located at 600 State Road 206 West, St. Augustine, FL 32086. College and Career Night provides an excellent opportunity for St. Johns County high school students from all public and private schools throughout the county to interact with admission representatives from across the state and the nation. Representatives from over 75 colleges, universities, , career institutes, trade schools and the armed services will be participating in this event.  Families will find an increased presence of representatives with a focus on meeting students’ diverse needs and desires in all areas.  Between 5 and 6 p.m., mini workshops addressing topics such as the college application and selection process; financial aid; scholarship opportunities for academics, athletics and needs-based as well as career exploration and certification opportunities will be provided.  While juniors and seniors are strongly encouraged to participate, the event is open to all middle and high school students…it’s never too early to start exploring and planning for your future!

Look for College and Career Night updates on the department of Guidance and Programs of Choice website at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/gpc/ or call (904) 547-7754.

ESE Parent Workshops

Gifted Parent Workshops Tuesday, September 27 Hickory Creek Elementary 6:30-7:30 p.m. Media Center
Thursday, November 17 Palencia Elementary 4:30-5:30 p.m Media Center
Thursday, February 23 Hartley Elementary 5:30-6:30 p.m. Media Center
Tuesday, April 25 Landrum Middle School 6:30-7:30 p.m. Multi-Purpose Room

 

What are Sibshops? (program for siblings of special needs kids) Tuesday, October 4 40 Orange St., St. Augustine 6 – 7:30 p.m. Auditorium
Is Your Student Ready to Transition? (life after graduation) Tuesday, December 13 Creekside High School 6-7:30 p.m. 100 Knights Lane, St. Johns

In addition, there are more ESE parent workshops to be scheduled for the second semester. Information will be coming in future editions of the Superintendent’s Report and on the ESE website.   

Status Report

Coaches of the Year

Eight St. Johns County coaches were honored with the Jeff Holt Coach of the Year Award for Pursuing Victory With Honor last month.  Congratulations are extended to Tim Krause, Allen D. Nease High School; Frank Holleman, St. Augustine High School; Megan Schooley, Pedro Menendez High School; Eric Frank, Creekside High School; Daniel Villarreal, Ponte Vedra High School; Meghan Jackowiak, Bartram Trail High School; Susan Lucas, Florida School for the Deaf and Blind; and Justin Taylor from St. Joseph Academy.  All of the Coaches of the Year will be recognized at the regular meeting of the School Board on Tuesday, September 13 at 4 p.m. in the auditorium at 40 Orange St.

 Did You Know…?

  • The Investing in Kids (INK!) Boot Scootin’ BBQ, a western-themed fundraiser, will be held October 1, from 6:30-10:30 p.m. at the St. Augustine Rod and Gun Club.  The event, sponsored by Carlisle Interconnect Technologies, will benefit students and teachers, a true bull’s eye for education in St. Johns County. Enjoy tasty ‘cue from local pit masters—Mojo BBQ Old City, Smokin D’s BBQ and Woodpeckers Backyard BBQ.  Ameris Bank and others will satisfy your thirst at the watering hole and guests can whoop it up to the tunes of Paper City Hustlers and learn country line dancing with the St. Augustine Line Dancers.  The dessert bar will feature moon pies, old-fashioned banana pudding by Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q, and perks by Kookaburra Coffee. Rype & Readi Farm Market will host Cow Pie Bingo where the stars of the show—two well-fed cows—will roam the grid. Nearby, RSM will host a Chip Shot Challenge for prizes. Saddle up for Old City Life Magazine Rodeo on a mechanical bull for best male and female first place trophies and city-slicker prizes! Tailgate with Ocean Grove RV Super Center and root for your favorite football team as you watch the game from outside their RV. Guests will be greeted by a themed photo opportunity, silent auction, prize give-aways, a western photo booth by Leonard’s Studio and more.

“It is better to be alone than in bad company.”
~George Washington

SR 8-11-16 Volume 6, Issue 1

On behalf of the School Board and district staff, I want to welcome all of you to the 2016-2017 school year. I hope everyone had the opportunity to relax and enjoy time with family and friends. A special welcome to families new to the district and to our more than 400 new staff members. We are fortunate to be one of the highest performing school districts in the nation and it is an honor to serve as your superintendent.

The SJCSD is working closely with the Department of Health and Anastasia Mosquito Control, Division of St. Johns County, under the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with regard to the Zika virus.  Interim guidance has been developed by the CDC for district and school administrators in the planning of school-related activities, recommended actions, and appropriate policies for educating students and staff members for the continuation of school operations.

Mosquito control measures on school grounds will focus on identifying and removing sources of standing water that can serve as mosquito breeding sites.  Common sources on school grounds such as buckets, trash cans, planters, playground equipment, and spaces beneath modular structures will be regularly monitored by onsite Maintenance Managers.  Processes to ensure these do not become mosquito breeding areas will include regular cleaning, turning over, tightly covering, or completely removing (if appropriate) these sources.  The district will follow the direction of Anastasia Mosquito Control should insecticide spraying be indicated.

In addition, we will temporarily modify the medication policy found in School Board Rule 5.15 to allow parents at the elementary level to bring insect repellent to the school with their child’s name written on the container for application by staff before going outside.  We will continue our policy for middle and high school students in that they may self-carry and self-apply insect repellent with written permission from the parent.  Parents and staff members will be notified of any changes in policy and information will be accessible through the district website at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/health/zika/.  This link also includes the CDC’s recommendations for parents talking to their children about Zika.

Our School Board has been focused on meeting the needs of our dramatic growth with the help of the half-cent sales tax including the construction of three new schools – one elementary and two K-8s. These schools will be in the fastest growing areas of the county. The elementary school will help to relieve overcrowding in the World Golf Village and the central county region and is scheduled to open for the 2017-2018 school year. The K-8 schools will relieve overcrowding for kindergarten through 8th grades at schools in northern St. Johns County – one in Nocatee and the other in Aberdeen. They are scheduled to open for the 2018-2019 school year.  The schools will be funded through the voter approved half-cent sales surtax, school impact fees and proportionate share mitigation funds.

The half-cent sales tax also paid for 800 MHz radios for all of the county’s school buses.  These radios will allow bus drivers to communicate directly with law enforcement in the event of an emergency and will enhance the safety of students on school buses. The radios were installed this summer on more than 230 school buses.

A large part of the success of St. Johns County Schools comes from the continued focus on the classroom. Every effort is made to provide teachers and schools with the resources they need for creating an environment that ensures all students are on the path to success. Through evaluation, training and support, we continue to develop high-quality personnel who focus on student growth and achievement.

Community and parent support, bright children and strong character-based leadership are major factors in our success. I am tremendously grateful for the high level of parent participation and support we receive as well as for the generosity of our business partners.

Best wishes for an outstanding school year!

Department Updates

Academic and Student Services

ACCOUNTABILITY AND INTERVENTION SERVICES

Exceptional Student Education (ESE)

2016-2017 Gifted Parent Advisory Council Meetings

Tuesday, September 27 Hickory Creek Elementary 6:30-7:30 p.m. Media Center
Thursday, November 17 Palencia Elementary 4:30-5:30 p.m Media Center
Thursday, February 23 Hartley Elementary 5:30-6:30 p.m. Media Center
Tuesday, April 25 Landrum Middle School 6:30-7:30 p.m. Multi-Purpose Room

In addition, there are more ESE parent workshops to be scheduled Second Semester. Information will be coming in future editions of the Superintendent Report and on the ESE Website.              

Federal Programs

Title I
Title I, used for improving the academic achievement of the disadvantaged, is designed to ensure that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain an education of the highest quality and acheive, at a minimum, proficiency on challenging state achievement standards and state assessments. The St. Johns County School District is allocated Title I funds to support schools with the highest percentages of children from low-income families. For the 2016-2017 school year, St. Johns County has six elementary schools, three middle schools and three alternative schools designated as Title I schools.

A Title I school-wide program is designed with the knowledge that there is a link between poverty and low achievement. The emphasis in school-wide program schools is on serving all students, improving all structures that support student learning, and combining resources, as allowed, to achieve a common goal. School-wide programs maximize the impact of Title I. This strategy results in an ongoing, comprehensive plan for school improvement that is owned by the entire school community and tailored to its unique needs.

Title II
Title II, teacher and principal training funds, will support the delivery of professional development for the 2016-2017 school year.

Title III
Title III, language instruction for limited English proficient and immigrant students, provides the district with supplemental funds for English Language Learners (ELLs) and immigrant students to assist them with their cultural and academic transitions.

Planning, Accountability and Assessment

Every school in the SJCSD has a School Advisory Council (SAC). The SAC meets monthly during the school year and assists the principal in making decisions related to the school budget and school improvement. Parents, school faculty/staff, and community members are encouraged to participate in their school’s SAC. Please contact your school’s SAC Chair for more information about getting involved.In addition, each school develops a School Improvement Plan (SIP). SIPs will be posted for the public to view at www.floridacims.org in September. Principals will present their SIPs to the School Board on September 28 and 29.

The summer End-Of-Course (EOC) testing was completed last week. This testing window offers students an opportunity to retake, make-up or test for the first time in Algebra I, Algebra II, biology, civics, geometry, and US history. Most  secondary schools ran computer-based tests on both test platforms during the testing window.

The department is currently preparing for the Florida Kindergarten Readiness Screener (FLKRS) which begins the first day of school. The FLKRS is used to inform instruction and to provide pre-kindergarten program information.

There will be a training webinar on Discovery Education (DE) assessments in late August to prepare school testing coordinators for administering the first DE assessment. The first DE assessment is offered to elementary and middle schools to provide teachers with initial information about students and is also used as part of the teacher evaluation scores in grades K-3.

The district assessment calendar is complete and will posted soon.

CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION

Instructional Resources and Media Services

Instructional Resources and Media Services is busy ensuring students and teachers have the resources needed to continue the tradition of academic excellence in St. Johns County. This includes print materials and digital resources. Visit the website at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/media/ and use the links to explore media resources and educational technology.

Dual enrollment courses allow students to earn college credit while still enrolled as high school students.  Students enrolled in the SJCSD may take courses on their school campus, on the college campus or with virtual classes at no charge to them.  All costs associated with the courses are covered by the school district including tuition, fees and textbooks.  Students interested in dual enrollment are encouraged to meet with their teachers and guidance counselors.

Dual Enrollment textbooks are checked out (loaned) to SJCSD students through the Media Services Department located at 10 Hildreth Drive in St. Augustine.  The phone number is (904) 547-3947.  Students may pick up books for the fall semester beginning the week of August 15. Textbooks will be issued weekdays 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (excluding holidays). All Dual Enrollment textbooks issued for the fall semester must be returned to the Fullerwood Center at 10 Hildreth Drive no later than Tuesday, December 13, 2016, in order to avoid the $10 per book, per day late fee.  Students must bring a printed copy of their schedule as proof of enrollment and sign the district’s textbook checkout agreement form to receive books and other materials. Just a reminder that Private, Home School, and Florida Virtual students must purchase their books at the St. Johns River State Bookstore.

Instructional Services – Elementary and Secondary

Year-at-a-Glance Pacing Guide
The Year-at-a-Glance pacing guide is a document that informs parents and students of the recommended pacing and content standards for selected courses. It includes the topics to be taught week by week each quarter and a list of instructional resources. The Year-at-a-Glance is only a recommended pacing guide; school leaders and teachers make the final decision regarding the pacing of any program of study. The classroom teacher is always the best source of information regarding content and pacing. The Year-at-a-Glance is supplied as a model of one recommended path to the completion of a course.  The Year-at-a-Glance is available at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/year-at-a-glance/.

