August 16, 2021
The student count for the St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) the first day of school, August 16, was 41,744, an increase of 4,986 students or 13.6% over last year’s first day number of 36,758. St. Johns County continues to be one of the fastest growing school districts in the state, however; a portion of this extreme growth reflects students returning to in-person learning.
The high school student count was 14,051 with 3,096 students at Bartram Trail High School, 2,297 at Creekside High School, 1,336 at Pedro Menendez High School, 2,340 at Allen D. Nease High School, 1,814 at Ponte Vedra High School, and 1,642 at St. Augustine High School. The opening day number for the new high school, Tocoi Creek, was 1,281. There were also 221 students in attendance at St. Johns Technical High School.
Middle school attendance totaled 6,869, with student headcounts ranging from 676 at Sebastian Middle School to 1,301 at Pacetti Bay Middle School. The other first day figures were Alice B. Landrum Middle School with 1,162, Fruit Cove Middle School with 1,083, R. J. Murray Middle School with 563, Gamble Rogers Middle School with 835, and Switzerland Point Middle School with 1,249.
The district’s K-8 schools totaled 9,398. Liberty Pines Academy had a first day headcount of 1,289, Patriot Oaks Academy with 1,153, Valley Ridge Academy with 1,136; Freedom Crossing Academy with 1,937, Palm Valley Academy with 1,358, Mill Creek Academy with 1,556 and new district’s new K-8, Pine Island Academy, with 969.
The elementary school population totaled 11,282. This count only includes approximately 25% of all kindergarten students since schools stagger the kindergarten start date over a four-day period. Another 389 students attended the district’s alternative, charter and Department of Juvenile Justice schools.
First Coast Technical College has 140 students who attended its adult education programs at the St. Augustine and North campuses. This number does not include those students enrolled in night programs that start today.
“The hard work and dedication from administration, teachers and support staff to make opening day the very best was impressive,” said Superintendent Tim Forson. “As I visited schools it was wonderful to see the excitement of students as they entered the buildings eager to learn, engage with friends, and get acquainted with their teachers.”
“Transportation, food service, custodial and maintenance staff are doing an excellent job handling their responsibilities and taking care of students. The St. Johns Sheriff’s Office, St. Augustine Police Department, Public Service Assistants and Crossing Guards are supporting our operations and adding another layer of safety and security to our campuses. Lastly, I want to say a huge thank you to our parents and families as we manage the beginning of the school year.”
SJCSD staff will continue to monitor attendance numbers, balance classrooms and refine bus routes throughout the coming weeks.