WCSD Superintendent’s April 2020 Update

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Supt Hughes

Superintendent A. Russell Hughes, along with his district office staff, would like to share a special thank you to parents, who are the rock stars of our first ever At-Home Learning plan. We could not have done this week of at-home distance learning without you, and we appreciate you! We also miss our students and employees dearly. All of you are in our hearts and minds as we navigate these uncharted waters TOGETHER.

We also want to give a huge thank you to our extraordinary bus drivers and food service workers. Because of you, along with district and school teams, WCSD is feeding approximately 1,500 children, a total of 3,000 meals a day!  Due to this response, we will continue to provide meals for children ages 1 to 18 at our five school sites and on bus routes throughout Walton County. We also want to thank our partners, the Florida Department of Agriculture, Food for Thought, The Matrix, and numerous restaurants and organizations throughout Walton County.

Looking at academics, we want to again thank and recognize our parents who have started WCSD’s At-Home Learning plan. We have heard from so many of you, and we appreciate your dedication to your children and your positive attitudes. We can see our students logging on daily to Class Link and their success in our many online platforms, such as Compass Learning, Study Island, Khan Academy, and more, which we are now so grateful to have had in place.

As we are transferring instruction back to schools, please visit your school’s website. Each individual campus will post their own At-Home Learning Calendar for the week of March 30th. Many of the schools’ plans may mirror our initial At-Home Learning Calendar as we are using parents’ feedback from this week. Many of you have said you appreciate straightforward and clear directions as you embark on this new journey.

Parents, we have mailed report cards home, so you can view your child’s grades for the third nine weeks, which reflects work prior to Spring Break. Schools will also begin to provide more guidance regarding how we will capture your child’s work during our At Home Learning model.

We also want to welcome back our teachers and staff at schools, however, as we continue to keep our employees safe, we may work in a variety of different settings and times in order to follow CDC guidelines. Parents, as teachers return, you will start to see them reach out to you via phone or other technology. When we reach out, please let us know any individual questions or concerns you may have. This can include technology help, curriculum clarifications, and content questions. Your school’s administration will also be available as school offices will be open Monday through Friday during your school’s typical hours. Please contact your individual school for questions and concerns. You can also submit a question via any school or district webpage. We are here to help you and your child!

While parents are adjusting to this new scenario, here are a few tips for families as they adjust to the new reality of learning at home:

  • Make Space for Learning: Your children will achieve their best work in a quiet, comfortable and dedicated space devoted to learning other than where they normally play games or watch TV.
  • Monitor the (Computer) Monitor:  Check to see if your child is taking notes or zoning out. Ask questions at the end of a lesson. When completing assignments and watching videos, students should take detailed notes.  They will use the same skills they’ve learned in the classroom to track essential information in the virtual class.
  • Recess: Make sure that your children take plenty of breaks in order to get physical activity and time away from screens. Please remind your children to save their work and log out when needed.
  • Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan: Good planning can relieve stress for both children and parents. Check in with your kids about their plans and help them develop a written schedule.  Help them prioritize and learn to create goals, tasks, and deadlines.
  • Ask for help if you struggle with successfully completing assignments and need teacher assistance, move on to another course while you wait for teacher feedback. If you have questions at any time about your expectations for completing virtual coursework, please contact your school.
  • Don’t Forget to Have Fun: Plan off-screen activities for the whole family. Follow your community’s guidelines about safe behavior and events, of course, but make sure you still find time for fun with your kids.

As a final note, we just want to say thank you again to students, parents, employees, and the entire Walton County community. We have received well wishes and positive messages from so many groups and individuals, and it is appreciated more than you know. We are so blessed to be a part of such a strong community that values education!

Please continue to monitor the district website and our social media platforms for new updates.  Stay safe and thank you for your support!

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