Parent Resource Guide
The Parent Resource Guide is a great resource for parents that is revised annually and posted on the district website at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/families/. The Parent Resource Guide explains what students will be learning at each grade level, registration, placement, promotion and retention, the standards, district and state assessments, grading, advanced academic opportunities, programs of choice, and available services, and much more.  It also provides a number of hyperlinks to other resources.

Student Progression Plan
The Student Progression Plan is a compilation of state statutes and district policies about placement, acceleration, assessment, promotion and retention, grading, graduation requirements, ESE and EL policies, support for students, and more.  It is divided into elementary, middle and high school sections to make it easier to read.  It is revised annually and posted on the district website at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/families/.

STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES

Health Services

The Health Services Department partnered with St. Vincent’s Medical Center to provide free immunizations, school and sports physicals to St. Johns County students.  The St. Vincent’s Mobile Health Unit brought their medical team to Ketterlinus Elementary School on July 12 and 19 to assist families in meeting state mandated school requirements.  Over 200 children received physicals and immunizations at no cost to their family.  This will be an ongoing collaboration with St. Vincent’s as the district expands this mobile outreach.

Student Services

The Student Service Department has been busy preparing to again serve the district’s needy and homeless students by providing backpacks stuffed with school supplies, referrals for clothing and participating in community events to help address the needs of at-risk students.

School Services

School Services recently hosted two in-services:

  • On August 3, approximately 100 staff members attended the annual “Managing Student Discipline in our Schools.” Presentations were provided by district departments including School Safety, Student Services, ESE, and Mental Health, in addition to the St Johns County Sheriff’s Department.  The changes in the Student Code of Conduct were reviewed, along with best practices in investigating student discipline and the role of the administrator and dean of students.
  • On August 5, over 240 coaches and student athletes participated in the annual “Pursuing Victory with Honor” workshop, representing six high schools. The workshop focused on coaching and student leadership, balanced with the essential elements of sportsmanship, character development and the life lessons gained from athletics. The student athletic councils from Bartram Trail, Creekside, Nease, and Pedro Menendez high schools led coaches and student athletes through leadership-building exercises. The morning ended with the presentation of the Jeff Holt Coach of the Year awards and an inspiring presentation from Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner who shared his philosophy on character, Pursuing Victory With Honor and servant leadership.

Beginning next month, the School Services Department will be hosting monthly meetings for deans of discipline.  These meetings will provide professional development, peer networking, bullying and harassment, and other pertinent daily operational issues related to school discipline.

The 2016-2017 Student Code of Conduct has been approved and distributed to all of schools.  Staff and parents are encouraged to familiarize themselves with this School Board approved document and to contact School Services with any questions.

Athletics
Fall sports schedules have been posted via links on each high school websites and may also be found at www.c2schools.com/.  Community members are encouraged to come out and enjoy interscholastic competitions. Thank you parents and family members for supporting our athletes.

School Safety
The district safety coordinator will be attending school safety team meetings at each of the district’s schools to provide assistance with writing Emergency Operation Plans, planning drills, reviewing AEDs as well as addressing any other school safety needs.

Student Leadership – CHARACTER COUNTS!
Student Leadership and members of the Community Relations Department worked diligently this summer to produce a video highlighting students for displaying good character. This video was shown at the new employee training and each student from the video had the opportunity to speak about how they live out the pillars of character in their everyday life. This past Friday, 20 empowered student leaders led the Pursuing Victory With Honor training and celebration for their fellow coaches and peers. The department has also received numerous nominations of student leaders to be considered for a Beaver Toyota Achievement Award. LINK Crew, WEB and B6 clubs had over 843 leaders organize and run the sixth and ninth grade orientations for their schools.

Investing in Kids (INK!)

Tools 4 Schools
The Tools 4 Schools/Bailey Group Depot website will reopen on August 29. The summer was a busy time as many local businesses and organizations were collection sites for donated school supplies used to fill The Bailey Group Depot. INK! looks forward to the new school year and assisting teachers in supplying their classrooms.

One for the Kids
One for the Kids is a payroll deduction program for SJCSD employees. Additional funding is important to enhance learning for students in the classroom. Employees can help support the work of INK! by donating as little as $1 per pay period through payroll deduction. 100 percent of funds raised through One for the Kids payroll deduction program supports INK’s Five Learning Years (FLY) Program. FLY seeks to improve the school readiness of every St. Johns County child from prenatal development to age 5, with the measurable success of each.

Community Relations

 

Volunteer Services and Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)

Schools continue to work hard to ensure school access for community members wishing to come into schools for volunteer assistance.  We welcome all who want to help out, and thank you for your time.  While the first few weeks will involve completing background checks and establishing where volunteers will serve, the department will soon have everyone placed and assisting students, teachers, and staff.  RSVP volunteers will continue to mentor and tutor students in the district.  We are so appreciative of the time and experience all our volunteers give to help students be as successful as possible!

Webmaster

Working with the IT Department, the district launched a new Moodle website at http://olc.stjohns.k12.fl.us which can be used by staff to administer online courses for both professional development and student instruction. Also, in collaboration with the Human Resources Department, the online training course used by employees new to the district was revamped. Over the summer, the district webmaster provided multiple training sessions for groups of teachers and school-based webmasters to help them with their websites.

Instructional Television

Video productions has been very involved with the new hire process as they have worked to help all departments get their orientation materials up to date. The department has also produced a new CHARACTER COUNTS! video to provide new hires with an idea of what good character means in the St. Johns County School District. Students from area high schools were instrumental in the production of this video. A special thanks goes out to all of those involved. The video production team also looks forward to the beginning of the school year and documenting all of the smiling faces starting school!

Human Resources

Summer Hiring
In preparation for the 2016-17 school year the Human Resources Department coordinated the hiring of 400 employees.  Of those 400 persons, 122 were hired from within the district.  These individuals moved from one school to another school, or moved jobs within the school.  The remaining 278 persons are new hires to the district with 180 of them being hired into teaching positions. With student enrollment continuing to increase, hiring will continue at a fast pace through the month of August.

This past spring the district recommended 19 applicants for hire to address identified critical need areas. Critical need areas are teaching positions that are difficult to fill or have a limited number of qualified applicants on a posting. Areas identified were in science, math, Exceptional Student Education, music, Spanish and speech/language pathology.

Associate Teacher Expo Held
On July 27, Human Resources held the first Associate Teacher Expo at Fullerwood Learning Center. With over 75 attendees, school administration teams were able to interview a number of qualifying candidates who had a complete application on file. As a result, 14 associate teachers were recommended for hire for the 2016-17 school year. Feedback from the attendees was very positive and they appreciated the opportunity to attend to meet face-to-face with a number of school administrative teams.

Substitutes
The District will be accepting applications for those interested in becoming a substitute teacher August 22 through September 9.  The position will appear on the district’s regular site for all job postings. Visit www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/jobs/, select Applitrack to view openings and begin application. Applicants must be at least 21 years old, have a four year degree and will be evaluated for inclusion in the mandatory training based on teacher certification (if applicable), college major in a critical needs area, GPA, above average references, and other indicators of strong performance as an educator.  Substitutes are “at-will, as-needed workers” with no expectation of summer employment.  The hourly rate of pay is $12 per hours and one must complete a minimum of 15 days substituting per school year to remain on active list for the upcoming year.

Operations

BUSINESS AND FISCAL SERVICES

Accounting, Payroll and Accounts Payable Departments

Please be aware that the first paycheck for teachers will be August 15 for those with a pay assignment in SunGard by August 8.  The first paycheck for food service and transportation employees will be August 31 for those employees with a pay assignment in SunGard as of August 24.

Budget Department

The tentative millage and budget was advertised, and the first public hearing was held on August 2.  The tentative millage has decreased to 6.867 from 7.228, a reduction of .361 mills, with the total district budget approaching $568 million. The final public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, September 13, 5:30 p.m. in the auditorium at 40 Orange Street.

Food & Nutrition Services

The summer food service program provided nutritious meals to area children throughout June and July.  In June alone, 7,393 breakfasts and 14,060 lunches were served to children participating in reading programs, algebra camps, sports activities and recreational centers. Processing of lunch applications for the upcoming school year is underway and notification letters are being mailed daily, with over 6,000 students already approved for free or reduced-priced meals.  In schools, food service managers and staff are ready to welcome back students on the first day of school.

Purchasing Department

The purchasing department worked throughout the summer collecting all furnishings and equipment purchased with public funds by the two recently-closed charter schools.  These items have been redistributed to numerous schools throughout the district.  Purchasing is also working with the transportation department to ensure the timely installation of the Motorola 800 Mhz band radio system in the district’s fleet of school buses.  This improved technology will provide a safer environment for students and staff, and is a direct result of the sales tax approved by the voters of St. Johns County.

FACILITIES & NEW CONSTRUCTION

Maintenance
The Maintenance Department has been busy this summer completing over 150 projects and processing 424 work orders at various schools and administrative facilities throughout the district.  Summer projects included minor remodel and renovation projects, replacement of carpet and tile, painting, HVAC upgrades including duct cleaning, indoor air quality baseline testing and chiller replacement.  Additionally, a total of 36 relocatable classrooms were installed over the summer with four at Mill Creek Elementary School; four at Liberty Pines Academy; five at Patriot Oaks Academy; seven at Valley Ridge Academy; 10 at Pacetti Bay Middle School; four at Allen D. Nease High School and two at St. Johns Technical High School.

Energy Management
Energy conservation strategies employed over the summer are again proving to be a great success. School staff remained at their home schools and operated in “unoccupied” mode by turning off HVAC systems during the peak demand period, 3 – 6 p.m. This will result in significant energy savings.  The Energy Management Department will record electric bills in order to evaluate the results.  The effort put forth by all school administrators to avoid the peak demand charges is commendable.

Building Code Administration
The new classroom addition at John A. Crookshank Elementary School is complete, has been issued a Certificate of Occupancy and is ready for school opening. Fire, Safety and SREF inspections (required at all schools and facilities) will begin after the start of school.

New Construction
Three new schools will open in St. Johns County, one elementary and two k-8’s. The elementary school, which is scheduled to open for the 2017-2018 school year, will help to relieve overcrowding in elementary grades in the World Golf Village and the central county region and will have a capacity of approximately 800 students. The K-8 schools will relieve overcrowding for kindergarten through eighth grades at schools in northern St. Johns County – one in Nocatee and the other in Aberdeen – and will have a capacity of approximately 1,490 students each. They are scheduled to open for the 2018-2019 school year.

The major expansion project at Allen D. Nease High School is ongoing, with the dining and kitchen expansion and renovations completed this summer.  Site construction began in June for the new bus loop and 600 student-station, two-story building addition.  Improvements to St. Johns Technical High School facilities are being completed to enhance the school’s culinary program. These improvements will be completed in August and will immediately provide a state-of-the art culinary learning environment.

Transportation
The Transportation Department will transport approximately 20,000 children aboard 171 school buses each day at the start of the 2016-2017 school year. On July 27, all parents and guardians received Blackboard Connect texts, emails, and voice messages regarding bus routes for the school year.  Route information has also been made available on the District’s webpage at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/transportation/routes/. Prior to the start of school, the transportation department’s 276 professionals will conduct intensive behind-the-wheel, pre-trip inspection, and behavioral management training.  Additionally, all operators will drive their routes aboard their assigned buses before the first day of school.  The safety of children is always of utmost importance to the transportation team.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Acceptable Use Procedure (AUP)
As the new school year begins, remember that all staff and students must sign and acknowledge the appropriate AUP each year to use the District’s Digital Network.  Teachers must also sign the Technology Equipment Responsibility Form.  All of these forms are located on the InsideSJCSD under AUP.   For more details on the AUP reference Management Directive 5.01 and School Board Rule 6.83. The Student AUP is located on the public website under the IT Department along with other associated forms.   Students should also have a current AUP on file at their school before using the District’s Digital network.

