August 7, 2020
Please see our new link dedicated to ILDA – Innovative Learning Digital Academy.
The Walton County School District held a virtual EPIC3 V.2. (version two) virtual training on Monday, August 3, 2020 as teachers returned for the first day of school year 2020-2021! This third EPIC event included all administrators and teacher in the District coming together to celebrate the starting of an EPIC3 V.2 school year. V.2. signifies the continuation of academic strategies and goals which were adjusted when a mandatory school closure was ordered by the Governor due to the statewide pandemic, COVID-19. COVID-19 meant we would re-open under new safety guidelines and procedures. As expected, each school met the challenge in EPIC3 style. Excitement was in the air as each school held morning trainings focused on using new platforms of instruction, instructional presentation and communication. Sessions emphasizing safety, precautionary protocols and CDC guidelines provided teachers technical assistance for providing safe classroom environments. At noon, Superintendent A. Russell Hughes virtually welcomed new and returning teachers, administrators and district support staff via Microsoft TEAMS, inspiring them to “Hang on, gain on!” Superintendent Hughes encouraged educators reminding them of their tenacity and grit of Walton students, evident in the overall District grade ranking of 7th and FSA ranking of 8th ! Even though each person returning to their district assignments may find themselves in unchartered waters, Superintendent Hughes impressed upon them although things will be different “we can do it!” Adding, “It’s strange how we have to do, what we have to do, the way we have to do it right now”, referencing added measures of safety precautions, new virtual platforms for instruction and communication and needing to become flexible and innovative.
As part of the kick-off event, Superintendent Hughes invited guest speaker Gerry Brooks, an elementary school principal in Lexington, Kentucky whose focus is on encouraging and supporting teachers in improving instructional abilities through personal climate and culture strategies. Mr. Brooks shared several reflective principles which are practical for everyone; seeking excellence instead of mediocrity, building collegial relationships, self-rumination, sympathy, empathy, and understanding. His unique brand of humor interlaced with wisdom is currently followed on social media sites by over 500,000 people. Teachers gained problem solving tools and strategies from Mr. Brook’s presentation which will allow them to view common educational situations through different lenses. Walton School District’s incumbent teacher of the year Meredith Ness reflected on the work of educating students and the importance of providing quality instruction, while the 2020-21 Teacher of the Year, Jeannine Abadie looked forward to the collaboration and continuing the work with expectation.
All presenters provided informative and inspiring professional development sessions designed to support the Superintendent’s vision for Walton County School District. The day closed with laser focused content area break-out sessions challenging all to work together to help make Walton County School District #1 in the State!
Superintendent Hughes sends special thanks to the many people in the district, as well as community members and business partners who came together as an EPIC team to turn his concept for the event into reality.
WCSD Teachers Participate in Teams Trainings!
All Walton County School District teachers had the opportunity to join Microsoft Teams trainings during their first week back. All schools are meeting with our Digital Learning Specialists to fully prepare for our Innovative Learning Digital Academies (ILDA).
Walton County Art and Music teachers had the opportunity to participate in a professional development workshop as part of the Rosemary Beach Foundation’s 10th Annual Music in Pictures art initiative. Dr. Jihye Chang Sung, presented a piano mini-concert and a session on the music selected as the inspiration for the Music in Pictures artistic renderings. Malayne DeMars, Executive Director of the Rosemary Beach Foundation, and Winky Dowdle were the gracious hosts and organizers of the workshop. We are grateful for our collaboration with Rosemary Beach Foundation! After this session, Art teachers collaborated to share ideas for lessons and safety protocols for students returning August 17th.
Professional Learning Communities kicked off at WHS on Thursday, August 6. Our motto this year is "Pride in Performance. Limitless and Relentless." WHS teachers are relentless in their pursuit of excellence and look forward to implementing the strategies they are learning through PLC's inside their classrooms this school year.
Student Intent Form Update
The WCSD would like to thank all parents who completed the Student Intent Form which was provided as an online survey during the month of July. We appreciate your declaration of your child’s educational intent for the fall semester. This notification enables us to better prepare to welcome your child on Monday, August 17th.
For parents who did not complete a Student Intent Form, the WCSD will prepare and firmly assume your child will attend a brick and mortar classroom. As a district, we have received 9,000 Student Intent Forms; however, we are still lacking approximately 1,700 forms. These intent forms also allow the district to create bus routes that will place 48 students or less on a bus, so to date, the district has only planned routes for those parents who have requested their child be a bus rider via our intent forms.
For parents who have completed forms, approximately 900 parents have indicated that their child will attend Walton Virtual School (WVS); however, only 250 of those 900 families have followed up with WVS. To attend WVS, families must withdraw from their current school and enroll in WVS. If parents have not enrolled in WVS by Wednesday, August 12th, WCSD will also prepare and firmly assume those children will attend the district’s other distance learning option, the Innovative Learning Digital Academy (ILDA). The benefits of ILDA is that students can remain enrolled in their current school.
If you have any questions, please reach out to us. Questions can be text to our district at any time at 850.204.9667. To follow up with WVS, please email [email protected], and/or any school can be reached by calling 850.892.1100. Thank you for supporting us as we prepare to welcome all students back on Monday, August 17th.
WISE center professionals participated in a real time Microsoft Teams meeting with Dr. Louis D’Avignon, critical care pulmonologist of Bend Oregon and Dr. Laurie D’Avignon, Col. USAF, infectious disease specialist. The Microsoft Teams meeting was an interactive discussion concerning best practices, best results and WISE decisions for our staff, students, parents and community.
To the parents of the Walton County School District:
As August begins and teachers are welcomed back on Monday, I would like to provide several updates regarding the re-opening of schools.
Click the link below to view the updates.