Superintendent of Schools April Update

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April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and all schools in the Walton County School District will be engaged in activities designed to raise awareness and promote prevention.  Additionally, we will be acknowledging April as National Autism Awareness Month with information and activities that promote autism awareness, autism acceptance, and that celebrate the value and uniqueness of every child in our district.

As a kick-off to Fine Arts Education Month (March), the Visual Art instructors of WCSD recently participated in a professional development tour of South Walton Galleries.  The teachers visited several Art Galleries in the South Walton/30A area and met with the artists to learn more about their artistic journeys, as well as their creative processes.  Galleries visited were Gordie Hines Gallery; Chroma/Kathleen Broaderick Studio and Gallery; Justin Gaffrey Art Gallery; Andy Saczynski Studio Gallery; Mary Hong Gallery; A. Wickey Gallery; and Adaro Art Gallery.

Presented by Rosemary Beach Foundation, the 7th Annual Music in Pictures is an educational art initiative and juried art contest open to ALL students in grade K-12 in the Walton County school system – both public and private.  Created in collaboration with professional musicians and university faculty, Music in Pictures encourages lifelong appreciation of symphonic music, enhances learning and provides educational enrichment.  During the fall of 2017, students discovered the power of music through visual arts, classical performances, and classroom presentations. The Music in Pictures project promotes creativity through the juried art contest where over 4,000 Walton County students (Kindergarten – 12th grade) from 16 WCSD schools, created a painting of their interpretation of classical music.  Over 350 submissions were selected for the student art exhibition with works displayed at Coast Branch Library, Santa Rosa Beach; Amavida Coffee and Tea, Rosemary Beach; and Sacred Heart Hospital at Miramar Beach through April 21, 2018.  A special awards ceremony will be held at Freeport High School, at 2:00 pm on April 29, 2018. The ceremony is open to the public.

Walton County School District offers various Career and Technical Education Programs throughout the district as one method of promoting College and Career Readiness for our students.  Currently, Freeport High School offers Administrative Office Specialist, Advanced Manufacturing Technology, and Criminal Justice Operations; Paxton School offers Administrative Office Specialist, Aerospace Technologies, and Agritechnology; Seacoast Collegiate High School offers Administrative Office Specialist; South Walton High School offers Administrative Office Specialist, Accounting Applications, Applied Robotics, Business Management & Analysis, Digital Design, Nursing Assistant (Acute & Long Term Care) and Web Application Development & Programming; and Walton High School offers Administrative Office Specialist, Aerospace Technologies, Culinary Arts, and Early Childhood Education.  These programs offer students not only workforce readiness skills but also industry certifications which could articulate to college credit/hours. For more information on what WCSD CTE programs have to offer, please see our webpage at http://www.walton.k12.fl.us/career-and-technical-education .

Superintendent Russell Hughes remains diligent in his efforts to ensure the safety of all Walton County School District students, recently requesting an additional $30,000 from the Walton County School Board from their budget, to increase the presence of law-enforcement officers on our campuses for the remainder of this year.  Superintendent Hughes is working daily with the Sheriff’s Department, meeting regularly with the WCSD Safety Committee, Administrative Cabinet members, and other safety agencies to explore all avenues to keep our students safe.

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