Skip to content

Walton County School District

Increases Student Achievement As Measured By State Testing,

Now Ranks 3rd in the State 

June 30, 2022

On Thursday, the Florida Department of Education released results from all state testing for the   2021-2022 school year. These results are based on Florida Standards Assessments (FSA), Florida Comprehensive Assessment Tests (FCAT), and End of Course exams (EOC). FSA tests are the subjects of English/Language Arts (grades 3-10) and Math (grades 3-8). FCAT tests are the subjects of Science (grade 5 and 8), and EOC tests are in the subjects of Algebra I, Geometry, Biology, Civics, and US History.

During the 2020-2021 school year, Walton County ranked 6th of 67 Florida counties in overall proficiency levels on state tests. With test results released today, Walton County now ranks 3rd of 67 counties in overall proficiency levels for the 2021-2022 school year. The only two counties scoring higher than Walton are St. Johns and Nassau, which are located on the east coast of Florida. 

In an unprecedented year, Walton scored in the top 10 in 20 of the 21 tested items.  The results are as follows:

  • 10th in 3rd and 6th grade ELA
  • 9th in Civics and 7th and 8th grade ELA
  • 8th in 8th grade Science
  • 7th in 3rd grade Math and 5th grade Science
  • 6th in 5th grade ELA and 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th grade Math
  • 5th in 4th and 9th grade ELA
  • 3rd in Geometry, US History, and 10thgrade ELA
  • 2nd in Algebra I and Biology

The one component below the top 10 in ranking was 7th grade Math, however in that specific area, Walton showed the greatest improvement from a 24th ranking in 2020-2021 to a 14th ranking in   2021-2022.

Walton County Schools scored above the state average in all areas of testing. The state average in ELA is 52% proficient; Walton is 60%, 8% higher. The state average in Math is 55%, with Algebra I and Geometry at 49%. Walton is at 64% proficient in Math, 9% higher; 73% in Algebra I, 24% higher; and 69% in Geometry, 20% higher. The state average in 5th and 8th grade Science is 48%; Walton is 58% (10% higher) in 5th grade and 57% (9% higher) in 8th grade. In Biology, the state average is 61%; Walton is 78%, 17% higher. In Civics, the state average is 69%; Walton is 76%, 7% higher. In US History, the state average is 65%; Walton is 78%, 13% higher.

Superintendent A. Russell Hughes was left speechless by the test results. With his voice full of emotion, he finally states, “We have a vision to be #1 – to be the best school district in the state of Florida, and I’m sure some thought we were crazy or would never get to that goal. But every year, we continue moving forward. It really is awe inspiring! I am amazed over and over again by our faculty and staff and their love of students and the value they have for education.” Superintendent Hughes continued, “But, in that same voice, let me also say this – results don’t just happen by chance! In Walton County, we are intentional, we are purposeful, and we never give up – not on students, not on ourselves, and not on our goals – no matter the circumstances. We are EPIC, and we are moving 4wRd; I am overjoyed!”

Deputy Superintendent Jennifer Hawthorne echoed the Superintendent’s sentiments and provided additional data. “When the Superintendent shared his vision in 2016, #1 sounded daunting.  But everyone went to work – moving our students from 8th to 6th and now 3rd!  It truly is what vision is all about. Everyone in Walton County is behind the Superintendent’s vision, and as you can see, the vision is becoming reality for our students – the most important part of our work.” 

Over the course of the next few days, the Walton County School District will enter state test scores into their district data system, FOCUS. Once that is complete, parents will be able to see student scores by logging into their child’s FOCUS account. Schools will be receiving the scores as well, as well as school grades in the coming months. 

Report cards were given on the last day of school. If your child was absent, please come by the office to pick it up. Summer office hours are as follows: Monday through Wednesday from 7:00 am to 5:30 pm, Thursday from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm, and closed on Fridays.

Las boletas de calificaciones se entregaron el último día de clases. Si su hijo estuvo ausente, por favor pase por la oficina para recogerlo. El horario de oficina en verano es el siguiente: de lunes a miércole de 7:00 am a 5:30 pm, jueves de 7:00 am a 5:00 pm y viernes cerrado.

Summer office hours are as follows: Monday through Wednesday from 7:00 am to 5:30 pm, Thursday from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm, and closed on Fridays.

El horario de oficina en verano es el siguiente: de lunes a miércole de 7:00 am a 5:30 pm, jueves de 7:00 am a 5:00 pm y viernes cerrado.

Due to the weather, our 5th grade end of year awards assembly will be held at the school, rather than the lakeyard, on Thursday, May 26th, at 8:30 a.m.

Maude Saunders end-of-year awards assemblies will be held on the following dates and times :
Kindergarten - Tuesday, May 24th at 8:30 at MSE
First grade - Tuesday, May 24th at 1:00 at MSE
Second grade - Wednesday, May 25th at 8:30 at MSE
Third grade - Wednesday, May 25th at 1:00 at MSE
Fourth grade - Thursday, May 26th 1:00 at MSE


All persons attending the awards assemblies must enter through the safe lobby and show identification using the RAPTOR system. In order to enter more quickly, please come by the school prior to the event and have your identification scanned.


Fifth grade will have a special recognition assembly on Thursday, May 26th at 8:30 off campus. Parents will receive information regarding the details of this event.

Unfortunately, the weather forecast has not improved and we will be unable to hold our K-2 field day tomorrow as planned. Efforts to reschedule were considered; however, we have awards assemblies planned for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and the weather does not look like it's going to cooperate all week. We are just as disappointed as you are, but we DO have a lot of exciting events going on this week, as we wrap up this very successful school year. We hope to see you at our Awards Assemblies, as students are recognized for year end academic achievements.
We are keeping our fingers crossed that the weather does not interfere with our K-2 Field Day plans on Monday.  We will be closely monitoring the weather and will post any updates on our Facebook page and school website.  Right now, the forecast calls for substantial rainfall Monday, which would mean cancelling our K-2 field day activities.  However, the weather forecast can change quickly in Florida, so we are going to keep our fingers crossed that the rain holds off and the games can go on!  Check back on Sunday afternoon for updated information.

Field Day for K-2

May 20, 2022

We are keeping our fingers crossed that the weather does not interfere with our K-2 Field Day plans on Monday.  We will be closely monitoring the weather and will post any updates on our Facebook page and school website.  Right now, the forecast calls for substantial rainfall Monday, which would mean cancelling our K-2 field day activities.  However, the weather forecast can change quickly in Florida, so we are going to keep our fingers crossed that the rain holds off and the games can go on!  Check back on Sunday afternoon for updated information.

U.S. News Best High Schools Rankings

The U.S. News Best High Schools rankings include data on nearly 24,000 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Nearly 18,000 schools were ranked on six factors based on their performance on state assessments and how well they prepare students for college.  These factors include: Mathematics Proficiency, Reading Proficiency, Science Proficiency, Advanced Placement Enrollment, Advance Placement Proficiency, and Graduation Rate. 

Freeport High School, Paxton High School, South Walton High School, and Walton High School were all recognized as BEST High Schools by U.S. News and World Report.  We are proud of our high schools for their continued excellence and accolades to include again obtaining this recognition. Thank you for all or your effort and hard work to make the Walton County School District great!  #EPIC 4wRd