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High school students and teachers from across Walton County spent three days this summer at an immersive STEM Summer Challenge sponsored by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Gaetz Aerospace Institute. From flying and coding aerial drones, to navigating complex courses with terrestrial drones and engineering hovercraft, these students were engrossed in hands-on STEM concentrated around the real-world uses of unmanned vehicles. A special thank you to the Panhandle Area Educational Consortium for organizing the challenge.

Submitted by Heather Stewart

The Florida Department of Education released their annual Accountability Report on Wednesday, June 27, and the Walton County School District has officially received an “A+” rating for the first time since 2014!  “So proud of the students, teachers, and administrators of the WCSD. It will take continuous attention to students, instruction and leadership to maintain this status but with what I know about our stakeholders, we are up for the challenge!” stated Superintendent of Schools, A. Russell Hughes when the report was publicized.  For a more complete report, including individual school grades, you can access the Florida Department of Education Accountability Report at http://www.fldoe.org/accountability/accountability-reporting/school-grades/index.stml

WCSD Secondary math teachers Catherine Duggins, Gwen Parker, Brenda Farris, Kala Wilson, Christoper Eby, and Julius Mcmanus attended the College Board Algebra 1 Mastery Learning through Collaboration and Resource Sharing Workshop at PAEC (Panhandle Area Educational Consortium) on Tuesday, June 26. Our math teachers, James Ross, Katie Moore, and Crystal Appel spent the afternoon diving deeper into the Algebra 1 standards and collaborating with teachers across the panhandle to learn about rigorous resources. They are excited to bring back their learning to students this fall. We would like to thank College Board and PAEC for this experience.

Submitted by Katie Moore

WCSD Administrators recently had the opportunity to participate in a coaching and feedback workshop led by Dr. Rosemarye Taylor using TeachLive - a mixed-reality classroom simulator with avatars.  This cutting-edge classroom/conference simulator provided administrators, supervisors and instructional coaches with opportunities to practice and strengthen their coaching skills in closely realistic settings. 

The system, developed through a unique partnership between education and computer science professors at the University of Central Florida, works from two ends. On one end, an administrator views a screen on which a teacher avatar is projected. A motion-capture device and camera read the administrators movements. On the other end, an interactor controls the teacher avatar, speaking through a microphone and using head-mounted and handheld controllers programmed to respond to certain movements. Using student avatars, this virtual lab can also be used to allow teachers the opportunity to address a variety of classroom scenarios that occur every day without the worry of "making a mistake".  Each avatar has it's own unique "personality", and the program provides the opportunity to practice handling various degrees of situational difficulty. 

Always learning, growing and improving, principals and other administrators in Walton County School District had the opportunity to participate in a specialized leadership training workshop on Monday, June 25, 2018, led by Dr. Rosemarye Taylor from University of South Florida.  Her specialty is systematic leadership to improve student achievement prekindergarten through university doctoral programs.  As part of the workshop, Dr. Taylor emphasized coaching and feedback techniques and strategies.  

Dr. Taylor has published seven books and numerous articles in respected journals such as Kappan, Educational Leadership, Middle School Journal, The National Staff Development Journal, Educational Research Service Spectrum, International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, AASA Journal of Scholarship and Practice, and International Journal of Education Management. Also, she is editor of the International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation and co-editor for Higher Education Skills and Workplace Learning Special Issue on Professional Doctorates (April 2014).

Advance CTE’s newest video provides an overview of how Career Technical Education (CTE) prepares learners for their futures while closing the skills gap for employers across the country. Use this video with critical stakeholders, from families to employers, to continue to combat false perceptions of what CTE is and who it is for. This video is designed to help you make the case for CTE in your community and demonstrate the many benefits of today's CTE! We hope that you will watch and share!   https://careertech.org/campaign-video @CTEWorks

Congratulations to the ECMS Advertising Design Team for placing 3rd at the Jr. Beta Club National Convention held in Savannah, Georgia! We are so proud of you! Go Stingrays!!!

Team members (from L to R):  Lauren Broussard, Ava Razavi, Sydney Rushing and Dylan Speicher.

Submitted by Candy Bodie