Order of WCSD Schools to Close through May 1, 2020
COVID-19 Update March 31, 2020
We have just received official word from the Florida Department of Education regarding school campus closures. The 3/31/20 press release states:
"Today, Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran recommended that all Florida public and private K-12 school campuses extend campus closures through May 1, 2020. This recommendation follows President Donald J. Trump and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) extension of social distancing guidelines until April 30th."
Parents, please know that we always want to provide you with accurate and up-to-date information, which is why we waited until FDOE’s official press release. Based on the information above, Walton County School District will continue our At-Home Education Plan and school campuses will remain closed to students through May 1st.
Please be sure you have visited your child’s school website to receive this week’s school-based At-Home Learning calendar. The calendar will provide a list of resources for core subject areas. For specific questions about curriculum, instruction, and/or technology, please refer to your child’s teachers and/or your school. The district is continuing to work with the Florida Department of Education regarding attendance and grades, and updates will be provided soon.
Please remember that you can submit a question online to your school or school district by using the “Contact Us” tab on our websites. We are also available during regular school hours by phone. Again, thanks to everyone for being patient and understanding during this trying time.
COVID-19 Update March 19, 2020
We have several updates for you today. Please see information below regarding food distribution and student medication pick up that will start Monday, March 23. Educational updates will roll out this weekend along with a video message from Superintendent A. Russell Hughes.
Starting Monday, March 23, 2020, five school sites will begin to provide food for children ages 1 to 18.
* Mossy Head School
* Maude Saunders Elementary
* Walton Middle School
* Freeport High School
These five sites will provide a grab and go meal in the school’s car rider line. You do not have to live in the school zone to receive food at the above sites. If possible, if your school is not a site, please visit the site nearest to you. For example, if your child attends Dune Lakes Elementary, a non-distribution site, you may pick up a meal at Freeport High School, a distribution site. Children must be present in the car to receive a free meal.
School sites haven been chosen based on specific criteria as put forth by the Florida Department of Agriculture. We may open additional sites as we can.
The schedule for food pick up at the five sites above are as follows:
* Monday, March 23 from 11:00 a.m.– 1:00 p.m. – lunch provided
* Tuesday, March 24 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – lunch provided and next day’s breakfast
* Wednesday, March 25 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – lunch provided and next day’s breakfast
* Thursday, March 26 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – lunch provided and next day’s breakfast
* Friday, March 27 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – lunch provided and next day’s breakfast
Starting Wednesday, March 25th, food distribution will also begin via bus transportation. Over 95 bus stops will be put into place throughout the Walton County School District from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and look similar to our summer routes. Buses will spend 10 minutes at each stop for parents to receive breakfast and lunch at the bus stop instead of visiting school sites. School sites will also remain open as well. More information about your area’s routes are to come.
As we provide meals, please know that we are taking health and safety protocols seriously. All individuals preparing and delivering meals will follow CDC guidelines.
If your child has medication at school that you need at home, you can pick up medication from the school’s nurse starting Monday, March 23 through Friday, March 27 from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Medication will only be released to a student’s parent.
All school campuses will be staffed with a small team on Monday, March 23. Parents may enter the school office based on CDC guidelines regarding gatherings of 10 people or less. If you are sick, please call your school instead of visiting.
The Walton County School District does have an online system to answer any of your COVID-19/School Closure related questions. Please click on the “Contact Us” tab on the right side of our website to submit a question or concern. District staff is available to answer questions over Spring Break. Thank you for your continued support and understanding in this time of uncertainty. We appreciate everyone’s flexibility and patience.
COVID-19 Update March 18, 2020
Please know that we are working on many topics that pertain to our students and employees over our Spring Break, especially as we continue to receive guidance from the Florida Department of Education regarding our school closure until April 15.
The following are updates for parents and students:
* We recognize the importance of being able to reach out to your individual school and hearing answers from a voice you know. Starting Monday, March 23, your school’s administration will be at work and able to answer your school specific questions via phone and email.
* Food Service is preparing food distribution for students that will start Monday, March 23. Locations and times will be announced by Friday.
* If your child has medication at school that you need at home, we will be arranging medication pick up starting Monday, March 23. Times will be announced by Friday.
* The Walton County School District is working on continuity plans where education to students may be delivered in new and innovative ways, including virtually. We have great day-to-day plans for our students that include all core subject areas and guidance for parents. We also will have contact information for curriculum experts that will be available to assist students and parents. Walton’s continuity plan will be released in a video message by Superintendent A. Russell Hughes. Please look for the video on our website by Sunday.
* Governor DeSantis has waived state testing and school accountability grades for the remainder of the 19-20 school year. Student grades and other data points specific to students will be determined in the coming days as school districts continue to receive guidance from the Florida Department of Education.
* The Walton County School District does have an online system to answer any of your COVID-19/School Closure related questions. Please click on the “Contact Us” tab on the right side of our website to submit a question or concern. District staff is available to answer questions over Spring Break.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding in this time of uncertainty. We appreciate everyone’s flexibility and patience
COVID-19 Update March 17, 2020
This afternoon, Governor DeSantis has announced and the Florida Department of Education has sent guidance for the closing of all K-12 public and private schools and career and technical centers in Florida through April 15, 2020.
Additional information has come with school closure guidelines:
- State testing and school grades are being waived for the 19-20 school year.
- Graduation, promotion requirements, and final course grades will be evaluated as though state assessments which were canceled did not exist.
- Eligibility for Florida Bright Futures scholarships shall be based on available data.
We will continue to update you as we receive additional information.
COVID-19 Update March 12, 2020
We want to thank everyone for your support this week and would like to report that all Walton County students have made it home safely as we begin our district’s regular scheduled Spring Break. Beginning tomorrow (Friday, March 13, 2020), the Walton County School District will begin a deep clean of each school campus. Due to these efforts, students will have limited access to their school until we return on Monday, March 23, 2020.
During your time off from school, please continue to make best health practices a way of life, such as hand washing; covering coughs and sneezes; limiting touches to your eyes, nose, and mouth; and staying home if you are sick. If you need additional guidance concerning COVID-19, please call the Florida hotline at 1-866-779-6121.
For the most up-to-date information on school functions, events, and/or changes, please refer to our district and/or your school’s website and social media. For travel notices, please continue to refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Even though school is out, rest assured that Superintendent A. Russell Hughes and his leadership team in conjunction with your school’s administration will be working on plans for a safe and healthy return to schools. Thank you again for your support during this difficult time. Please stay safe and healthy.
COVID-19 Update March 10, 2020
Based on the most current information from the Florida Department of Health (http://www.floridahealth.gov/) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html), 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.
COVID-19 UPDATE March 5, 2020
The Walton County School Board continues to be proactive in the prevention of COVID-19. On Tuesday night, Ms. Holt, from the Florida Department of Health in Walton County, presented the latest information regarding the virus and provided guidance on best school health practices. Superintendent A. Russell Hughes shared that the school district will continue to take precautionary measures including sanitizing schools and buses, ordering additional cleaning supplies, and posting updates for parents on social media. The district also shared that state and community collaboration is taking place on a daily basis. Just this morning, Superintendent Hughes participated in a statewide conference call that included Florida Governor DeSantis, the Florida Surgeon General, and Florida Department of Education officials. Communication will continue on a regular basis with the Florida Department of Health in Walton County. For the most up to date information on COVID-19, please call the Florida hotline at 866-779-6121.
COVID-19 UPDATE March 4, 2020
Important Information Regarding COVID-19
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