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WCSD brought together their foremen, skilled workers, plans and tools to create and build the 2017-2018 school improvement plans on Manufacturing Day - 2017 at the Carlene H. Anderson Training Center.  Administrators, teachers, and parents from each school in the district met to develop an overall plan to move Walton County School District to the number 1 position in the state by aligning each of the individual school improvement plans to our District Strategic Plan.  Superintendent Russell Hughes gave an inspiring opening presentation where he revealed his vision of "The Walton County Way - Excellence, Professionalism, Innovation and Collaboration = E.P.I.C!" 

Schools met to review their plans for 2016-2017, discuss barriers, and turn them into opportunities to increase student success in 2017-2018. Administrators from the district office in the areas of Data, Technology and Curriculum and Instruction, as well as a representative from The New Teacher Project (TNTP) were on hand to lend support and provide resources.  Ideas were shared across the room as they collaborated to develop innovative ideas and implementation.  The air of excitement in the room was contagious, and the results for the students of Walton County in this coming year are going to be EPIC!!!  

submitted by Keitha Bledsoe

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.



Darlene Paul


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.

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