Network Password
Please remember to keep your network password safe and secure.   Do not share your password as it typically provides access to sensitive data (for teachers and staff), including access to your own personal data. To help returning teachers/staff reset their network password, IT has developed a new password reset tool.  Employees can access this tool when on campus or off campus (without using VPN) at pwreset.stjohns.k12.fl.us.

New Full Time Teachers
The IT Department has been working to provide a laptop computer to all new, full-time teachers beginning on August 2 at their assigned school (provided they have been entered into the HR system).  This coincided with the new Teacher Orientation training on the same day.   Please check with your school TSS to facilitate this effort.

PLANNING & GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS

Enrollment
The Planning & Government Relations Department is currently monitoring enrollment numbers for the 2016-2017 school year. Current student projections include 37,003 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) students.  This represents an expected growth of approximately 2.8 percent. The department is also monitoring compliance with the Class Size Amendment, which requires that each individual core class meet the established limit based on its grade level (Grades KG-3: 18; Grades 4-8: 22; and Grades 9-12: 25).

Legislative Update
It is election season for the Legislature and local elected officials, which means committee meetings and most things legislative, will not be under way until late November/early December.  Don’t forget to exercise your civic duty and vote during the upcoming elections.  The primary election will be held on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 and the General Election will be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2016.  Absentee and early voting information can be found at www.votesjc.com

In the coming months, work will begin on the creation of the district’s Legislative Platform, which requires input from everyone involved in the school district.  If you have items you would like to see included, please contact Beth Sweeny via email at Beth.Sweeny@stjohns.k12.fl.us or telephone at 547-7673.

Governmental Relations continues to work on engaging more administrators, teachers and parents in advocating for the needs of the school district.  If you have a faculty group or a PTO who would like more information on how to effectively communicate with elected officials and advocate for the priorities of the district, please contact Beth Sweeny to set up a presentation.

“I expect to pass through the world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness I can show to any creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer it, for I shall not pass this way again.”

~Stephen Grellet, French/American religious leader (1773-1855)

Welcome Back Letter 2016

On behalf of the School Board and district staff, I want to welcome all of you to the 2016-2017 school year. I hope everyone had the opportunity to relax and enjoy time with family and friends. A special welcome to families new to the district and to our more than 400 new staff members. We are fortunate to be one of the highest performing school districts in the nation and it is an honor to serve as your superintendent.

The SJCSD is working closely with the Department of Health and Anastasia Mosquito Control, Division of St. Johns County, under the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with regard to the Zika virus.  Interim guidance has been developed by the CDC for district and school administrators in the planning of school-related activities, recommended actions, and appropriate policies for educating students and staff members for the continuation of school operations.

Mosquito control measures on school grounds will focus on identifying and removing sources of standing water that can serve as mosquito breeding sites.  Common sources on school grounds such as buckets, trash cans, planters, playground equipment, and spaces beneath modular structures will be regularly monitored by onsite Maintenance Managers.  Processes to ensure these do not become mosquito breeding areas will include regular cleaning, turning over, tightly covering, or completely removing (if appropriate) these sources.  The district will follow the direction of Anastasia Mosquito Control should insecticide spraying be indicated.

In addition, we will temporarily modify the medication policy found in School Board Rule 5.15 to allow parents at the elementary level to bring insect repellent to the school with their child’s name written on the container for application by staff before going outside.  We will continue our policy for middle and high school students in that they may self-carry and self-apply insect repellent with written permission from the parent.  Parents and staff members will be notified of any changes in policy and information will be accessible through the district website at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/health/zika/.  This link also includes the CDC’s recommendations for parents talking to their children about Zika.

Our School Board has been focused on meeting the needs of our dramatic growth with the help of the half-cent sales tax including the construction of three new schools – one elementary and two K-8s. These schools will be in the fastest growing areas of the county. The elementary school will help to relieve overcrowding in the World Golf Village and the central county region and is scheduled to open for the 2017-2018 school year. The K-8 schools will relieve overcrowding for kindergarten through 8th grades at schools in northern St. Johns County – one in Nocatee and the other in Aberdeen. They are scheduled to open for the 2018-2019 school year.  The schools will be funded through the voter approved half-cent sales surtax, school impact fees and proportionate share mitigation funds.

The half-cent sales tax also paid for 800 MHz radios for all of the county’s school buses.  These radios will allow bus drivers to communicate directly with law enforcement in the event of an emergency and will enhance the safety of students on school buses. The radios were installed this summer on more than 230 school buses.

A large part of the success of St. Johns County Schools comes from the continued focus on the classroom. Every effort is made to provide teachers and schools with the resources they need for creating an environment that ensures all students are on the path to success. Through evaluation, training and support, we continue to develop high-quality personnel who focus on student growth and achievement.

Community and parent support, bright children and strong character-based leadership are major factors in our success. I am tremendously grateful for the high level of parent participation and support we receive as well as for the generosity of our business partners.

Best wishes for an outstanding school year!

Joe Joyner

SR 5-26-16 Volume 5, Issue 20

The closing of the school year gives me the opportunity to offer my sincere thanks to the many dedicated individuals who contribute to the success of our district.

We are most fortunate to have incredible parents who not only provide a supportive home environment, but are ready to assist our schools with every need. Thank you for your trust and for your support.

Our teaching staff is truly the most dedicated and committed group of people that I have had the opportunity to work with. I am most proud that in the face of external forces at work, along with the challenges of a rapidly growing district, our teachers kept their focus on the students. I want to offer my heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you for an outstanding year. Our many accomplishments would not be possible without your devotion.

This year is especially meaningful as I reflect on my final graduation ceremonies as your superintendent and the privilege of serving this wonderful community for the past 13 years. They have been the most professionally rewarding of my career, and I have all of you to thank for it.

Commencement ceremonies mark the end of our career with these students but the beginning of the next phase of their lives. It was a joy to see just over 2,000 graduates walk across the stage. I was in awe of how this year’s class not only excelled academically, but truly showed their great character and servant leadership qualities. Even more poignant is that I have taken this journey with this graduating class, starting here as your superintendent when they were entering kindergarten. We wish these graduating seniors all the best as they move on to their next step in life.

I also want to say a special thanks to our support staff.  From bus drivers, to cafeteria workers, to administrators, to clerical staff, to custodians, we have the very best.  Thank you for making this a special year for children.

We are fortunate to have a school board who makes decisions based on a philosophy of “children first.” Their leadership during difficult times has demonstrated the true character of our board, and I am proud to work with every one of them.

Our community is special because we value everyone who is a part of it…especially our wonderful children.

Best wishes for a relaxing and rewarding summer, and I look forward to an outstanding 2016-2017 school year.

 

Department Update

Community Relations

Superintendent Search

Applicants who are interested in applying to become the next Superintendent of Schools for St. Johns County School District may now download and complete the Superintendent Application Form. The completed and signed application and all supporting materials must be emailed jlreichert9@gmail.com no later than midnight on July 15, 2016.

Media Services

The video production team has been involved with promoting sports opportunities for women throughout district high schools in conjunction with Title IX. The female athletes of St. Johns County have proven to not only be extremely talented at their respective sports, but they also model high levels of character that are paramount to our district. We are very proud to highlight their careers and experiences during their time in high school and promote their legacy to incoming freshmen.

Every year St. Johns County participates in the Jim Harbin Video Contest in which students produce and film their own video productions to compete in a variety of categories. This year’s contest was very encouraging as we had a large number of entries as well as quite a few high school entries. District winners were selected in the beginning of May and will now compete in the regional contest. The regional winners will be announced at the end of May or the beginning of June.

RSVP/Volunteer Services

RSVP of St. Johns County

RSVP volunteers have been very busy this year fulfilling their mission to assist students with their educational pursuits, mobilize community volunteers for service and assist not-for-profit agencies in St. Johns County with special support.  They made a huge impact on academic achievement this year.  More than 600 students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade received literacy enhancement, tutoring or mentoring services.  The results were higher achievement levels, increased attendance and decreased disruptive behaviors.  Volunteers also took part in special community activities including assisting with community fundraisers (ASSIST event, Bed and Breakfast Tour of Inns, Character Counts! run/walk, and RSVP fundraiser) as well as events such as the Florida Heritage Book Festival and Make A Difference Day with the St. Johns Housing Partnership.  To read more details of the service provided from this active and bighearted group, or to become an RSVP volunteer, please visit the RSVP website at www.rsvpstjohns.com.

If you want to make a difference in the life of a student this year, RSVP is looking for community members to assist once per week in the district’s summer reading program.  Hours are flexible, and even if you are traveling this summer, you can help out while you are in town.  Volunteers are an integral part of the program, and even more are needed this year.  Call RSVP/Volunteer Services at 547-3945 or email Cheryl.Freeman@stjohns.k12.fl.us for more information.

Volunteer Services

As the 2015-2016 school year comes to an end, reports show that school volunteers again gave tirelessly to students throughout the district.  With more than 18,000 volunteers providing approximately 250,000 hours of service, students and staff received support resulting in higher achievement levels as well as a culture of caring for all.  There were 34 elementary and secondary schools receiving Golden School status (for community volunteer hours and volunteer coordination) and 13 secondary schools receiving Silver School status (for student volunteer service).  We extend our sincere gratitude to all that gave their time and energy in our district this year!

Student Leadership

Recently over 180 Link Crew Leaders from Allen D. Nease, St. Augustine and Bartram Trail high schools spent a weekend at a Link Crew retreat.  The goal was to train the new student leaders for this student-to-student mentoring program that matches upperclassmen with incoming freshmen. This helps new students acclimate to the high school campus, culture and routine.  During the retreat, students learn that Link Crew is a program of inclusiveness which helps them to understand what it means to be a mentor. The new leaders learn to appreciate and respect their classmates as well as their fellow students from other schools. Students participated in mentor/leadership training, swam, played sports, had a skit night and enjoyed a large campfire ceremony where each student highlighted things about another that they learned over the weekend. Aside from this valuable training, the retreat serves to form a bond among the leaders. These student leaders can now bring this spirit of togetherness back to their respective high schools for the upcoming school year.

On the Horizon

Summer Reading and Algebra Programs

The Summer Reading Program is required for third graders who are reading below grade level and are at risk of retention.  In addition, each school may invite a limited number of kindergarten through second grade students to attend.  The Summer Reading Program provides an additional 96 hours of reading instruction in June and July.  At the end of the program, third-grade students may be promoted if they pass a test or qualify for other Good Cause Exemptions specified by the state.

The Summer Algebra Program is available for students who have completed Algebra I but did not pass the state End-of-Course (EOC) assessment.  Algebra students attend the program for 56 hours and re-take the EOC.  Students who complete the Summer Algebra Program receive a .5 elective credit.

Summer program locations are:

Summer Reading Program
June 6 – July 8
8 a.m. – noon p.m.
Summer Algebra I Program
June 27 – July 15
8 a.m. – noon
John A. Crookshank Elementary Bartram Trail High
Cunningham Creek Elementary Creekside High
Durbin Creek Elementary Allen D. Nease High
W.D. Hartley Elementary Pedro Menendez High
Mill Creek Elementary Ponte Vedra High
Ocean Palms Elementary St. Augustine High
Osceola Elementary
South Woods Elementary
The Webster School

Summer Food Service

The St. Johns County School District will be participating in the Summer Food Service Program for Children June 6-July 29.  There will be a break in service on July 4 as the school district will be closed during this time.

