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Artists Among Us at WMS

March 24, 2021

In Ms. Brittany Grant’s art class at Walton Middle School, sixth graders have been independently researching artists to learn about various styles.  They then presented their learning to the class.  Mrs. Grant then taught students how museum curators select works to display.  After, WMS’ very own student museum curators chose their best works from their researched artists to hang in their museum gallery.  As a third opportunity to incorporate their artists’ styles, students sculpted 3D characters to visit their museum space.  If you find yourself at WMS, take a gallery walk down the main hallway and check out the talented artists among us.

Maori Style at FMS

March 24, 2021

The Freeport Middle School Art Department studied the culture and art of the people who live in the Mitai Maori Village in New Zealand.  We studied the haka and poi dances and their hangi way of cooking in the ground.  The students painted paper strips in Maori style with gouache and wove them into a wall hanging for their classroom.  Way to go students!!!

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Students learn best when they create their own ideas, and AVID “one-pagers” allow students to creatively respond to something they have read or learned.  Through one-pagers, learners respond imaginatively and concisely, showing connections between central concepts.  The audience viewing the one-pager should clearly understand the student’s understanding because essential elements are creatively displayed on just one page.

After reading S.E. Hinton’s novel The Outsiders with their students, WMS’ seventh grade ELA teachers Miss Tara Manson and Mrs. Chastity McLaney gave opportunities for student creativity to flourish for their third nine weeks exam.  Students created digital posters about the text using PowerPoint or Word, the internet, the novel, and their own thoughts.  On the one-pagers, students selected three significant quotes from the novel and explained their significance, as well as essential vocabulary needed to understand the text.  They also explained how the author develops the “outsider” theme throughout the book.  Students paired graphics and savvy visual design with these literary elements to make eye-catching posters.

Through this AVID-style exam alternative, students were able to creatively display their unique thinking.  Mrs. McLaney and Miss Manson continually collaborate to design creative opportunities for students to own their learning in seventh grade ELA.

Teachers and staff at all Freeport-area schools explored strategies for building “grit” in a joint virtual professional development. Guest speaker Dr. Lauren Eskreis-Winkler of Northwestern University shared her knowledge on the science of grit and how this unique combination of passion and perseverance leads to long-term success. She evidenced how some of the most successful professionals, athletes, and students all possess specific grit qualities and habits. Freeport schools will look to encourage build this positive trait in their students collectively.  

More proof of going the extra mile for the good of school, community, and service.  Coach Warren made a commitment to be silly sprayed by students who raised more that $50 individually and more than $1500 school wide at Paxton.  The Bobcats made it happen; raised more than $2000 to give to the Heart Association/Foundation!  Being EPIC means we do because it is bigger than us!  Great way to start Springbreak!

Whitlee gets “Best Student Hat” of the day!  Superintendent Hughes stopped and got a picture with him during pickup at Paxton today!  #Springbreakready

Superintendent Hughes stopped by the Walton In10sity School of Excellence (WISE) to visit with some amazing students who were writing a grant to do a school beautification project that they determined needed to happen at their school.  They are ready for Springbreak at Home but literally stated to the Superintendent, they would rather be at school to work on this worthwhile project! #EPIC3-C3=Culture!  EPIC is the way!  Only one week until Springbreak this year students!

We so appreciate the dedication of our ESP Employees to include the phenomenal Bus Drivers that make sure students arrive home safely!  Thanks, Mrs. Wilkerson, for leading with a smile and EPIC Measures for all.  Happy Springbreak Bus Drivers and Staff; You have earned it!

Re-opening Update for Parents 3/11/21

On March 13, 2020, just one year ago, I gathered my team on the Friday before Spring Break to tell them that we would be shutting down schools.  What a surreal experience!  Looking back, it seems like just yesterday, but in fact, one whole year has now passed.  What a year it has been!

I am so proud of our school district.  I am proud of our students and parents for being supportive, helpful, and understanding.  I am proud of our employees for staying vigilant with safety protocols and at the same time focused on academics, and I am also proud of our community support and partnerships.  Walton County is so blessed, and I believe our success speaks for itself.

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

COVID-19 Statistics

Latest Data

(3/8/21)

 

Overall Data to Date

(8/17/20 – 3/8/21)

Positive COVID-19 Cases

of School District Students and/or Employees

 

0

483

Quarantined Due to On Campus Exposure

of School District Students and/or Employees

 

6

970

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

of School District Students and/or Employees

 

4

760

Schools Involved in Positive Cases and/or Exposure

 

3

20

Knowing many individuals may travel during Spring Break and that numbers in our destination community may rise, the Walton County School District continues to be focused on tracking and contact tracing both positive cases and/or exposures.  Safety remains our number one priority!  In that regard, we would like to once again remind everyone of our top COVID-19 preventive measures.

  1. Please social distance.  All schools are announcing this reminder at the beginning of the day and during special events.  You may also notice increased signage at schools and at athletic events.
  2. Mask are required for the school bus and are strongly encouraged at school, especially when social distancing isn’t feasible.
  3. Please wash and sanitize your hands throughout the day.  All schools and buses have additional hand sanitizing stations for this purpose.
  4. Please stay home when you are sick.  Staff will continue mandatory screening each day, and students may be randomly screened throughout the day.

 As we begin planning our final nine weeks, we appreciate your understanding as we begin to navigate through our many spring events and school traditions.  Please know it is our wish that all events and plans continue as normal, but as educators charged with the safety of students, please understand that all future event decisions will be individually weighed based on updated COVID-19 data and where we stand in the vaccination process.  Please stay in tune with your school as specific decisions are revised. 

During the last nine weeks, the Florida Department of Education has released their mandated state testing schedule.  We do have greater flexibility in this schedule, and we are able to spread out testing over a larger period of time than in year’s past.  With that, please take notice of your school’s testing schedule, and if your child is out sick during testing, please speak with your school as make up testing will be available.  Another reminder for ILDA parents, mandated state testing must take place on school campus, so please look for your schools to reach out to you soon. 

As always, if you have any questions or concerns related to safety or COVID-19, please do not hesitate to ask!  Here’s to a great final nine weeks!    

The Superintendent visited the Technology Department at ECMS.  What amazing acceleration work going on there.  Spanish 2 going extremely well, teachers shouted out to the Superintendent and District for the 1 to 1 devices provided for all MS students this year that had proven to be a Game-changer that has allowed students to ;stay engaged and move faster and beyond normal hours of operation to Hang On Gain On!  The students pictured have already gained at least three certifications this school year and are in target to add an additional (4th) the last nine weeks of school.  They are approaching some advanced Coding Skills that will allow them to continue to excel in the area of technology!  Great work by Ms. Carter and her students.  WOW!  Hanging On and Gaining On is happening in EPIC FASHION for our students!  Enjoy your break; YOU EARNED IT! 

To celebrate National Arts Education Month, Ms. Estes' 7th grade art class at Freeport Middle School is sponsoring a schoolwide student art competition with an exhibit and prizes.  The theme is "Spring Into Spring."  All 5th through 8th grade students are invited to enter the competition.  1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes will be awarded at each grade level.  The prizes are art sketchbooks, markers, and candy.  This class has worked very hard to create, organize, and promote their art competition.  The art will be on exhibit to the students and staff from Tuesday, March 23 until the end of the month.  This is going to be so much fun!