COVID-19 Update March 18, 2020
Please know that we are working on many topics that pertain to our students and employees over our Spring Break, especially as we continue to receive guidance from the Florida Department of Education regarding our school closure until April 15.
The following are updates for parents and students:
* We recognize the importance of being able to reach out to your individual school and hearing answers from a voice you know. Starting Monday, March 23, your school’s administration will be at work and able to answer your school specific questions via phone and email.
* Food Service is preparing food distribution for students that will start Monday, March 23. Locations and times will be announced by Friday.
* If your child has medication at school that you need at home, we will be arranging medication pick up starting Monday, March 23. Times will be announced by Friday.
* The Walton County School District is working on continuity plans where education to students may be delivered in new and innovative ways, including virtually. We have great day-to-day plans for our students that include all core subject areas and guidance for parents. We also will have contact information for curriculum experts that will be available to assist students and parents. Walton’s continuity plan will be released in a video message by Superintendent A. Russell Hughes. Please look for the video on our website by Sunday.
* Governor DeSantis has waived state testing and school accountability grades for the remainder of the 19-20 school year. Student grades and other data points specific to students will be determined in the coming days as school districts continue to receive guidance from the Florida Department of Education.
* The Walton County School District does have an online system to answer any of your COVID-19/School Closure related questions. Please click on the “Contact Us” tab on the right side of our website to submit a question or concern. District staff is available to answer questions over Spring Break.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding in this time of uncertainty. We appreciate everyone’s flexibility and patience.
COVID-19 Update March 17, 2020
This afternoon, Governor DeSantis has announced and the Florida Department of Education has sent guidance for the closing of all K-12 public and private schools and career and technical centers in Florida through April 15, 2020.
Additional information has come with school closure guidelines:
State testing and school grades are being waived for the 19-20 school year.
Graduation, promotion requirements, and final course grades will be evaluated as though state assessments which were canceled did not exist.
Eligibility for Florida Bright Futures scholarships shall be based on available data.
We will continue to update you as we receive additional information.
COVID-19 Update 3/14/20
Just an update to let you know we are continuing to think about our children. Even during this confusing time, our students are at the forefront of our mind.
The Walton County School District is currently developing a plan to help feed students the week of March 23-27, our state mandated school closure. We know families and employees expected to be out March 16-20 for Spring Break and may be traveling safely to visit family and friends as anticipated. Therefore, we believe our students are in good hands with families this coming week.
However, beginning the week of March 23-27, the WCSD is working on a plan for food distribution and service because as always we are committed to the health and safety of our students. Superintendent A. Russell Hughes states, "We do not want any Walton County Student to go without food."
On Monday, March 23, the WCSD will provide one meal for students, lunch, and starting Tuesday, March 24 through Friday, March 27, the WCSD will provide two meals a day, breakfast and lunch. Time and locations are being determined, we will release more detailed information as soon as plans have been solidified.
We want to thank all of our partners in this endeavor. Robert Martin and Our Food Service Department is currently collaborating with the Florida Department of Agriculture, FLDOE, Food for Thought, local businesses, and more.
Thank you, Please continue to stay healthy and safe.
COVID-19 UPDATE 3/13/20
We have just received word from the Florida Commissioner of Education that Florida schools will be closed for two weeks; therefore, the Walton County School District is now closed for students from now until Monday, March 30, 2020. More information will follow including guidance for employees the week of March 23-27, extra-curricular activities, testing, and SPICE.
In addition to the above, we also received the following updates from the Florida Department of Education in conjunction with the Department of Health:
- Anyone (students/faculty/staff/etc.) who go on foreign travel, to any country, must self-isolate for 14 days upon return.
- Anyone (students/faculty/staff/etc.) who go on a cruise, anywhere, must self-isolate for 14 days upon return.
- There should be no mass gatherings, which are defined by the CDC as “1,000-25,000 people, but the practical application is any gathering that would strain local resources”.