Nutritionally balanced meals will be provided to all children regardless of race, color, sex, disability, age, or national origin during summer vacation when school breakfasts and lunches are not available.  All children 18 years old and younger are eligible for meals on a first-come, first-served basis at no charge and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service.  The programs are approved for geographical areas of need where 50 percent or more of the children qualify for free and reduced price meals during the school year.

Summer feeding sites that are located at schools provide meals to all children in the immediate vicinity in addition to those enrolled in summer school; however, meals are only served during the identified meal service times.

Please see the news release for additional details at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/press/2016/05/26/summer-food-service-2016/.

Status Report

2016-2017 Bus Routes

The St. Johns County School District’s (SJCSD) bus routes for the 2016-2017 school year were approved by the School Board at their May 10 meeting.

Once updated, the routes will be available online at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/transportation/routes.  Parents without access to computers may visit any of the county public library locations, and staff will assist them in locating the website.

In an effort to conserve costs, the school district will not mail post cards regarding bus routes for the 2016-2017 school year. This information, along with other important transportation announcements, will be made available to parents through the Home Access Center (HAC).

The Transportation Department will operate 183 bus routes and transport approximately 60 percent of the district’s students twice a day when school starts on Wednesday, August 10. For additional questions or information, call the Transportation Department at 547-7810.

Summer Energy Savings Program

Beginning the week of June 6, business hours for all schools and district offices will be 7:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and will operate on a modified consolidation program with administrative teams and custodians remaining at their home schools. Summer school academic programs have been assigned to geographic areas of the district based on need. All schools and district offices will resume regular business hours beginning Monday, August 1.

Did You Know…?

  • The first day of school for 2016-2017 is Wednesday, August 10 (this is a full day, no early release). Have a great summer!

“This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.”
~Theodore Roosevelt, American adventurer and 26th president (1858-1919)

SR 5-16-16 Volume 5, Issue 19

The end of the year is quickly approaching and graduations are on the horizon for our seniors. We are very proud of all our graduating seniors and know they will go on to accomplish great things. Please find the graduation schedule below.

Wednesday, May 18

4:30 p.m.       St. Johns Virtual School                District Administrative Building

Wednesday, May 18

7 p.m.             St. Johns Technical High School  St. Augustine High School Auditorium

Thursday, May 19

7:30 p.m.       Pedro Menendez High School      St. Augustine Amphitheatre (SAA)

Friday, May 20

7:30 p.m.       St. Augustine High School            SAA

7:30 p.m.       Allen D. Nease High School          University of North Florida (UNF)

Saturday, May 21

1 p.m.            Bartram Trail High School             UNF

4:30 p.m.       Creekside High School                   UNF

7:30 p.m.       Ponte Vedra High School              UNF

Tuesday, May 24

7 p.m.            First Coast Technical College        Bldg. C, FCTC Campus

 

Be sure to visit the Superintendent Search website for information regarding the superintendent selection process. The website includes a comprehensive timeline listing important dates as well as updated information.

Department Update

Operations

New Schools

The St. Johns County School District continues to prepare to begin construction on three new schools to open for the 2017-2018 School Year.  These three schools will address extensive student growth and overcrowding in three areas of the county.  Elementary M will be located at 2675 Pacetti Road in the central portion of the county near World Golf Village.  This school will have an approximate capacity of 800 students.  The two K-8 schools will have an approximate capacity of 1,350 students each.  K-8 School KK will be built at 2135 Palm Valley Road in the Nocatee development to address growth in the northeast portion of the county.  K-8 School LL will be located at 1365 Shetland Drive in the development of Aberdeen to address growth in the northwest.

The K-8 School KK construction funding will be a combination of School Impact Fees and School Concurrency Proportionate Share Mitigation Payments, both made by developers and home builders.  Elementary School M and K-8 School LL will be funded through the voter-approved half-cent sales surtax.

More information on the new schools can be found on the school district website, including FAQs and a calendar for the school construction/opening process at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/newschools/.

Half-Cent Sales Surtax Citizens Advisory Committee

The first meeting of the Half-Cent Sales Surtax Citizens Advisory Committee was held on April 18.  The School Board has selected a committee of citizens with relevant expertise to assist the district in fulfilling the mandate from the St. Johns County voters.  The purpose of this committee is to monitor and advise the School Board on the expenditure of the sales tax proceeds.  The committee will meet quarterly and will provide an annual report to the School Board.  A committee chair, vice chair and secretary were also selected. This committee will begin to monitor the expenditures related to the construction of Elementary M and K-8 School LL, along with the purchase of an 800 MHz radio system designed to expand communication with law enforcement and enhance the safety of students on school buses.

On the Horizon

There are lots of end-of-year activities taking place as the school year comes to a close. Be sure to check your student’s individual school website for information and events.

 

Status Report

Betty Griffin House “A Day Without Violence” Calendar Art and Poetry Contest Winners

Art Winners:

St. Joseph Academy

Yuanting Zhan (Betsy), 11th Grade, Cover and First Place

Honorable Mentions

Nina Rogers, 9th grade
Joshua Cebajios, 9th grade
Jane Zhong, 10th grade

Creekside High School

Samantha Boudreaux, 10th Grade, Second Place

Honorable Mention

Saima Hossain, 11th grade

W.D. Hartley Elementary School

Honorable Mentions

Gabriel Pace , 2nd grade
Tyban Garner, 3rd grade
Samuel Sylvester, kindergarten

Bartram Trail High School

Honorable Mentions

Keely Lardizabal, 12th grade
Praewphan Nakbun, 11th grade
Camryn Hulsey, 11th grade

Liberty Pines Academy

Honorable Mention

Luka Klipa, Kindergarten

 

Poetry Winners:

Ketterlinus Elementary

Trinity Gill, 2nd grade, First Place

Honorable Mention

Jacob Dux, 2nd grade

Fruit Cove Middle School

Logan Mohtashemi,  7th Grade, Second Place

Honorable Mentions

Andrew Ferris, 7th grade
Dominic Bucca, 7th grade
Cal Davis, 7th grade
Elyse Soracco, 7th grade
Isabella Bruno, 7th grade

R.J. Murray Middle School

Honorable Mentions

Peyton Crevasse, 6th grade
Megan Gieselman, 6th grade

Wards Creek Elementary

Honorable Mention

Nicholas Chapman, 5th grade

Bartram Trail High School

Honorable Mention

Brittany Donor, 11th grade

Elementary Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics Fair

The St. Johns County Elementary Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Fair was held at Palencia Elementary School on Saturday, May 14.  The purpose of this event was to encourage and celebrate student interest in STEM with the primary goal of promoting student use of STEM to solve real-world problems.

Did You Know…?

  • The Castillo de San Marcos National Monument invites visitors to spend a little more time at the nation’s oldest masonry fort, with Centennial Evenings scheduled throughout the summer in honor of the National Park Service’s 100th Anniversary. This program features extended hours from 5 to 7 p.m. on the third Friday of each month from May to September 2016, giving guests more time to informally explore the history and importance of the Castillo. For additional information please call (904) 829-6506 ext. 233.
    Admission: Regular admission rates apply: $10 for adults 16 and older; free for children 15 and under.
    When: Extended hours are from 5 to 7 p.m. on the third Friday of each month from May to September 2016. Dates are May 20, June 17, July 15, August 19, and September 16, 2016.
    Where: The Castillo de San Marcos is located at 1 S. Castillo Dr. in St. Augustine, FL 32084.

“Without civic morality communities perish; without personal morality their survival has no value.”
~Bertrand Russell, British mathematician and philosopher (1872-1970)

SR 5-2-16 Volume 5, Issue 18

The week of May 2-6 is Teacher Appreciation Week and it gives us the opportunity to thank all our teachers for the continual excellence they put into their craft every day.

Teachers have a special quality that compels them to unselfishly focus on the needs of others.  In doing so, they become true servant leaders.  This service to our children is born from an intrinsic motivation to help others succeed that is hard to explain to those who do not teach.

“Teachers who love teaching, teach children to love learning.” ~Robert John Meehan

Inspiring good character and a passion for lifelong learning in all students, the heart of our mission statement, is the common thread I see while visiting schools…teachers shaping young minds and inspiring engaged learning in the children they teach.

To the teachers in our district, including substitute teachers, please know that you have my sincerest gratitude for the profession you have chosen, the work that you do each day and for the love, dedication and support you so selflessly give to our children.

For the rest of us, I ask each of you to take a moment to say thank you to teachers, past or present, who have had a positive impact on your life or a member of your family.

The state of Florida recognizes the month of May as Teacher Appreciation Month.  Schools throughout the county celebrate this observance during the month, with individual schools coordinating their own teacher recognition activities. A proclamation recognizing May 2-6, 2016, as Teacher and Substitute Teacher Appreciation Week will be read at the School Board meeting on Tuesday, May 10 at 9 a.m.

Department Update

Academic and Student Services

 

ACCOUNTABILITY AND INTERVENTION SERVICES

Exceptional Student Education

The Florida National Deaf Agenda Team has a sub-committee focusing on Transition 14+. The sub-committee is currently working on Transition Lessons Pilot Project and is comprised of program specialists and teachers from St. Johns, Broward and Duval County. It is the task of the committee to match expanded core curriculum skills with transition goals.  Materials from this project will be published as model lesson plans for teachers across the state of Florida and shared at the National Deaf Education Summit.

Michelle Downing, a teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing for the St. Johns County School District (SJCSD), was named the 2016 Florida Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) Teacher of the Year last month by the Florida Educators of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (FEDHH). The FEDHH is an association that provides a forum for the exchange of current information, teaching strategies and legislature related to working with students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Michelle was selected from five semi-finalists statewide who were nominated by parents, peers and administrators. The Teacher of the Year was selected by the FEDHH Board of Directors, which is comprised of professionals from across the state in the field of deaf education.

Planning, Accountability and Assessment

FSA Testing

Students completed the writing portion of the Florida Standards Assessment last month. Florida Standards Assessment are currently being administered in reading and math to students in Grades 3 – 10. Testing began on April 11 and will continue until May 6. The computer-based has been going well and schools were able to complete all of the testing to date without any significant technology issues.

  • The Florida Standards Alternate Assessment, for students with disabilities who are exempt from the Florida Standards Assessment, began February 29 and completed on April 29. This assessment replaces the Florida Alternative Assessment.
  • This year the state implemented a new assessment for English Language Learners. The assessment is provided by the WIDA Consortium and is called ACCESS 2.0. This assessment replaces the Comprehensive English Language Learners Assessment (CELLA). This test is used to determine how well students who have arrived speaking a foreign language are learning English. The testing window began on February 8 and closed on March 25. Results to be expected to be reported by mid-May.
  •  The state End-of-Course (EOC) exams in Algebra I, Algebra 2, Biology, Civics, Geometry and US History began on April 18 and will continue until May 13.

The Planning, Accountability, and Assessment Department has been working with teachers from many different subject areas over the past few months. Item analysis reports from last year’s tests were provided to teachers and they received training on using the data to make decisions about test items.  Teachers also spent time reviewing content to be used in future assessments. This collaborative process helps ensure that students are tested using the most valid, reliable, and relevant test items.

CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION

Instructional Resources and Media Services

“Shrimp Boat City”

The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum recently published the second edition of a book titled “Shrimp Boat City.” The book focuses on the historic boat building and commercial shrimping industries here in St. Augustine. A tremendous thank you goes out to the St. Augustine Lighthouse and the Versaggi family for hosting many of the St. Johns County School District media specialists as well as several district office staff and school board members at the historic lighthouse on April 6.  The Versaggi family has generously donated a copy of “Shrimp Boat City” to each school.

