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COVID-19 Update 3/10/2020

March 11, 2020

COVID-19 Update 3/10/20

Based on the most current information from the Florida Department of Health ( and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (, we would like to provide an update regarding COVID-19, Spring Break, and travel.

Any Walton County School District student or employee traveling to a Level 3 destination (see CDC website for list of destinations) would need to self-isolate and socially distance themselves for 14 days after returning to the United States. In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and for the protection of our students and community, we would like to define our current understanding of self-isolation and social distancing. For students, this would include staying home, contacting school administration for information on missing school assignments and/or testing, and providing documentation to the school in adherence to the Walton County School Board attendance policy. For employees, this would include staying home, contacting school administration regarding your absence, and completing leave forms in adherence to policies set forth by the Walton County School Board.

According to the CDC, travelers are recommended to defer all Level 2 and cruise ship travel worldwide. CDC guidelines report, “If you were on a cruise in the past 14 days, monitor your health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning to the United States. If a case of COVID-19 was reported on your ship during the cruise, stay home during these 14 days and practice social distancing.” As always, if you are symptomatic, immediately contact a health care provider or the Florida hotline at 1-866-779-6121.

The Walton County School District will continue with the school calendar as planned which includes school through this Thursday, March 12, 2020 and also students returning to school after Spring Break on Monday, March 23, 2020. We want to maintain the great educational momentum we have, and we are committed to continue this momentum for our students, families, and stakeholders. This remains our priority outside of safety when it comes to student success.

As we continue to focus on prevention, we are talking with students about best health practices, including washing hands; covering coughs and sneezes; keeping hands away from eyes, nose, and mouth; and staying home when sick. Each individual school has increased sanitation practices, and the district has increased our sanitation supplies in an effort to be as prepared as possible. The district is also bringing in additional staff on Friday as students begin their previously scheduled Spring Break to conduct a deep clean of every public school in our district.

We recognize the overabundance of caution; however, we want to follow the recommended guidelines of our health experts and achieve our number one priority which is the health and safety of our students and employees. Superintendent A. Russell Hughes and staff are meeting regularly and combing through information as it is released by local, state, and national agencies which is changing daily based on the development of COVID-19. We will do our best to continue to update you, and we appreciate your support and understanding.

West DeFuniak Elementary School Hosts AVID Showcase
District personnel and faculty members from area schools were welcomed with open arms at the recent AVID Showcase. Approximately 35 adults were privileged to see AVID strategies implemented in WDE classrooms from Kindergarten to Fifth Grade. AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination and helps to prepare students for college and career success through strategies such as Socratic Seminars, 4 corners, WICOR, organizational skills, and note taking. The visitors observed these strategies in multiple classrooms and were WOWED by deep thinking and accountable talk in each classroom. Students used collaboration to help them prove their answers, their point of view, or even to help clarify the information presented. Later, a panel of students and teachers met with the guests to answer questions.  Many of the visitors were looking for ways to improve the AVID programs at their own schools or considering the possibility of beginning an AVID program.  The real winners  were the students. Their level of success shows that they are making great strides in their academic achievement as they prepare for their future careers!  It was an EPIC day at WDE!  Congratulations to everyone at WDE for hosting a fabulous AVID Showcase!    

The Walton County School District is staying up-to-date on COVID-19 through consistent communication with the Florida Department of Education and the Walton County Health Department. The health and safety of our students is always our number one priority. As always during the flu season, our schools are working hard to keep all school surfaces and furniture clean and sanitary, but we have extended our efforts in order to be as proactive as possible for our students and employees.

All of us can also help prevent the spread of germs. Reminders can include:

* Wash hands often with soap and water

* Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available

* Appropriately cover coughs and sneezes

* Keep hands away from eyes, nose, and mouth

* Stay home if you are sick

The number and websites below provide additional information:

* State Hotline for Florida - 866-779-6121

* Florida Department of Health -

* Walton Department of Health -

* Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -

What an EPIC morning! These 54 students were awarded their AR shirts on the morning show. Last week we celebrated Literacy Week and many of these students were able to finally reach their goal. During this school year, we have seen 213 students receive AR shirts! We are incredibly proud to see our students reading so much. Readers truly are leaders!

Registrations for VPK are coming up soon.  

To be eligible for Summer VPK, you must be 4 years old by 9/1/2019 and ­not be previously enrolled in a VPK program or have attended Kindergarten.                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Site locations will be determined by enrollment numbers at each site.