- If a student/faculty/staff has been exposed to a person with confirmed COVID-19, and that student/faculty/staff has been in a classroom, we do recommend that you clear the classroom and take necessary steps to sanitize the room.
In regards to specific changes today in Walton County, Superintendent A. Russell Hughes has directed all schools to postpone all out of state professional travel and in state professional travel where a confirmed COVID-19 case is present. All out of county field trips are also being postponed. In conjunction with these changes, Superintendent Hughes continues to oversee the deep cleaning of all area schools. We specifically want to thank our Facilities and Maintenance Department, school administration, plant managers, and custodians for their work in this area.
The district has added additional links to our website, including the Health Department and the CDC, and we have added a COVID-19 button that allows our stakeholders to submit questions via the “Contact Us” button on our website.
Thank you for your continued support. Stay safe and healthy, and continue to check back for more information.
COVID-19 Update 3/12/20
We want to thank everyone for your support this week and would like to report that all Walton County students have made it home safely as we begin our district’s regular scheduled Spring Break. Beginning tomorrow (Friday, March 13, 2020), the Walton County School District will begin a deep clean of each school campus. Due to these efforts, students will have limited access to their school until we return on Monday, March 23, 2020.
During your time off from school, please continue to make best health practices a way of life, such as hand washing; covering coughs and sneezes; limiting touches to your eyes, nose, and mouth; and staying home if you are sick. If you need additional guidance concerning COVID-19, please call the Florida hotline at 1-866-779-6121.
For the most up-to-date information on school functions, events, and/or changes, please refer to our district and/or your school’s website and social media. For travel notices, please continue to refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Even though school is out, rest assured that Superintendent A. Russell Hughes and his leadership team in conjunction with your school’s administration will be working on plans for a safe and healthy return to schools. Thank you again for your support during this difficult time. Please stay safe and healthy.
COVID-19 Update 3/10/20
Based on the most current information from the Florida Department of Health (http://www.floridahealth.gov/) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html), we would like to provide an update regarding COVID-19, Spring Break, and travel.
Any Walton County School District student or employee traveling to a Level 3 destination (see CDC website for list of destinations) would need to self-isolate and socially distance themselves for 14 days after returning to the United States. In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and for the protection of our students and community, we would like to define our current understanding of self-isolation and social distancing. For students, this would include staying home, contacting school administration for information on missing school assignments and/or testing, and providing documentation to the school in adherence to the Walton County School Board attendance policy. For employees, this would include staying home, contacting school administration regarding your absence, and completing leave forms in adherence to policies set forth by the Walton County School Board.
According to the CDC, travelers are recommended to defer all Level 2 and cruise ship travel worldwide. CDC guidelines report, “If you were on a cruise in the past 14 days, monitor your health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning to the United States. If a case of COVID-19 was reported on your ship during the cruise, stay home during these 14 days and practice social distancing.” As always, if you are symptomatic, immediately contact a health care provider or the Florida hotline at 1-866-779-6121.
The Walton County School District will continue with the school calendar as planned which includes school through this Thursday, March 12, 2020 and also students returning to school after Spring Break on Monday, March 23, 2020. We want to maintain the great educational momentum we have, and we are committed to continue this momentum for our students, families, and stakeholders. This remains our priority outside of safety when it comes to student success.
As we continue to focus on prevention, we are talking with students about best health practices, including washing hands; covering coughs and sneezes; keeping hands away from eyes, nose, and mouth; and staying home when sick. Each individual school has increased sanitation practices, and the district has increased our sanitation supplies in an effort to be as prepared as possible. The district is also bringing in additional staff on Friday as students begin their previously scheduled Spring Break to conduct a deep clean of every public school in our district.
We recognize the overabundance of caution; however, we want to follow the recommended guidelines of our health experts and achieve our number one priority which is the health and safety of our students and employees. Superintendent A. Russell Hughes and staff are meeting regularly and combing through information as it is released by local, state, and national agencies which is changing daily based on the development of COVID-19. We will do our best to continue to update you, and we appreciate your support and understanding.