September 2021 WCSD Superintendent’s Update

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Supt Hughes

Schools in Walton County School District are bustling with the sounds of learning and student chatter.  The year began in EPIC fashion, a reflection of Superintendent Russell Hughes’ theme “EPIC 4wRd. – Recalibrated, Refocused, Ready and Rocking!”  “Preparing to engage children, building teacher capacity to maintain rigorous instruction while providing social-emotional support for students is at the forefront of every decision.  Intentional thought goes into every detail, so our children come to school excited, ready to learn in a safe environment,” Superintendent Hughes says.

Teachers and district leaders participated in Capturing Kids Hearts, a K-12 SEL (Social-Emotional Learning) training that equips professionals to implement transformational processes focused on emotional wellbeing, relationship-driven campus culture, and student connectedness.

Teachers and school leaders learned strategies that contribute to improved school culture and climate.

Walton County School District is committed to creating safe and welcoming learning environments where students are connected and eager to learn.

Part of creating safe and welcoming environments includes maintaining a vigilant approach to the health of children.  District Mitigation Strategies for the protection against COVID-19 are still in place and mimic the state implemented design.  These strategies are: 

Walton County School District COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies for the 2021-2022 School Year

  1. If a person is sick, they should stay home. (students, teachers, staff, and visitors)
  2. Face covering is optional for all, including the bus
  3. Hand Sanitizer available at various areas inside the school
  4. Social Distancing from others as much as possible
  5. Signs will be displayed to remind those in schools about social distance and the use of hand sanitizer/washing of hands and face covering.
  6. Daily Cleaning and Disinfecting School Facilities/Buses occupied by students
  7. Adequate mitigation supplies on hand at the schools/facilities (Hand Sanitizer, Disinfectant Wipes, Mask, etc.)
  8. COVID-19 vaccination is optional for all students and employees.
  9. COVID-19 contact tracing occurring in all schools/facilities (2021-2022 WCSD Decision Tree for employees and students)

The protocols above have kept outbreaks at schools to a minimum. Currently, the number of Walton County School District students identified as having the COVID virus is 3.1%, and an exceptional 97% have been COVID-free. Although we would love to have a 0% contraction rating, our present percentages are due to the collaboration and cooperation of teachers, principals, staff, and community members. However, we encourage every family to remain diligent and vigilant as we get through this uncomfortably challenging time.

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