Dual Enrollment

Dual enrollment courses allow students to earn college credit while still enrolled as high school students.  Spring courses will end soon and all materials are due back to the Fullerwood Center, located at 10 Hildreth Dr., by May 4 to avoid late fees.  Materials for summer courses will be available for check out beginning May 2. For more information on dual enrollment, please visit www.sjrstate.edu/dual.html.

Instructional Services

Resources for Secondary Students to Prepare for State EOC Assessments or District Final Exams

The district is in the window for state assessments in English language arts and math, eighth-grade science, and EOC exams which count for 30 percent of a student’s final course grade (seventh-grade civics, Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Biology and U.S. History).  For courses that do not have a state assessment, district final exams will be given during the last 10 days of school and those will be 5 percent of the second semester grade for middle school students and 10 percent of the second semester grade for high school students.

How can a student prepare?  Teachers will be the first source and guide for students and, in addition, the Secondary Instructional Services Department has year-at-a-glance resources for language arts, math, science, social studies and world languages, grades 6–12.  These pacing guides provide week-by-week topics and resources for parents, students and tutors, and are a great place to identify areas of strength and the possible need growth for students.  They are available at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/year-at-a-glance/.

Below is a list of additional information on the district website at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/isse/.

  • Guide to Algebra I EOC
  • Guide to Geometry EOC
  • Guide to Algebra II EOC
  • Guide to Biology EOC

Summer Algebra Camp

For all students, passing the Algebra I EOC is a graduation requirement.  If you child is enrolled in Algebra I and does not earn a passing score on the EOC this spring, help is available.  Each high school site will offer summer algebra camp to prepare students for a retake of the Algebra I EOC on July 14 and 15.  The program runs 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., Monday through Friday, June 27 – July 15, except July 4. Transportation is provided.  Students who complete the summer algebra camp earn a half credit elective and may qualify for grade forgiveness as well.  For more information, contact your school counselor or assistant principal.

Career and Technical Education

Career Academies

The Career Academies launched a new application system this year to address capacity and demand in the most effective way possible.  Over 2,200 students applied.  Of those, 2,031 students were placed in their first choice district-wide.  There are currently less than 1 percent of students on a waiting list for the programs for which they applied.

The Annual Academy Awards was held on April 14 from 5:00-6:30 at the Fullerwood Center.  Herff Jones was selected as the Business Partner of the Year.  St Johns County Mosquito Control was selected as the Rookie Business Partner of the Year.

Congratulations to Brian Radaker! Mr. Radaker, a teacher at Gamble Rogers Middle School, is the 2016 First Coast Manufacturing Association (FCMA) Teacher of the Year based on his work with Carlisle IT and robotics.

Professional Development

The Professional Development department is planning and preparing for learning and growth opportunities for teachers, administrators, new hires and non-instructional personnel this summer.  On May 31 and June 1, three teachers from each school will participate in a technology training that will cover topics such as Digital Citizenship, Blended Digital Learning, the Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) and Office 365.  Teachers will leave fully equipped to integrate technology into their lessons in order to maximize student engagement when school resumes in August.  The Florida Association of School Administrators (FASA) is partnering with the St. Johns County School District to provide a Leadership Development Day on June 9 for all school-based administrators.  In addition, plans are well under way for the New Employee Orientation on August 2 at Pacetti Bay Middle School where district leaders will welcome all new hires for the 2016-2017 school year as well as provide needed training for a great start.  August 3 is the first official day that instructional personnel will report to work and will kick the year off with a full day of professional development and collaboration. Training opportunities will be held across the district for teachers of all subjects and grade levels.

Educational Support Services

Leadership development and training continues to engage various groups in sessions relevant to the culture of SJCSD and to provide the knowledge and skills applicable to their assigned department within the district.  The 34 participants in the Phase I Leadership Academy recently completed reading “The Truth About Leadership” followed by a book discussion led by Ted Banton, Assistant Principal at Sebastian Middle School and Paula Steele.  In the Phase II, Year 2 Leadership Academy the Assistant Principals have been looking deeper into their understanding of the departments within the SJCSD.  They have also read and discussed “The Principal” by Michael Fullan.  The Phase III and Phase IV mentor/mentees have recently discussed using the book “Strengths Based Leadership” to establish leadership teams at their schools. Next month they will tackle the topic of change and discuss components required to successfully navigate through transitions.  The first year of Leadership Counts!@SJCSD is coming to a close.  The participants in that group have been exposed to best leadership practices, facilitative behaviors, multi-generations in the workplace and collaboration and communication skills.

Investing in Kids (INK)

The Five Learning Years (FLY) program has completed services in the district’s Title I schools impacting VPK and kindergarten students. Resource teachers delivered small group instruction to students in an effort to prepare them for kindergarten or to get them on level with their peers.  Test scores are being evaluated to determine student gains.  By the end of April, FLY will be providing the same instruction to approximately 10-15 children at the Woodlawn Terrace Apartments.  Parent outreach continues in partnership with the St. Johns County Library System.

The Take Stock in Children program recently held its annual Bright Beginnings ceremony.  The celebration was in honor of the eight high school seniors who are graduating with a two-year college tuition scholarship.  Additionally, 30 middle school students were inducted into the program.  Volunteer mentors are being recruited to help these students stay academically focused.

A total of 680 orders from Tools 4 Schools at the Bailey Group Resource Depot were filled and delivered to teachers across the district.  Many thanks to the Bailey Group, the Transitions School students at the Evelyn Hamblen Center, INK staff, and Dennis Cumisky who made this possible.  The site is currently closed for restocking and maintenance and will reopen Monday, August 29.  Eight schools are participating in cleaning out student lockers and donating new or gently used items into the Bailey Group Resource Depot.  A special thank you to Lisa Kunze at Switzerland Point for initiating the locker clean out.

Save the Date!  The annual Boot Scootin BBQ fundraiser is set for Saturday, October 1.  For additional information please contact Donna Lueders at (904) 547-7120 or donna.lueders@stjohns.k12.fl.us.

STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES

School Services

Hardship Out-of-Zone Transfer Applications

The School Services Department has been reviewing the Hardship Out-of-Zone Transfer Applications received to date.  The online and paper applications are available on the district website at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/schoolservices/transfers and must be submitted annually.  Parents are encouraged to complete and submit the application as early as possible.  With an average of over 1,800 applications being processed each year, early submissions help to keep the process moving.

The Student Code of Conduct is being reviewed for updates and revisions for the 2016-17 school year.   Suggestions are gathered from district administrators, principals, assistant principals and deans of students, school SAC teams, and the district’s legal counsel.

Athletics
The department is presenting programs at all middle and K-8 schools, showcasing interscholastic athletic opportunities for rising ninth-grade female students during April and May. Several of high schools finished up with exceptionally successful sports seasons recently.

Health Services

On March 18 Flagler Hospital hosted an all-day training event for district nurses.  Many topics were covered including asthma in pediatric patients, diabetes in the school setting, drug use in adolescents and youth mental health issues.  The Flagler Life Institute planned the event and awarded each nurse with six Continuing Education Units (CEUs) free of charge to the district.  Flagler Hospital continues to be a valuable partner to the SJCSD Health Services Program.

Student Services

ASSIST

Recently, two students in the Aid and Support for Students in Sudden Transition (ASSIST) program were awarded a $1,000 scholarship each through Somebody Cares at the Carefest fundraiser banquet. The Hilton St. Augustine Historic Bayfront will host the annual ASSIST senior dinner on May 25. Approximately 12 college-bound seniors will receive laptops with software programs donated by the Tesori Foundation.

Your participation will be appreciated at the Patricia Nash Memorial Hillbilly Golf Benefit at the St. Augustine Shores golf course on June 26, 2016. This is a fundraiser for the ASSIST program. Also, purchasing TPC tickets through the ASSIST program will contribute $25 from each ticket to the ASSIST fund. Purchase online at www.chipinforyouth.com/.

Mental Health

Sheriff David Shoar is requiring all St. Johns Sheriff’s Office employees to attend a 40-hour Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) program. The Student Services mental health staff is providing the training for the juvenile mental health component. The mental health staff also conducted a training for district bus drivers regarding signs and symptoms of child abuse. Staff participated on the Child Welfare and Behavioral Health Integration team, the Human Trafficking Coalition and the Child Abuse Death Review (CADR) committee.

Our sincere appreciation and thanks goes to the many district employees who are mentoring our at-risk students! We have many more at-risk students in need of a mentor. Please consider mentoring a student and encourage coworkers to participate.

Guidance and Choice

St. Johns Virtual School

In accordance with F.S. 1003.498, F.S. 1001.42, 1002.37 and 1002.45, St. Johns Virtual School (SJVS) offers three full-time and part-time virtual instruction options to all St. Johns County students in grades K through 12 for the 2016-2017 school year.  The SJVS open enrollment period for full-time enrollment and part-time courses for the 2016-17 school year is April 12 to July 11, 2016. To achieve academic success, online students must be self-disciplined, self-motivated, responsible, and ready to accept the challenge of rigorous online course work. Parents must play an active role in monitoring their child’s progress and make sure their child maintains a regimented work schedule. While virtual instruction does allow some daily flexibility, students must make progress in each course at an established weekly pace.

SJVS full-time is a program of choice, meaning that students must apply and be accepted for admission. Full-time students must complete a minimum of six courses per semester and comply with all state course standards and assessment requirements.  To learn more about your virtual options and apply to the program, please visit www-sjvs.stjohns.k12.fl.us/ or contact Mr. Michael Eisen at Michael.Eisen@stjohns.k12.fl.us

SJVS part-time enrollment options, both during and outside the regular school day are also available. As an additional reminder, all standard policies in the student progression plan, including school-based course request/registration and drop/add policies apply to virtual courses.  To meet learning needs, SJVS is expanding teacher access during the school day, offering greater flexibility including summer courses, and providing enhanced lessons and district  support to help keep students engaged and on track.

If you are considering having your student take a virtual course while enrolled at your current school, please complete the pre-registration survey on www-sjvs.stjohns.k12.fl.us/  and contact your school counselor for advisement and approval.

Student Leadership

Student leadership involvement continues to thrive in St. Johns County.  On April 1, 15 Link Crew student leaders from Allen D. Nease High School (NHS) hosted nine Where Everybody Belongs (WEB) student leaders from Pacetti Bay Middle School (PBMS) for activities and a question and answer session about what high school is really like.  The day concluded with all of the students having lunch together so the middle schoolers could experience a real high school lunch.  This day builds on a December event when WEB leaders from PBMS hosted fifth-grade students from Mill Creek Elementary School in a similar activity.

On April 13, 30 Link Crew leaders from St. Augustine High School (SAHS) and five from NHS joined together to help with the 2nd annual Elementary Olympics.  The SAHS students helped run the events while the NHS students kept the crowd pumped up with free t-shirt giveaways.  All of the students stayed after the event to help clean up the track, stadium and grounds. Thanks to these student leaders for helping to make a successful event.

On the Horizon

Kindergarten Pre-Registration

The upcoming pre-Registration date for the 2016-2017 school year is on Monday, May 9 from 1 – 5 p.m.

The list of required documents can be found on the school district website. Updates and changes have been made to the residency process and can be found at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/student/residency/.

