By St. Johns County School Board Member
Kelly Barrera, District 4
The St. Johns County School District has been busy over the summer preparing for our students’ arrival on August 10th. Principals, teachers and staff have been actively refreshing, reorganizing, updating, hiring, training, and preparing for a fantastic new school year ahead! Over the summer, professional development and training sessions have been ongoing to assist our teachers and staff in learning educational and operational best practices, technology updates and integration, and providing opportunities for accessing resources for innovation.
At the elementary school level, parents, students and teachers can look forward to the implementation of some new programs to assist with curriculum. We are excited to introduce Being a Writer in our elementary schools. This new academic program was piloted last year at two elementary schools and received strong positive feedback from teachers, parents and students. It is a structured program that involves learning about a subject, writing about the information learned, facilitating in-depth classroom discussion and comprehension, and writing again to include the greater detail and feedback.
Another successful program, Being a Reader, will be expanding in our middle schools to assist in strengthening reading strategies and comprehesion.
Starting in late August, Allen D. Nease High School will pilot a Power Hour program. This program will provide students with an hour each day to meet with teachers, access tutoring, study time, attend club meetings or work on special projects. The time slot will be scheduled in the middle of the school day and the goal will be to give students time to power forward academically and deepen their school engagement.
Site work and clearing is underway for construction of our new elementary school “M” located in the World Golf Village area at 2675 Pacetti Road in St. Augustine. The new school is being built to relieve overcrowding and is expected to open for the 2017-18 school year. It will accommodate approximately 800 students in Kindergarten through 5th grade. Ongoing information, progress and attendance zones for the new school will be posted on the St. Johns County School District website: http://www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/newschools/
Lastly, with upcoming retirement Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner, the St. Johns County School Board in the process of selecting a new Superintendent of Schools. The application period for the position has closed. Our Citizen’s Superintendent Search Advisory Committee will make their recommendations to the school board for interview selection. Interviews will be scheduled on October 6th and 7th. The school board will be an evening reception open to public for the community to meet the finalists on October 6th at 5:30pm.
St. Johns County School District looks forward to an exciting school year as we continue to work to meet the challenges of a dynamic and growing school district!
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