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Advanced Placement teachers from WCSD gave up vacation time and gathered at Freeport High School on July 13 for a Boot Camp planning session!  They spent the morning reviewing data from the last five years, and creating AP plans for their individual school sites.  These dedicated instructors explored strengths and weaknesses by comparing progress across the district, and developed strategies for improving student success in AP courses.

Submitted by Keitha Bledsoe 

Uniform Policy Statement

July 12, 2017

Dear Parent,

The administration of WDE has met with Superintendent Russell Hughes and the 2017-2018 PTO Board to discuss possible changes to the WDE Uniform Policy.  After discussing ideas and revisions, a phone poll was conducted in which multiple parents of various ethnicities, economic status and across all grade levels were asked to express their thoughts about the changes.  Over 12% of the student population was represented in the poll.  Of those polled 90.5% approved of the changes while 9.5% were not in support of uniforms.  A revision of the WDE Uniform Policy was made after many calls and conversations with parents.  The proposed uniform policy is below.

UNALTERED school shirts (t-shirt or polo type) or polo type uniform dresses are required on the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL.  Only West DeFuniak Elementary shirts or polo type dresses in navy, gray or turquoise blue with screen prints and the embroidery design from approved vendors are allowed. Designs will not change after this school year.  Shirts purchased prior to this school year will be grandfathered in for one year.  The requirements of pants, slacks, shorts, skirts, dresses and shoes will be the same as outlined in the WALTON COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT 2017-2018 STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT. Students not meeting the Dress Code will be sent to the office.

This revision provides a more consistent, standardized policy.  A summary of the policy is below.

  • Three (3) shirt colors only (navy, gray and turquoise blue)
  • To avoid unwarranted cost and allow parents to use previous purchased shirts, these will be grandfathered in for one year.
  • The number of shirts has been narrowed by reducing the number of designs possible.
  • The number of t-shirt designs has been cut in half (from 8 to 4).
  • Embroidery designs are reduced to only one (1).
  • The policy eliminates embroidery designs by vendors who are not WCSD Board approved.
  • It provides a polo-type dress option for girls.
  • Shirt and dress designs will not change after this school year.

 

We believe that our uniform policy, sets us apart.  It encourages safety, order and improved behavior by reducing the number of bullying incidents and decreases identification of socio-economic groups.  In the first year of implementation, office referrals decreased by twenty percent (20%).  Most importantly, the uniform policy promotes student learning and a positive school culture.  As with all policies and procedures, we will continue to review the WDE Uniform Policy and do what is best for all children.

 

Respectfully,

Darlene Paul

Principal

West DeFuniak Elementary 

Superintendent A. Russell Hughes gave Chamber of Commerce members and attendees of the First Friday Breakfast on July 7, 2017, his State of Education Address for Walton County.  This included his vision of the Walton County Way which is being EPIC by providing Excellence in education, being Professional, Innovative and Collaborative within our schools and the community as a whole.  Submitted by Kelley Stephenson/Donna Honish.

Congratulations to the ECMS Jr. Beta Club Quiz Bowl Team for their 3rd place finish in the Quiz Bowl at the National Jr. Beta Club Convention!!! The ECMS Quiz Bowl Team not only made it to the oral rounds from a field of 25 teams at the national level but won the quarterfinal as well. Unfortunately, they fell in a tight race for first. They won the consolation round and received the bronze medal in the national competition!!! Quiz Bowl Team Members are Eric Plunk, Luke Messer, Sophia Bock and Lily Jamison.  Also pictured is Lily Gibson who qualified at State to enter her acrylic artwork in the competition at the National Convention, and it showed well! We are extremely proud of our ECMS Jr. Beta Club Members!!!

Submitted by Candy Bodie

Students from across Walton County School District participated in the Unmanned Aerial Systems STEM Challenge this summer sponsored by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Participants learned to code utilizing terrestrial robots, pilot mini aerial systems to carry out real-world style missions, and even pilot larger aerial systems through an obstacle course. The three-day challenge accentuated skill acquisition and an introduction to unmanned aerial systems careers, plus was infused with an emphasis on teamwork and communication skills as students worked with their counterparts from Holmes County School District. The challenge was coordinated by Panhandle Area Educational Consortium.  

 Submitted by Heather Stewart

Paxton High School sends out a huge thank you to The St. Joe Community Foundation for their donation of $20,000 to support the school's aerospace program! Pictured, from left, is PHS Principal Cindy Neale, Aerospace Instructor Heather Stewart, and St. Joe Community Foundation Executive Director Janet Greeno.

Submitted by Heather Stewart

Students attending the Summer Bridge Program at West Defuniak Elementary have been having a great time participating in STEM Projects this summer.  For their last challenge, students got to participate in the egg drop challenge.  They had to create a container that would protect their egg from breaking when dropped.  All of these students were successful!

 Submitted by Darlene Paul

18 students in the Practical Nursing program at Emerald Coast Technical College graduated and were honored at a Pinning Ceremony last night at Walton High School!  This program is designed to prepare students for employment as Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN's). The content includes, but is not limited to, theoretical instruction and clinical experience in acute care, long term care and community settings; theoretical instruction and clinical application of vocational role and function;  personal, family, and community health concepts; nutrition; human growth and development over the life span; body structure and function; interpersonal relationship skills, mental health concepts; pharmacology and administration of medications; legal aspects of practice; and current issues in nursing.

These students worked hard for their certification, and the WCSD is extremely proud of them, and of this outstanding program!  Congratulations to all! 

Submitted by Charlie Morse

Cover photo sent by Trecia Meadows

Pictured: Charlie Morse, ECTC Principal; Bill Eddins, School Board Member; Marsha Winegarner, School Board Member; Dr. Jennifer Hawthorne, Specialist of School Leadership and Development, WCSD.