Q: Last month we discussed the Silverleaf high school site. Do you have any additional updates about that?
A: Actually, we are in the process of acquiring another high school site in the World Golf Village area, adjacent to Mill Creek Academy. We plan to move forward to acquire this land in a timely fashion and construction as soon as possible. We are excited about proceeding with building a new high school even sooner than anticipated.
Q: What can you tell us about this site?
A: It is a beautiful piece of property, fully cleared. It is pastureland. At 68 acres it is a bit smaller than some sites, but since it is all uplands, it will work just fine.
Q: So is the Silverleaf site out of the running?
A: No, we are still pursuing that site. But this new site will house our next high school, as previously stated by the district. Silverleaf was never intended to be next in line, since the growth/students are not there quite yet.
Q: Do you have any legislative updates now that session has ended?
A: We are much more pleased with the amount of money we received this year versus last. The base student allocation, which is the flexible money we can use for teacher and staff salaries and new programs, was only 47 cents per student last year. This year, we are to receive $75 per student.
We are also pleased that legislation has gone through with an alternative pathway to graduation via career and technical education. This will allow students to substitute some classes, such as higher level math, with still challenging classes that will point them more quickly to a career. We are thankful to Sen. Travis Hutson who was the Senate sponsor of this bill.
Q: Do you have anything else to share with District 1?
A: I’d like to talk about RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) of St. Johns County, the county program which supplies volunteer mentors and tutors to students throughout the school system. Whether it is someone who can read 30 minutes to a kindergartener or someone who can tutor a struggling middle school student, there are adults in our community with a lot of experience who can help our kids. If anyone is interested in learning more about volunteering, they can contact Cheryl Freeman at RSVP at (904) 547-3952.
Q: How can our readers contact you?
A: They can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (904) 547-7510.