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Showing up for school has a huge impact on a student’s academic success starting in kindergarten and continuing through high school.  Did you know that students should miss no more than 9 days of school each year to stay engaged, successful and on track to graduation.  Absences can also be a sign that a student is losing interest in school, struggling with school work, dealing with a bully or facing some other potentially serious difficulty. According to Attendance Works, by 6th grade, absenteeism is one of three signs that a student may drop out of high school and by 9th grade, regular and high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th grade test scores.  So attendance does matter! 

For more information on how you may assist your teen to stay on track with good attendance, please visit

Superintendent Hughes wishes to remind our Preschoolers and their parents how important it is to show up every day. 

Did you know that missing just 10% of preschool (only one or two days every few weeks) can make it harder to develop early reading skills.  It can also make it harder to get ready for kindergarten and first grade and will develop a poor attendance pattern that’s hard to break in later grades.  So let’s make a commitment to attend our preschool programs every day.  For more information on why attendance matters in Early Education Programs please visit

Please join Superintendent Hughes and all WCSD Staff in our commitment to Student Attendance.  September is Attendance Awareness month and we will be providing you with important information on the topic of Attendance throughout the month of September.  We will provide information from the 2019 Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow campaign from Attendance Works, which is a national organization that promotes good attendance.   For additional information from Attendance Works, please visit

Mossy Head School kicks off the school year with their first All House meeting!

Students, faculty and staff at Mossy Head School met on the very first day to find out about the exciting changes made to the school’s house system. Everyone met to find out about the four houses, Wajibu, Teako, Trua, and Quantum, and to find out which house they will draw!

MHS All House Day

MHS All House Day

MHS All House Day

MHS All House Day

MHS All House Day

After 28 years of dedicated service, Walton County School Board lawyer, Ben Holley, has retired. Superintendent Hughes and the School Board of Walton County presented him with an award at the August 6, 2019 School Board meeting that states: Walton County School District Honors and Esteems Ben L. Holley School Board Attorney, In recognition of your dedication and service to Walton County Schools. 

Best wishes to Mr. Holley as he enjoys his retirement! 

In anticipation of the 294 new sixth graders headed this way on the first day of school, Walton Middle School hosted a successful sixth grade orientation on the morning of Thursday, August 8, 2019.  Principal Jason Campbell welcomed students and their families to the A+ Warrior tribe.
Eager families of WMS' largest class to date filled the gym, listening as Mr. Campbell covered logistical information and school expectations with the class of 2026.  After the warm introduction, students picked up their schedules and met their seven new teachers.
Later that same day, WMS hosted visitation for its seventh and eighth grade families as well, giving them an opportunity to get their new schedules and meet their excited teachers.
Both events were well attended by Warrior families, and Walton Middle School looks forward to an exciting school year full of fresh faces and new opportunities.  Go Warriors!
Submitted by Kristen Nelson
WMS 6th Gd Orientation

MSE held their annual Preview for students in grades 1-5 on Thursday, August 8th. Students were excited to see new teachers and old friends! In addition to visiting and touring the school, families were provided information about buses, SPICE, dental care, becoming a volunteer or mentor, and lunch information. They also received free backpacks from St. Joe, free books from the media center, and cotton candy from the PTO.

Also pictured is the Kindergarten Orientation Thursday, August 8th.

It was a great way to kick off what promises to be an EPIC year!
Submitted by Krisy Spence

MSE Orientation       

MSE Orientation


 MSE Orientation          MSE Orientation

MSE Orientation

Superintendent A. Russell Hughes welcomes our students, families, and teachers to an EPIC3 school year in his August Video Update!

We are excited to be an A+ School District!

7th in the state in school grades with 9 out of the 22 assessed areas in the top 10!!!

5th Grade Reading = 9th in the state
7th Grade Reading = 2nd in the state
9th Grade Reading = 6th in the state
8th Grade Math = 9th in the state
Geometry = 2nd in the state
Algebra 1 = 7th in the state
Biology = 6th in the state
8th Grade Science = 8th in the state
Civics = 4th in the state

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, through the STEM Summer Challenge Contract with the Panhandle Area Educational Consortium, provided more than $5,000 of STEM supplies to Paxton School this week. The supplies were received by Brent Jones, Principal and Heather Stewart, Embry-Riddle course instructor. They included mBot ranger robots with arms, Gizmos, and bracket packs, Dell Latitude laptops, Tello Quadcopters with GameSir remote controllers, Oculus Go VR Headsets, drone racing gates, drone landing pads and assorted batteries and chargers. Students at Paxton School will use these items throughout the 2019-2020 school year during the Embry-Riddle courses taught at the school.

 Embry Riddle and PAEC

Emerald Coast Technical College created an EPIC3 Escape Room to improve culture and promote teamwork and communication. Four of the five teams escaped the room! Submitted by Leslie Harrison