Message from the Superintendent, August 20

Dear SJCSD parents and guardians,

As the first week of school concludes, I wish to thank you for your support and assistance.  We have enjoyed the return of students to the classroom and the excitement that a new year brings.  Already it is evident that our district is growing as we have welcomed many new families and hired many new employees.  We hope the new families to our district are quickly becoming comfortable in our communities and they are enjoying the many assets our county has to offer.

While we hoped this school year would be a departure from the many COVID restrictions we had in place last school year, we are still seeing the need to maintain much of the same protocols.  Although masks are not required, we do highly recommend the use of a mask in elementary schools and in any school environment where there may be a risk of exposure to COVID. Our COVID data is posted on the district website and we will continue to post and monitor our daily COVID numbers as the year progresses.  We are continuing to emphasize hand washing and good personal hygiene as well as maintaining a high standard of building cleanliness and air quality.  We are also monitoring spacing of students whenever possible and their interaction in large groups to minimize the need to quarantine.   Just as it was a fluid situation last year, we know we must be able to pivot and support families throughout this school year.  I recognize there is no pandemic plan that aligns with everyone’s personal position on COVID.  We will continue our work to protect the health and safety of all students and staff inclusive of the social, emotional, and mental health concerns when living in a pandemic for more than a year.

Lastly, I would like to celebrate the unified efforts of this community to focus on the risks of the pandemic and understand that overcoming COVID can only occur when we all contribute to healthy behaviors throughout our community.  The success of SJC to deal with this pandemic does not start and stop at the school.  I thank you for sharing your children with our teachers so that we can provide them an educational experience that prepares them for the next stage of their lives.  This is going to be an outstanding school year in which our children will grow and learn together.

Together,

Tim Forson
Superintendent of Schools
St. Johns County School District