Q: Can you comment on the recent news regarding the district’s high school dress code?
A: We have heard from a variety of people, those concerned and those in support of our dress code. As is typical this time of year, we are looking at some changes to our Code of Conduct and the dress code within it. The proposed changes will come to the school board for approval in the next month or two. We appreciate everyone’s input.
Q: What is the latest on the walking safety issue for students from the St. Johns Forest neighborhood?
A: Statutorily, Superintendent Tim Forson is the only one who can ask that a walk zone to school be reexamined. He has written a letter to the Florida Department of Transportation and we have received word back as to the name of our FDOT partner who will be working with us going forward. At some point, representatives from the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, the FDOT and the school district will go out to the walk zone and take a look and evaluate safety issues and potential solutions. We hope this will be accomplished by next school year, but a great deal of it is out of our control.
Q: Do you have an update on zoning for High School III?
A: We are right in the middle of the zoning process for this new school and we are looking for public input. There are four zoning plans on the school district website and I encourage anyone with middle school or high school students in the Northwest to take a look. Bartram Trail High School zoning is mostly affected, but so is zoning for Nease and the area middle and K-8 schools. We will receive public input at our board meetings in May and via the contact information on the district website. We plan to approve the final zoning at our June 8 meeting, so now is the time to voice your opinion.
Q: Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran recently recommended that school districts dispense with mask mandates and instead make masks optional. What is the St. Johns County School District doing?
A: First, we are still wearing masks through the remainder of this current school year. As for next fall, our plan is to be back to school face to face, in brick and mortar. Those families with special circumstances who still desire virtual instruction can enroll their student in either Florida Virtual School or St. Johns Virtual. We are monitoring the mask situation closely and will do so throughout the summer before making a decision. If the case numbers continue to be low, we will likely go without masks for next school year.
Q: Do you have anything else to share with District 1?
A: First, I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to Fruit Cove Baptist Church, which made a $20,000 donation to pay for delinquent school lunch debts at schools across our county. It was very generous of them and we are so grateful.
Secondly, I’d like to continue to encourage pre-registration for next year, especially at the kindergarten level. This can be accomplished online at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/student/enrollment/ or by visiting the student’s assigned school website. It is so important that we know how many students are coming to our schools so we can have enough teachers.
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