Update from Superintendent Forson, July 1

To St. Johns County School District Parents and Guardians,

I want to share an update as we prepare for the upcoming school year.   I also want to be transparent about the challenges that remain and will likely be present on August 10.

We are working to research the present data and utilize the expertise of health care professionals to determine the most appropriate response to the spread of COVID-19.  As many of you are aware, this is a very fluid situation and will likely continue to change during the school year.   I believe it is important to recognize these changing conditions and prepare parents, students and staff for a school year that will have to be flexible and adaptable to the current circumstances.

While the focus and primary goal of the school district is to have all students return to school on August 10, we must keep the health and safety of all members of the school community as the top priority.   We are making purchases of protective materials that will assist in maintaining a safe environment at our schools and on buses.  There will likely be situations arise that will require short term closure of schools or at least individual classrooms.  One of the most challenging issues is the use of facial coverings.  We understand the benefit of facial masks, but also the challenge this poses to young children and the wearing of masks for extended periods of time.

Many of you have submitted emails to me that have explained your concerns and preferences for how schools should operate this year.   What is certain is that whatever strategies are implemented there will be some parents and staff that are highly satisfied, some that are very disappointed and many that are somewhere in between.  I have tried to reply to as many messages as I can but admit that the volume does take away from time on task to build the best system possible for the new school year.   I will continue to read all messages and forward them to our planning team when appropriate.  Admittedly, many of the questions being asked do not have a clear answer today.

I want to acknowledge the difficult decision your family must make if you are not comfortable with your child returning to the school setting.   You will be receiving communication tomorrow regarding the return to school and preferences for your child. I encourage you to review and respond with the most appropriate choice for your family, knowing that flexibility will be most important in this changing environment.  I appreciate your continued support and patience.

 

Sincerely,

Tim Forson
Superintendent
St. Johns County School District

Local COVID-19 Resident Assistance Hotline – (904) 209-1250

The St. Johns County Government has established a Resident Assistance Hotline at (904) 209-1250 which is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Resident Assistance Inquiries may also be submitted to [email protected]. Specialists are available to provide information regarding federal assistance, State of Florida Reemployment Assistance, local programs, non-profit agencies, and other resources. St. Johns County residents, including those in the City of St. Augustine and the City of St. Augustine Beach, who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 may also qualify for disaster relief funding. Under the Florida State Housing Initiative Partnership Program (SHIP), residents may be eligible to receive assistance with some of the following costs:

  • Temporary mortgage payment for homeowners financially impacted by COVID-19.
  • Temporary rent payments for tenants financially impacted by COVID-19.
  • Temporary utility payments for tenants financially impacted by COVID-19.
  • Utility late fees and disconnections for residents financially impacted by COVID-19.

Stronger Than C-19 Community Action Survey

The Florida Department of Health (DOH) recently announced the launch of a new community action survey, StrongerThanC-19, designed to aid Florida as the state continues to fight the spread of COVID-19. This cutting-edge tool gives residents the power to unite in the fight to help slow the spread of coronavirus in Florida.

Florida residents are encouraged to do their part in helping Florida flatten the curve by anonymously answering questions that range from age and residency, to recent travel, to potential COVID-19 contact. The StrongerThanC-19 community action survey is designed to gather information to help the Department track and slow the spread of COVID-19 in Florida; it is not a symptom checker designed to dispense medical advice. The StrongerThanC-19 community action survey is free to use and can be accessed by visiting: www.StrongerThanC19.com.

 

Student Computer and/or Hotspot Request

The automated online request form has been closed.  If you did not get a chance to submit a Request for a Student Laptop and/ Hotspot earlier, please contact your school directly.

Online Learning Will Continue Through May 1

Per the Florida Department of Education, the St. Johns County School District will continue with online/remote learning through May 1. Any updates to this plan will be communicated to parents, students and the community. Thank you for your continued support and flexibility.

Update from Superintendent Forson, March 26

Dear SJCSD Parents and Guardians,

I cannot thank you enough for your patience and understanding as we transition our instruction to online/remote learning for our students on Monday, March 30. We have created A Parent’s Guide to Online Learning video presentation which can be viewed at https://www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/online-learning/. We will continue to add resources, guides, and information to aid you and your child in this new environment.

Our teachers are excited to welcome their students into their virtual classrooms and restart their instruction. While I do not expect that everything will work perfectly, I know that we will get better and more comfortable in this environment each day.

We are in the process of distributing laptops/hotspots to those families who are in need of this technology support. All laptops/hotspots will not be distributed by Monday, but we will continue working to accomplish this task as quickly as our resources allow.