 

Elementary Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics Fair

The St. Johns County Elementary Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Fair will be held at Palencia Elementary School on Saturday May 14 from 8-11 a.m.  The purpose of this event is to encourage and celebrate student interest in STEM with the primary goal of promoting student use of STEM to solve real-world problems.  Student representation will be decided at the school level.  Teachers, parents, administrators, and community members are welcome to attend.

Status Report

Florida State Science Fair 

Florida’s 61st State Science and Engineering Fair held in Lakeland March 29-31 included 14 projects by St. Johns County School District students. Each of these students, representing three middle and two high schools, took home awards, including categorical awards and special awards. These special awards included college scholarships, monetary incentives or unique opportunities to attend programs such as summer Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) camps.

The journey to this highly regarded state event began in January at the St. Johns County Science Fair held on the campus of Sebastian Middle School. Open to all district public, private and home school students, the Science Fair is coordinated by Marna Fox, Secondary Science Program Specialist, and Brian Morgan, Elementary Science Program Specialist.

Elementary Olympics

EO Logo

The Elementary Olympics links academics and character education through athletic competition.  Over 200 student athletes representing 20 elementary schools participated in the 2015 inaugural event last year and this year’s event was even bigger.

The 2016 Elementary Olympics took place April 13 at St. Augustine High School.  Parents, teachers, administrators, school mascots and community members attended in support of the hard-working students. The “Character Cup” trophy was awarded to Hickory Creek Elementary School for display during the 2016-2017 school year.

 Did You Know…?

  • St. Johns Cultural Council is pleased to present the St. Augustine Camera Club’s (SACC) Fifth Annual Juried Member Photography Show on display in the Rotunda Gallery in the St. Johns County Administration Building.  The exhibit will be on display from May 3 through June 8.  The Administrative Building is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8 am until 5 pm. The opening reception will be at 8:15 a.m. on May 3 prior to the Board of County Commission meeting.  The public is welcome to attend.
  • Cathedral Parish School is presenting a free community event. Author and speaker Dr. Michele Borba will be speaking on parenting, bullying and character on Tuesday, May 17 at 6:30 p.m.at the Flagler College Lewis Auditorium, 14 Granada St. in St. Augustine. To order free tickets or for more information, visit cpsmicheleborba.eventbrite.com or call (904) 669-4376.

“One of the basic causes for all the trouble in the world today is that people talk too much and think too little. They act impulsively without thinking. I always try to think before I talk.”
~Margaret Chase Smith, politician (1897-1995)

SR 4-14-16 Volume 5, Issue 17

It was a pleasure to recognize our 2015-2016 Outstanding Volunteers of the Year during our ninth annual celebration last week.

Jasraj Raghuwanshi , a senior at Pedro Menendez High School (PMHS), is this year’s Outstanding Youth Volunteer. Jasraj was also selected as the Region II Outstanding Youth Volunteer by the Florida Department of Education.  This makes him one of the top five youth volunteers in the state. He created a public relations campaign as an ambassador for the International Baccalaureate program at PMHS helping to dramatically increase the number of students in the program.  A highlight of his volunteer work has been creating and coordinating the annual Cultural Fair for the last three years.  This event is still going strong, drawing hundreds each year.

In support of the school district’s CHARACTER COUNTS! program, Jasraj, as a junior, became an inaugural member and the president of Link Crew, a student-to-student mentoring program, and is continuing this year.  He helps new students navigate their first year as they enter the academic and social high school environment and serves as a resource for information. He is an original member of LIMBS, helping to raise money for prosthetic limbs for amputees in developing countries, and also helps to fight Multiple Sclerosis.  Providing more than 650 hours of volunteer service while in high school, Jasraj has taken part in Model United Nations, National Honor Society, Athletic Leadership Council, varsity swim team, Camp Corral, Camp Ocala, Special Olympics, peer tutoring, and tutoring elementary students.

Outstanding Adult Volunteer Heather Mowrey, a volunteer at R.B. Hunt Elementary School (RBHES), has made a lasting impact on students, as well as systemic advancements for her school.  Through Ms. Mowrey’s involvement and presidency of the PTAO, funds were raised to purchase student computer stations, iPads for teacher and student use, Smart Boards, and ceiling mounting of LCD projectors in classrooms.  Putting this technology in the hands of students was a critical component of preparing students for the rigor of FSA testing.  Funds raised through her leadership have also been used to purchase student periodicals, paid for teachers to attend workshops, and helped to pay for the Accelerated Reader program.  Hundreds of students have been helped through her academic tutoring and she has brought a Girls On The Run club to RBHES. Volunteering for nine years, and contributing 695 hours of service in the last 18 months alone, she is the embodiment of servant leadership.

This year’s Outstanding Senior Volunteer is Tera Hunt who volunteers at W.D. Hartley Elementary School (HES).  Ms. Hunt has impacted 30 students who have reading challenges in one-to-one and small group settings.  On many occasions, she has spent time with troubled students giving each one the time, attention and genuine love needed to be successful while forming friendships for life.  She has donated 204 hours of service in the last 18 months through direct student support, as well as coordination of PTO events and fundraisers, creating bulletin boards and assisting with clerical tasks.  One of the most unique tasks included arranging to have a piglet on the HES campus for the principal to kiss as an incentive for raising funds for technology.  She participates in many community efforts as well, including Leadership and Youth Leadership St. Johns.

The evening included the announcement of the district-wide Family and Community Involvement Award winners.  These awards are presented to an elementary school and a secondary school each year for innovative school practices that increase family involvement. The elementary winner was Timberlin Creek for its family literacy night. This year’s district winner at the secondary level was Allen D. Nease High School (NHS) for its SOUPer Bowl event. This event raised funds to assist Blessings in a Backpack, which provides food to hundreds of students in St. Johns County.  The NHS SOUPer Bowl event was also chosen as the Region II winner by the Florida Department of Education.  This distinction makes it one of the top five programs in the state for middle/high schools.  NHS will be honored at the PTA State Leadership Conference this summer. In addition, volunteer coordinators from each school were recognized.

The individuals honored at this event were just a few of the 20,597 volunteers who contributed 298,559 hours of service to our schools during the past year.  Cheryl Freeman, volunteer coordinator for the St. Johns County School District, served as event coordinator.

In addition, I am pleased to announce new principal appointments.

Wayne King, principal at Valley Ridge Academy (VRA), has been selected to be the principal of Sebastian Middle School (SMS). Ryan Player, principal at White Knoll High School in Lexington, SC, has been selected to be the principal of Alice B. Landrum Middle School (LMS). Sandra McMandon, principal at Durbin Creek Elementary, has been selected to be the principal at VRA. Their nominations will be presented to the School Board at its May 10 meeting.

Mr. King will replace current SMS Principal Kelly Battell who will be joining the district office as Director of Student Services replacing Sallyanne Smith who is retiring in June.

Mr. Player will replace LMS Principal Jewel Johnson who will be joining the district as Director of Instructional Personnel replacing Cathy Geiger who is retiring in May.

Executive Cabinet Update

Information Technology

Security Awareness

The district has had a few recent cases of email spoofing.  Spoofing occurs when email is sent to you that looks like it is from a friend or co-worker but is really from someone looking to do harm.  This can fool most people because it looks official.   When you look at these spoofing messages carefully they are usually a little off in terms of format or language used or signature and by what is being requested.  The tell tale sign will be a request that is out of the ordinary or just wrong.

For example, if you receive an email to provide a list of all students in your school to provide their name, SSN, birth date, address, grade and phone number in an attachment, employees know that most of that information is confidential and would not be requested in that way.   Furthermore, when sending confidential information in an email as an attachment, it must be encrypted (using AES 128/256 bit encryption per District Security Awareness Note).

The district employs SPAM and JUNK Mail filters to help weed out harmful and unwanted email.   Algorithms and blacklisted sites are used to filter and block unwanted email.   Thousands of spam email messages are blocked each day that employees never see.

In the end, you must make the call whether something looks official (by its appearance or by what is being requested and how it is being requested) or not.  If there is any doubt, please call the individual to verify the request.   In addition, please avoid clicking any links in email from someone you do not know or suspect is not official (this action will most likely lead to a virus from a harmful source).

Network Upgrades

We continue to upgrade out network each year.  This year we are upgrading six sites to IP-based phones (Mill Creek, John A. Crookshank, Cunningham Creek and Julington Creek elementary schools, The Webster School and the Evelyn B. Hamblen Center).  This upgrade greatly improves efficiency and lowers cost.  In addition, this new IP-based phone system will make supporting personnel moves and changes much easier.

The same six sites are also being upgraded to the new “ac” wireless standard that is several times faster than the previous system. This will enable students and teachers to access the Internet at much faster speeds.

The district’s Internet connection speed was recently doubled.  This expansion will enable much improved upload and download speeds for students and staff.   In addition, this upgrade included adding another Internet host which will soon provide fail over if either connection to the Internet is lost.   These are all part of the infrastructure and bandwidth upgrade projects that are included in our goals for this year.

On the Horizon

 

Kindergarten Pre-Registration

Pre-Registration dates for the 2016-2017 school year are scheduled as follows:   

Monday, May 9 1 – 5 p.m.

The list of required documents can be found on the school district website. Updates and changes have been made to the residency process and can be found at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/student/residency/.

Career Academy Awards

The annual Career Academy Awards to recognize academy business partners is on Thursday, April 14 at the Fullerwood Center at 5 p.m. this event honors partners of the Career Academies of St. Johns and provides the district the opportunity to recognize their efforts and some of the outstanding initiatives of this school year.

American Youth Character Awards Banquet

The annual American Youth Character Awards Banquet will be held on Thursday, April 28 at 6 p.m. at Anastasia Baptist Church. This event recognizes high school juniors and seniors throughout the county who have been nominated by their schools for displaying the Six Pillars of Character — Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, Citizenship– in their daily lives. Also, two students will be awarded special scholarships, the David Macaulay Mathis Memorial Pursuing Victory with Honor Award for displaying character on the athletic field and the Tucker McCarty Memorial Scholarship for exuding good character in an effort to make the world a better place.

Status Report

 

National Substitute Teacher Recognition Week

The St. Johns County School District is joining thousands of educators across the country during the week of May 2, 2016, in recognizing substitute teachers as part of National Substitute Teacher Recognition Week. Sub Week is a effort to recognize over 270,000 men and women that fill in for absent permanent teachers every day in the United States.  On a typical day, St. Johns County places approximately 175 substitute teachers in its classrooms. Too often we get so busy and overlook the challenge that exists when taking over a classroom from a permanent teacher and providing a valuable education experience.  Please take an opportunity to say “thank you” to those members of our community who take on this challenge. According to the Substitute Teaching Institute at Utah State University, research shows that because of teacher absenteeism, one full year of a child’s K-12 education is taught by substitute teachers. Thank you to the over 550 substitute teachers who have filled more than 23,737 absences this school year.

Many of the schools in the district have activities planned to honor and recognize their subs during this week.

Middle School STEM Summer Camp Winners

This week the St. Augustine Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) announcing the winners of the 2016 STEM Summer Camp for rising 8th grade girls.  The AAUW interviewed eighteen nominees from St. Johns County and wrote that they were impressed by the students’ self-confidence and enthusiasm about their interests in math, science, and technology.  Seven of the nominees were selected for the week-long camp to be held at Palm Beach State College in Boca Raton.  Only 60 girls were selected for the camp state-wide.  The Florida AAUW and its branches fund raise year-round to fund the $1,000 cost per camper.

St. Johns Nominees

Caeli Benyacko – Liberty Pines Academy

Isabella DiStefano – Alice B. Landrum Middle School

Isabelle Smith – Sebastian Middle School

Kimberly Brooks – Pacetti Bay Middle School

Kira Sass – Valley Ridge Academy

Leighanna Goldman – Patriot Oaks Academy

Mya Helhoski – Sebastian Middle School

 Did You Know…?

