Q: Do you have any updates on High School III?
A: I have several updates. First, we’ve announced the Programs of Choice for the school’s Academies. I’m very excited that we will have an additional AICE program, like the one at St. Augustine High School, to serve students in the northern part of the county. Additionally, the three brand new academies will be: Global Logistics and Supply Chains; Software Development; and Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. I think all three of these will give excellent additional choices for our students and lead to strong career fields.
As far as construction goes, several of the building slabs are down and the tilt wall construction forms are being constructed. Everything is on schedule for a fall 2022 opening.
We will finalize the zoning at the June 8 school board meeting. There is still time for parents to look at the zoning proposals on our website and send comments via email for staff and board members to see.
Finally, we are happy to announce that Greg Bergamasco has been named principal of the new school. He most recently was principal at Gamble Rogers Middle School and has previous high school experience.
Q: Do you have any other principal changes to announces?
A: We welcome Ashley McCormick, most recently the assistant principal at Hickory Creek, as the new principal at Durbin Creek Elementary. Angie Fuller will be moving to Valley Ridge Academy as its new principal.
Q: Is there an update on the walking safety issue for students from the St. Johns Forest neighborhood?
A: The process for re-examination of the walk zone has begun. A team with members from the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Department of Transportation, St. Johns County, and the School District are working to determine if it is still an acceptable walk zone or if not, if any improvements are needed to make it acceptable. I’m not sure how long this process takes, but we will wait to hear their determination.
Q: Last month we discussed the dress code. Has anything happened since then [as of interview date of May 13]?
A: As he does every spring, Senior Director Paul Abbatinozzi will bring to the school board proposed updates to the Student Code of Conduct for our consideration at our May 25 workshop. I anticipate that there will be suggested changes to the dress code.
Q: Do you have an update on the district’s mask policy?
A: Our mask policy and health and safety protocols are slated to be an agenda item at the school board’s June 8 meeting. Right now, our district is very busy considering all the latest information coming out about mask usage, as well parent input. Parent input is very important to us; you can express your views at any of our meetings or via email or phone call.
Q: Do you have anything else to share with District 1?
A: I’d like to recognize Elyse Sorroco of Creekside High School, who has been named a Presidential Scholar by the US Department of Education — one of only 161 students in the United States to receive this honor. We are very proud of her.
Finally, we are looking forward to graduation. I am most delighted that we will have in-person graduation this year at TIAA Bank Field. Congratulations to the Class of 2021!
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