Again, I am infinitely proud of our teachers and administrations to plan and prepare for your child. I am extremely appreciative of you, your children and your families to support this new normal. We are excited to get started and continue this school year. We are all in this together. Stay safe and encourage and support one another.

Sincerely,

Tim Forson
Superintendent
St. Johns County Schools

Update from Superintendent Forson, March 23

Hello SJCSD Parents and Guardians,

Thank you for your patience, support and trust as we work through the process for online learning to begin on Monday, March 30. You should expect to receive communication from your child’s teacher by Wednesday, March 25.

We have posted a Laptop and/or Mobile Hotspot Request Form on the district website, www.stjohns.k12.fl.us, and on each school’s website. If you need to request a computer and/or mobile hotspot to provide internet access at home, please complete this form online. If you do not have the capability to complete this form online, then call your school to receive assistance. If you have previously called the school to request technology, you must still submit this request form.

The deadline to for completion is Thursday, March 26 at noon. Only one form should be filled out per family as we will not have the capability to support multiple devices per household. This information will be used to identify families in need and to help prioritize the limited number of devices available.

Sincerely,

Tim Forson
Superintendent
St. Johns County School District

Update from Superintendent Forson, March 21

Dear Parents,

I appreciate your patience and trust as we continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. As a District we are closely monitoring and following the guidelines and recommendations of the CDC, The Florida Department of Health and Florida Department of Education. As your Superintendent of Schools, I will continue to put the health and safety of our students and employees first as decisions are being made.

Due to continuous changes in conditions and recommendations to protect ourselves from COVID-19, I am making the decision to close all SJCSD school campuses effective immediately until April 15. You may continue to contact your child’s teacher by email and their school by email or phone.   All SJCSD employees are being asked to stay home with the exception of essential 12 month personnel. Teachers and staff will receive direct communication from their principal/supervisor on or before Monday, March 23 with plans for the upcoming week.

As a district, we will be assisting teachers and school administration throughout this coming week as they prepare for online learning platforms and communicate expectations for you and your child(ren) for the weeks ahead. Understand there are many parts to a remote/virtual instructional plan and further details will be shared from your school administration and teachers this coming week.  Online learning and instruction will begin on Monday, March 30th. Our goal is for parents to have a clear picture of what instruction and online learning will look like for their child and how we will work together so every student meets success.

As I close, I want to thank you for your trust in our school district. Students and their education remain our number one priority. There will be mistakes and flaws but we will commit to getting better each day.  Pleased be assured we are working hard during this transition and will continue to keep you informed as new information becomes available.

Tim Forson
Superintendent of Schools

SJCSD COVID-19 Update

Dear SJCSD Parents and Guardians,

We continue to receive updates and recommendations from the Florida Department of Education. As of now, students in the St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) will not return to school campuses until Wednesday, April 15. SJCSD employees will report to work on Monday, March 23 and students will begin online learning on Monday, March 30. Any adjustments to this plan will be relayed directly from the SJCSD and posted on our website at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us.

Teachers and staff will receive direction for work next week to include preparation and planning to ensure instructional continuity. We will be assisting teachers and school administration so that they can relay teaching methods, platforms and expectations to you and your child(ren). We will be releasing the instructional continuity plan on our website in the coming days and will provide further communication when it is available.

Tomorrow you will receive a call from our mass notification system to ask if you have a computer or tablet at home that has internet access. Please follow the prompts on your phone to answer this question. You should only respond once per household. This will let us know more about your child(ren)’s capability to access digital resources as we move more instruction online due to COVID-19.

If you have not opted into text messaging, we encourage you to do so by texting “Yes” to 67587. This will only work for cell numbers attached to your child(ren)’s parent/guardian contact information.

Thank you for continued support and patience as we work through COVID-19 as it relates to our students, staff and schools.

Sincerely,

Tim Forson
Superintendent
St. Johns County School District

Important Message Regarding Spring Break

Dear Parents and Guardians:

This afternoon we received information from Governor DeSantis and Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran regarding the impact of COVID-19 which continues to change rapidly. As a result, spring break has been extended one week and St. Johns County students will now return on March 30. All extracurricular activities, including high school athletics, are suspended until further notice. Additionally, state testing will be delayed. Our school district will use the extended break for deep cleaning and sanitizing our school facilities.

I appreciate your understanding and patience as we work through the challenges of COVID-19. I will continue to communicate new information as it becomes available.

Sincerely,
Tim Forson
Superintendent