  • Do you know kids who can’t get enough of spiders, crickets and lightning bugs? Do they keep creepy-crawly things in glass jars in their bedroom? They might just want to grow up to be an entomologist. The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is here to help your budding bug enthusiast follow their passion with a host of activities featured during Bug Week, May 21-27. To get started, check out the Bug Week webpage at http://bugs.ufl.edu/.

“Every right implies a responsibility, every opportunity an obligation, every possession a duty.”

~John D. Rockefeller, Jr., entrepreneur (1839-1937)

 

SR 3-31-16 Volume 5, Issue 16

National Volunteer Week is April 10-16 and provides the perfect opportunity to thank all those who selflessly contribute their time, talents and skills to our district. During this important week, national, regional and local organizations applaud the efforts of volunteers as well as inspire and encourage people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities. The St. Johns County School District is privileged to have more than 20,500 volunteers who gave nearly 300,000 hours of service last year to help our teachers and students. Our volunteers meet a diverse set of needs that include reading to children, serving as classroom aides, tutoring and mentoring students, chaperoning field trips along with various other activities such as participating in school support organizations. Our school district would not be as successful as it is today without them.

All of our Outstanding Volunteers of the Year will be recognized at a reception being held in their honor on Thursday, April 7 at 6 p.m. at First Coast Technical College. This year’s theme is “Volunteers are Superheros!” and is a fitting tribute for the tireless work they perform all year long. Awards will be presented in the senior, adult and youth categories. My heartfelt gratitude to all of our volunteers who support us so fully, I look forward to recognizing your contributions at the reception.

Executive Cabinet Update

Human Resources

Wellness Centers Update

The Human Resources Department continues to work on the transition of the employee healthcare centers to Marathon Health, the new provider.  As the district works through this process, updates will be provided to employees through information on the benefits bulletin board at each school’s location, home mailings, and emails from site wellness coordinators.  The locations of the centers will remain the same and scheduling will be more convenient when Marathon Health becomes the wellness center provider. The approach that Marathon Health brings is a focus on wellness and prevention by helping people become active in their own healthcare.  This strategy not only positively impacts medical claims as a whole, but more importantly, helps participants achieve their personal wellness goals.  For more information about Marathon Health and to read stories of people who use their services, please visit www.marathon-health.com/members.

Teacher Recruitment Fair

On Saturday, April 2, the St. Johns County School District is sponsoring a Teacher Recruitment Fair at St. Augustine High School from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The focus of the fair is to provide interested educators information on teaching in St. Johns County schools and the opportunity to speak with teachers, principals, and assistant principals from the district. Candidates will also be able to visit with the ESE department, professional development, benefits, certification, teacher evaluation and curriculum specialists.  Assistance with the online application process will also be available.  There are currently over 230 teachers registered for this event from as far away as Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wyoming, as well as Florida, Georgia and North Carolina.

 

On the Horizon

Kindergarten Pre-Registration

Pre-Registration dates for the 2016-2017 school year are scheduled as follows:   

Friday, April 8   9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Monday, May 9 1 – 5 p.m.

        

The list of required documents can be found on the school district website. Updates and changes have been made to the residency process and can be found at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/student/residency/.

Outstanding School Volunteer Reception

The annual reception to honor school volunteers and volunteer coordinators is Thursday, April 7 at 6 p.m. at First Coast Technical College, Bldg. C, located at 2980 Collins Ave. Please contact the Volunteer Services Department at 547-3945 for more information.

Status Report

Jeans Day Fundraiser

On January 26, the St. Johns County School District held its second annual “Love to the Rescue” jeans day. The day’s efforts raised $1,825.25 donated to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Tampa.

SchoolBrdCkPresentationA

Shriners Hospitals for Children provides specialized care to children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate, regardless of their financial situation. More information can be found on their website at www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org.

School-Related Employee of the Year

Rick Testasecca, Exceptional Student Education (ESE) paraprofessional at St. Johns Technical High School (SJTHS), has been named the St. Johns County School District’s School-Related Employee of the Year for 2015-2016. His selection was announced at a reception held last month at the World Golf Hall of Fame Museum. Rick Testasecca has been employed at SJTHS since 2014 where he works with students in grades 6-12. He holds a B.A. in history as well as B.A. in sociology from the University of North Florida and is currently enrolled in the master’s program at Southern New Hampshire University. He goes above and beyond in professional development, taking advantage of almost every opportunity to attend trainings. Rick is an extraordinary paraprofessional and possesses a sincere willingness to help students, especially those with special needs. His dedication, caring nature and positive spirit have become evident in his two short years with the school. Not only is Rick vastly knowledgeable in his field, his rapport with teachers and his instant connection with the students he serves has made him an invaluable member of the SJTHS team. Rick’s name has now been forwarded to the Florida DOE for consideration at the state level.

Did You Know…?

  • The St. Augustine Beach Police Department is hosting the first Bike Rodeo for kids 3-15 years of age on Saturday, April 9 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the St. Augustine Beach Police Department located at 2300 A1A South. Bring your bike, helmet and a parent or guardian for free bike inspections, rider safety introduction and an interactive obstacle and skills course. Goodie bags and free helmets for participants while supplies last.

“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
~Mark Twain, American writer (1835-1910)

SR 3-8-16 Volume 5, Issue 15

March is Arts in Education month, a time to recognize the outstanding music, theater and art programs within our schools. Many schools will be participating in district and state visual and performing arts activities, so be sure to check with your school regarding upcoming arts celebrations and events.

The St. Augustine Art Association is presenting the 11th annual All-County High School Art Show March 4-26.  Art teachers in all district high schools selected a combined total of 150 student works of art for the exhibit. The materials range from experimental digital media and graphite studies to abstract pottery and sculptural assemblages.  Installed by teacher Rebecca Williams and coordinated by St. Johns County Fine Arts Program Specialist Tommy Bledsoe, the exhibition is being judged by Cable Spence, an artist, musician and Advisory Board member of the St. Augustine Art Association. The student winners will be recognized at the April 12 School Board meeting.

Our thanks to the St. Augustine Art Association, who is the partner and co-sponsor of this event as well as for the upcoming All-County Middle School Art show in April. Congratulations to all the dedicated teachers and students who participate in these incredible displays showcasing the many talents of our students.

 

Executive Cabinet Update

Operations

 

Facilities and New Construction

Facilities staff is working on the design and site plans for three new schools including an elementary school in the World Golf Village area, and two K-8 schools, one in the Aberdeen community and one in the Nocatee community.

A two-story, 22-classroom addition at John A. Crookshank Elementary School is underway and on schedule to be completed by summer of 2016.

Design and planning for renovations and an expansion at Allen D. Nease High School is progressing and construction is scheduled to begin in May.  Included in the plans are a 60,000 square-foot, two-story classroom; new administrative offices and a new media center; a dining room expansion; kitchen renovation as well as a new bus loop.

The portable classrooms at Sebastian Middle School have been fully renovated and now house the Sebastian Administrative Annex.

Maintenance

The Maintenance Department is currently conducting preventative maintenance (PM) visits to all schools and administrative facilities throughout the district. These visits consist of three PM teams who perform preventative maintenance and repairs required for the preservation of each facility. The teams spend two weeks at the elementary and middle schools, as well as the administrative facilities, while spending three weeks at each high school. At this time 33 schools have received PM for the 2015-2016 school year, ensuring all facilities are well maintained. Additionally, the Maintenance Department is preparing for the completion of capital outlay projects scheduled to take place during spring break and the summer months.

Building Code Administration

Annually the Building Code Administration staff perform Fire Safety, Casualty and Sanitation inspections at all of the district facilities. As of February 2016 all safety State Requirements for Educational Facilities (SREF) inspections have been completed. Re-inspections to verify corrections to observed deficiencies will begin the first week of March. Any deficiencies noted will be corrected by April 1.

Energy Management

The district experienced a cost avoidance of over $85,000 during the two-week Winter Break. Seven years after implementing an energy management program, compliance continues to improve with the 2015 winter break energy audit the best to date. The Energy Management Department would like to commend employees for making sure all electronics were turned off in all areas, and as well as maintenance coordinators for setting all air conditioning/heating schedules to unoccupied.

Transportation

The Transportation Department has been transporting approximately 19,672 children to and from school each day since the start of the second semester in 2016. The transportation team is demonstrating innovation and foresight to enhance efficiency, effectiveness and, most importantly, safety in student transportation operations. Among the initiatives is Operation Safe Ride, which allows for state certified instructors to validate the bus operator’s compliance to state statutes and the Florida Department of Education guidelines. Additionally, the Transportation Department is preparing to pilot a student accountability and ridership system aboard six school buses beginning in April, as well as upgrading the transportation radio systems on all 220 buses this summer. The new radio system is the same 800 MHz series used countywide by the law enforcement, fire rescue, public works and other county services.

On the Horizon

 

Kindergarten Pre-Registration

Pre-Registration dates for the 2016-2017 school year are scheduled as follows:   

Thursday, March 10 1 – 5 p.m.
Friday, April 8   9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Monday, May 9 1 – 5 p.m.

        

The list of required documents can be found on the school district website. Updates and changes have been made to the residency process and can be found at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/student/residency/.

School-Related Employee of the Year Reception

The School-Related Employees of the Year (SREY) have been chosen from each of the district’s 36 schools, one charter school and four district departments. A reception in their honor will be held on Thursday, March 17 at 6 p.m. at the World Golf Hall of Museum at World Golf Village.

STAR Banquet

The STAR Banquet will be held on Wednesday, April 6 at the Renaissance WGV at 5:30 p.m. The STAR Awards Banquet honors the top 3 percent of the graduating seniors in high school. Each student recognizes an influential teacher and writes a brief summary that is read by the principal.  Parents are also invited.  Please contact the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce for more information.

Outstanding School Volunteer Reception

The annual reception to honor school volunteers and volunteer coordinators is Thursday, April 7 at 6 p.m. at First Coast Technical College, Bldg. C, located at 2980 Collins Ave. Please contact the Volunteer Services Department at 547-3945 for more information.

Status Report

 

School-Related Employees of the Year

The 2015-2016 School-Related Employees of the Year have been selected from each of the district’s 36 schools, along with four district representatives and one charter school. School-related employees enhance the educational experience for the children whose lives they touch, and they are essential to the successful operation of a school or school district office. These nominees were chosen for the significant contributions they have made in their schools and community, and to the school district as a whole. Criteria for the award includes exemplary job performance, dedication on the job, interpersonal skills, leadership ability, in-service/training to upgrade skills and contributions to the school and school district environment. A district-wide screening committee has reviewed all of the candidates and the winner of the St. Johns County School-Related Employee of the Year will be announced at a reception to honor all of the nominees on March 17 at the World Golf Hall of Fame Museum. The St. Johns County nominee’s name will then be submitted to compete at the state level.

