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Wear Out Child Abuse!

April 14, 2021

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Walton County School District joins with the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center of DeFuniak Springs in wearing blue today advocating for the prevention of child abuse.  Superintendent Hughes addressed a small portion of district employees reminding them that annually 7 million reports of abuse occur nationally. “Walton County schools are a safe place for our students and we always do what is best for every child.” 

National Child Abuse Prevention Month is a time for us to not only honor those who work to support children and strengthen families, but to shine a light on the many ways we can all play a role in preventing children from being harmed. 

The Prevention Resource Guide, an annual publication by the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families Children’s Bureau outlines actions that can be taken by communities, organizations, families, and individuals to address the root causes of child abuse and provide meaningful and equitable support to families.  

You can access the Prevention Resource Guide and other resources at the Child Welfare Information Gateway’s Child Abuse Prevention Month website.  By increasing efforts to prevent child abuse, we all help children, families, and communities thrive.

This week, students across the state will show what they know on the FSA Writing assessment.  Last week as a review, Mrs. Gaby Brown’s AVID students spotlighted writing success tips by designing one-pagers.  On a one-pager, an AVID strategy, students creatively share their most important takeaways about a concept—in this case, writing—on a blank sheet of paper.  Not only did AVID student reflect for themselves about what it takes to do well on FSA, but they also showcased their tips for all students throughout campus to see.  These one-pagers are displayed for all to see on the bulletin board just outside the lunchroom, serving as a colorful and vital reminder of what it takes to achieve success on FSA Writing.

On Friday, April 9th, Walton Middle School's Advanced Seaperch team travelled to the University of West Florida to compete in the Regional Seaperch Challenge. This same team also participated in the Virtual Seaperch Challenge on Monday, April 5th, where they took part in both the Engineering Design Challenge with their individual robots as well as the Team Interview.  The results of both events are to be announced.  We are so proud of our Seaperch team for showcasing their STEAM skills.

Re-opening Update for Parents 4/12/21

As we approach the last seven weeks of school, many different events are quickly approaching. 

First and foremost, we begin state testing on Tuesday, April 13 for students in third through tenth grade.  Third grade will begin with tests in English and Language Arts, and fourth through tenth will begin with Writing.  We have worked with the Florida Department of Education for flexibility in our testing schedule.  This ensures that make up exams can take place if students must quarantine. 

Testing tips were recently shared in our Monthly Video Update.  As a reminder, we always encourage students to get a good night’s sleep and eat a good breakfast before testing.  We wish all of our students the best of luck on their exams, which continue through the end of May.  For a full schedule of your child’s exams, please reach out to your individual school.

To continue in the spirit of transparency, the Walton County School District would like to provide our updated COVID-19 data.


COVID-19 Statistics

Latest Data



Overall Data to Date

(8/17/20 – 4/6/21)

Positive COVID-19 Cases

of School District Students and/or Employees




Quarantined Due to On Campus Exposure

of School District Students and/or Employees




Quarantined Due to Off Campus Exposure (Community/Family Exposure)

of School District Students and/or Employees




Schools Involved in Positive Cases and/or Exposure




As expected, our schools did see an increase in COVID numbers after Spring Break, but we are happy to report that the numbers are currently decreasing similar to what we saw before break.  Thank you for all that you are doing at home to help keep everyone safe!

As we also prepare for end of the year activities, like prom and graduation, please know that all schools must develop COVID protocols for special events.  These protocols are much like what we have used all year, such as encouragement of masks and social distancing.  Safety remains our number one priority, and we intend to finish the year strong! 

As always, if you have any questions or concerns related to safety or COVID-19, please do not hesitate to ask! 

Paxton FFA members attended the School Board meeting to learn how to conduct a meeting properly using parliamentary procedure. These students will be competing in the Leadership Development Event in the upcoming weeks. 

Deputy Connor Gunn is teaching flag etiquette to our fifth graders. Each morning, 2 fifth graders meet him at the flagpole to put the flags up and again in the afternoon to take them down. Deputy Gunn also teaches the students a bit of flag trivia while they are at the flagpole. When our fifth graders leave elementary school, they will all know how to raise, lower, and handle the American flag respectfully.

The Walton High School Braves Chorus participated in the Florida Vocal Association Music Performance Assessment on Wednesday, April 7.  Due to an abundance of caution, and following county along with state safety protocols, the Braves Chorus recorded 2 music selections with the help of WHS Media Specialist Jonathan Callahan.   Collaborative pianist was Mrs. Keitha Bledsoe (former Walton County School District Fine Arts Coordinator).   The recordings will be uploaded to a Florida Vocal Association website, where it will be viewed and adjudicated by 3 state-certified adjudicators.

The Braves Chorus is under the direction of Mrs. Michelle Tredway

Students in South Walton High School’s Health Sciences Academy successfully completed coursework resulting in them becoming certified nursing assistants.  Students participated in 40 clinical hours where they were expected to perform as nursing assistants in a simulated environment, take and pass a written exam and perform live skills demonstrations.   Upon graduation or turning 18 they will be able to work in the medical

Students at Walton In”10”sity School of Excellence went on a private tour of FSU Panama City. Highlights included a presentation by admission counselor, classroom viewing, STEM lab, and new housing. Students came away with college readiness goals, contacts for future questions and a realization that opportunities are right around the corner.