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August 2014

College and Career Night

The St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) will hold the annual College and Career Night on Wednesday, September 3 from 6-7:30 p.m. in the gymnasium at Creekside High School located at 100 Knights Lane, St. Johns.

College and Career Night provides an excellent opportunity for SJCSD high school students from both public and private schools to receive firsthand information on post-secondary educational opportunities. Representatives from over 80 colleges, universities, armed services, career institutes and trade schools will be participating in this event.

While this event traditionally focuses on juniors and seniors, underclassmen are also encouraged to attend. Many colleges have very selective admissions criteria and students should start planning early. The latest information about the college admissions process, program offerings as well as scholarship and financial aid will also be available.

“We are delighted to provide an opportunity for families to meet with post-secondary representatives from across the state and the nation without traveling outside of our county” said Denise Faulk, director for Guidance and Choice and the event’s coordinator. “We always look forward to the excitement that college and career planning events create for our students.”

For more information, please contact your school’s guidance department or call Susan Gould in the Department of Guidance and Choice at (904) 547-8083.

Opening Day

The student count for the St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) on opening day, August 18, 2014, was 31,671, an increase of 1,168 students or 3.8 percent over last year’s first day number of 30,503. During the past six years when many districts have seen sustained or declining enrollment, St. Johns County has continued to be one of the fastest growing counties in the state.

The high school student count was 9,831 with 1,858 students at Bartram Trail High School, 1,938 at Creekside High School, 1,307 at Pedro Menendez High School, 1,608 at Allen D. Nease High School, 1,537 at Ponte Vedra High School and 1,583 at St. Augustine High School.

There were also 215 students in attendance at St. Johns Technical High School (SJTHS). SJTHS is located on the campus of First Coast Technical College and offers academic studies combined with career and vocational training.

Middle school attendance totaled 6,738, with student headcounts ranging from 589 at Sebastian Middle School to 1,216 at Fruit Cove Middle School. The other first day figures were Alice B. Landrum Middle School with 1,128, R. J. Murray Middle School with 715, Pacetti Bay Middle School with 1,062, Gamble Rogers Middle School with 772 and Switzerland Point Middle School with 1,256.

The district’s K-8 schools totaled 3,124. Liberty Pines Academy had a first day headcount of 1,257, Patriot Oaks Academy with 908 and Valley Ridge Academy with 959.

The elementary school population totaled 11,361; however, this count includes less than 25 percent of the kindergarten population since schools stagger the kindergarten start date over a five-day period. Another 402 students are enrolled at the district’s alternative, charter and Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) schools.

“We had one of our finest openings today and I couldn’t be more pleased,” said Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner. “I visited many schools and witnessed the outstanding planning and preparation by principals, teachers and support staff. Students arrived with smiles on their faces and eager to learn. Our maintenance and custodial staffs had the schools in pristine condition and the food service team was very well prepared.”

“I am thankful to our transportation department and the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office for ensuring our children got to and from school safely,” he added. “I am also very appreciative to our parents for their continued support and their patience as we work through the first days of this school year.”

SJCSD staff will continue to monitor attendance numbers, balance classrooms and refine bus routes throughout the week.

Bus Route Postcards

Parents of all potential school bus riders should be receiving green postcards in the mail this week notifying them of their child’s bus number, bus stop and morning and afternoon pick-up times. The cards also include the bus driver’s name, website address and contact information for the Transportation Department.

Bus routes are available online at Parents without access to the internet may visit any of the county public library locations, and staff will assist them in locating the website.

“Our intent is to provide the information prior to the first day of school in order to assist parents in preparing for the new school year,” said Joe Purvis, director of transportation.

There will be 166 school buses transporting approximately 19,500 children twice a day when school starts on Monday, August 18. This will include service to the district’s two new schools; Patriot Oaks Academy and Valley Ridge Academy.