Jennifer Hicks Academic Services Department
Jane Young Bartram Trail High School
Patricia Hardy Creekside High School
Cynthia Marie Laga John A. Crookshank Elementary School
Karen Bowyer Cunningham Creek Elementary School
Yasmin Taylor Durbin Creek Elementary School
Von Raburn First Coast Technical College
Joann Williams Fruit Cove Middle School
Christina Fallica Gaines Alternative and Transition Schools
Michelle Betrone W. D. Hartley Elementary School
Cecelia Theos Hickory Creek Elementary School
Eunice Lopez Human Resources Department
Wendy Thurston R.B. Hunt Elementary School
Todd Stone Information Technology Department
Kathryn “KD” Bender Julington Creek Elementary School
Brian Taylor Ketterlinus Elementary School
Gerri D. Garcia Alice B. Landrum Middle School
Brenda Herrera Liberty Pines Academy
Steven Sampson Otis A. Mason Elementary School
Pat Giuliani Pedro Menendez High School
Arthur “Art” Thomas Mill Creek Elementary School
La’Kevia Leeona Rollins R.J. Murray Middle School
Donald E. Colburn Allen D. Nease High School
Tyson Shank Ocean Palms Elementary School
Susan Lynch Osceola Elementary School
Michelle Leitao Pacetti Bay Middle School
Randy Villalobos Palencia Elementary School
Virginia “Jenny” Ware Dupree Patriot Oaks Academy
Nicholas Athanaseas Ponte Vedra High School
Maria Novoa PVPV/Rawlings Elementary School
Martha Fulford Gamble Rogers Middle School
Michael Oxborough St. Augustine High School
Rick Testasecca St. Johns Technical High School
Michael P. Marimpietri Sebastian Middle School
Emily C. Hoover South Woods Elementary School
Ann McCaskill Switzerland Point Middle School
Jennifer Schwall Timberlin Creek Elementary School
Rebecca Brewer Transportation Department
Joan Balerna Valley Ridge Academy
Tammy L. Stewart Wards Creek Elementary School
Kenneth P. Kehoe The Webster School

Did You Know…?

  • The 3rd annual Pinwheel Parade Against Child Abuse will be held on Saturday, April 2, 10-11:30 a.m. at the St. Augustine Youth Services (SAYS) campus located at 6624 US 1 South . There will be a ceremonial “parade” around the campus, refreshments, free children’s activities plus tables set up with parenting information and people on hand to answer questions about the resources available in St. Johns County. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and since 1989, people nationwide wear the blue ribbon and carry blue pinwheels in April to create awareness of the need to keep kids safe and families strong.

“A promise made is a debt unpaid.”
~Robert W. Service, American poet (1874-1958)

SR 2-26-16 Volume 5, Issue 14

It was my pleasure to attend this year’s History Fair. The fair is an outstanding academic competition that enhances the teaching and learning of history in secondary schools.  Students who participate develop intellectual, personal and practical skills that will serve them throughout life. It was exciting to see the hundreds of quality projects that are taking place in our schools. High quality, guided research is the purest form of learning, so what students achieve through a history project is the essence of education.

Congratulations to the 2016 Best Overall History Fair winner Creekside High School senior Charles Sherwood for his research paper, “Playing Revolution: Soviet Encounters in China from 1917-1928.”

This year over 200 students from three high schools, one K-8 school, and four middle schools participated in the fourth annual History Fair. This year’s theme was “Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History.”  Students conduct research using primary and secondary sources on topics related to the theme and present their findings in a historical paper, exhibit, documentary, performance or website.

The District History Fair was held at First Coast Technical College on February 23. First- and second-place district winners in each category and division have the opportunity to advance to the state contest in Tallahassee in May. Similarly, first- and second-place state winners in each category and division earn the right to represent Florida at the National History Day competition in College Park, Maryland in June.

Junior division winners

Individual website: First — Kason Ancelin, Switzerland Point Middle, “Louis Pasteur’s Fight Against Disease”; second — Jennifer Balestra, Alice B. Landrum Middle, “Nellie Bly and Her Exploration of Americas Insane Asylums”; third — Joshua Jacobs, Fruit Cove Middle, “Expensive Explorations”.

Group website: First — Nathaniel Duck, Colin Ngin and Daniel Goodrich, Switzerland Point, “Challenger”; second — Jordan Sabo and Lindsey Sabo, Switzerland Point, “Encounter of the Solanas: Influence on Florida”; third — Mohit Ballikar, Deven Ellis and Joshua Prohofsky, Fruit Cove, “What went wrong between Andrew Jackson and the Cherokee Nation”.

Individual performance: First — Nima Goodman, Landrum, “Exploration of the Life of Pocahontas”.

Group performance: First — Ethan Grunow-Drew and Alan Michael, Switzerland Point, “Fibonacci”; second — Ainsley Wiechens and Kayla Wiechens, Switzerland Point, “Ruth Wakefield”; third — Philip Baratelli, Lucas Comparato, Brady Teichman and Jude Howell, Fruit Cove, “Sparta’s Encounter with Romans”.

Individual documentary: First — Elliot Kantor, Landrum, “The Silk Road”; second — Jenna Forcier, Fruit Cove, “Juan Ponce De Leon and the Myth of the Fountain of Youth”; third — Wade Miller, Switzerland Point, “Space Race”.

Group documentary: First — Lauren Donalson and Kaitlyn Rouzie, Switzerland Point, “The Cubo Line and City Gate Protection and Security to the Nation’s Oldest City”; second — Alia Farooque and Camille Aguilar, Switzerland Point, “Small Pox”; third — Marina Mechetti, Carolina Mechetti and Lily Quick, Landrum, “The Exploration of Flight”.

Individual exhibit: First — Veronica Czajkowski, Patriot Oaks Academy, “Black Death”; second — Taylor Hampson, Fruit Cove, “King Henry VIII, his Influence of the Protestant Reformation, and the Motives of Pligrimages and Exploration to the New World”; third — Remington Chenore, Landrum, “The Radioactive Lady: Marie Curie”.

Group exhibit: First — Julia Martin and Caroline Rice, Fruit Cove, “Exploration of How Greek Mythology Affects Society”; second — Ava Nelms and Sophia Peake, Sebastian Middle, “Lewis and Clark”; third — Lauren Alexis Edmonds and Addison Bullen, Switzerland Point, “Lost Ships of St. Augustine”.

Research paper: First — Angela Ramsey, Switzerland Point, “Genghis Khan”; second — Hanna Do, Patriot Oaks, “Triangle Factory Fire”; third — Ashton Monk, Landrum, “Little Boy and Fat Man”.

Senior division winners

Individual website: First — Danielle Haddock, Creekside High, “Can you Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street?”; second — Adawe Bosworth, St. Augustine High, “Japanese Internment Camp”; third — Amanda Donahue, Ponte Vedra High, “Irish Immigration: A Cultural Exchange”; honorable mention — Adam Snowden, Ponte Vedra, “Fighting Yellow Jack: How the U.S. Army Yellow Fever Commission Identified the Culprit Behind the Spread of Yellow Fever”.

Group website: First — Ben Honiker and Noah Kathe, Creekside, “The Viking Invasions of the British Isles 793-900 AD”; second — Elizabeth Fox, Frank Lukens and Harrison Snowden, Ponte Vedra, “Marie Tharp: Mapping the Ocean Floor”; third — Elliott Steele and Brighton Ancelin, Creekside, “The Space Race: US vs. USSR”.

Individual documentary: First — Shelby Brackett, Creekside, “Mabury vs. Madison”.

Group documentary: First — Ciara Boulos and Mia Andrews, St. Augustine, “Dr. Seuss: Perfectly Political”.

Individual exhibit: First — Nicholas Famularo, Ponte Vedra, “Zheng He: Admiral of the Western Seas”; second — Andrew Brownett, “The Young Apprentice of WWI”.

Group exhibit: First — Katherine Slava and Maia Medley, St. Augustine, “One Small Step for a Man, One Giant Leap for Mankind”; second — Matt Adams and Nicholas Rodgers, St. Augustine, “Midway”; third — Mairead “Maggie” Boylan, Taylor Noon and Aleyna Turker, Ponte Vedra, “Feminist Art and its Movement”.

Research paper: First — Charles Sherwood, Creekside, “Playing Revolution: Soviet Encounters in China from 1917-1928” (overall winner); second — Rachel Barden, Creekside, “Horace Mann and the Public School Reform”; third — John Middleton, Ponte Vedra, “Exchanges and Encounters: Early New Spain in the North American Southwest”.


Business and Fiscal Services Update

Executive Cabinet Update

 

Accounting, Payroll and Accounts Payable Departments

The payroll department issued 5,663 Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statements to current and former district employees.  Of these, 2,541 were processed electronically to employees on January 15 and the remaining 3,122 were provided in paper format on January 30.  In addition, the accounts payable department processed and issued 632 IRS 1099 Tax Forms to district vendors.

Budget Department

Beginning each February, the budget department turns its attention to the next school year.  Preparations are being made to build the schools’ operating budgets.  At the same time, all district department budgets are being formulated.

Food and Nutrition Services Department

Food and Nutrition Services is getting settled into a new office at the Sebastian Middle School Administrative Annex.  Planning for the summer feeding program is in high gear.  The Summer Feeding Program serves breakfast and lunch to children 18 years of age or younger.  Sites are determined by geographical economic need.  There are two types of summer feeding sites, closed and open.  Closed sites serve children who are enrolled in a sponsor’s program, and open sites serve anyone 18 years of age or younger as walk-ins.  Summer feeding sites will be determined as the end of the school year gets closer.  Information on available sites can be found on the Summer BreakSpot website at www.summerfoodflorida.org.

Purchasing Department

Marathon Health

The Purchasing Department, in partnership with Human Resources, has worked to negotiate and enter into an agreement with Marathon Health.  This agreement allows the district to continue providing quality onsite health care services at our three existing health centers.  The transition is expected to take place in April.

Competitive Bids

Members of the purchasing department will conduct a workshop this spring focused on “How to Participate in Competitive Solicitations.”  Numerous topics will be discussed that should prove helpful when responding to a Bid, Request for Proposal, Request for Qualifications or Formal Quote.

 

On the Horizon

Kindergarten Pre-Registration

Pre-Registration dates for the 2016-2017 school year are scheduled as follows:   

Thursday, March 10 1 – 5 p.m.
Friday, April 8   9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Monday, May 9 1 – 5 p.m.

        

The list of required documents can be found on the school district website. Updates and changes have been made to the residency process and can be found at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/student/residency/.

School-Related Employee of the Year Reception

The School-Related Employees of the Year (SREY) have been chosen from each of the district’s 36 schools, one charter school and four district departments. A reception in their honor will be held on Thursday, March 17 at 6 p.m. at the World Golf Hall of Museum at World Golf Village.

Status Report

St. Johns Technical High School Student Wins Local PSA Contest

Congratulations to Lorin Capallia, a 10th-grade student at St. Johns Technical High School, as one of two student winners in the Positively Jax Public Service Announcement (PSA) Contest sponsored by WJXT Channel 4. Students in grades 6-12 created storyboards for a 30 second PSA on an issue important to teens.  Some of the topics submitted included Teen Suicide; Stress; Bullying; Texting and Driving; Body Image; and Peer Pressure.  Entries were judged based on creativity, effectiveness of message, relevance to teen audience and overall presentation.  Winning PSAs were professionally produced by WJXT Channel 4 and aired on Channel 4 and ThisTV Jacksonville. Lorin created her Safe Driving PSA, which focused on the hazards of distracted driving, under the direction of teacher Megan Young.

Did You Know…?

  • VSA Florida recently announced a partnership with the St. Johns County School District. From March 4-18, St. Augustine High School, located at 3205 Varella Ave. in St. Augustine, will exhibit artwork created by students with disabilities from St. Augustine High School and The Webster School.  A public reception will be held on March 9 at 5 p.m.  This program is supported by a generous grant from the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida through the Dr. JoAnn Crisp-Ellert fund. VSA Florida, a not-for-profit organization, coordinates a statewide My Art My Way artist in residence program for students with and without disabilities in the public schools.

“Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community.”
~Anthony J. D’Angelo, American author