Q: What are your thoughts about the recently concluded school year?

A: It was an exceptional year and I have such gratitude towards all the students, parents, teachers, staff and administrators for all their hard work. Graduation ceremonies all went well and we look forward to next year.

Q: What is happening at the schools during the summer?
A: Over the summer, our schools are still busy. They operate with reduced hours, from 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. to reduce energy consumption. Building life cycle assessments are taking place and maintenance issues are being worked on, as well as security assessments. If you need to register your child for next year, you can visit your zoned school during these hours or register online.

There is a lot of teacher training taking place. Administrators are diving into data to find any learning gaps to make sure we have proper resources available to prepare our students for next year. 

Q: Are there any safety improvements to announce?
A: We will have a school resource officer from either the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office or a local police department for every school next year. Previously, we had a few instances with a representative from a private security company at a school with a shared school resource officer between a couple of schools.

Q: Do you have an update on Pine Island Academy?
A: Construction is very nearly complete and everyone is looking forward to having the building ready for the students. Staff will begin moving into the building in July and all is on track to open on Aug. 16, the first day of school. It’s important to note that this start date does allow for completion of the first semester prior to Winter Break.

Q: Do you have any school administration shifts to announce?

A: Yes. We will welcome Dr. Joy Reichenberg as the new principal at Palm Valley Academy. She was formerly the principal of Hickory Creek Elementary. We also welcome Guy Harris to Landrum Middle School as the new principal. He was previously an assistant principal at Ponte Vedra High School. Both of these leaders are great additions to our District 4 schools.

Q: How can our readers contact you?

A: They can email me at kelly.barrera@stjohns.k12.fl.us or call me at (904) 547-7510.

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