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Students in Mrs. Collins Kindergarten class at West DeFuniak Elementary enjoyed listening to Mr. Douglas "Cat in the Hat" read his favorite book on March 2nd.  We celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday and Read Across America day with our amazing guest readers, Dr. Seuss write the room activiies and creating our own Cat in the Hat hat. 

Congratulations to the Freeport High School Band for receiving Straight Superior Ratings at the Florida Bandmasters Association District Concert Music Performance Assessment on Friday, March 6, 2020! The panel of distinguished judges rated them high in all categories on the challenging program that included a riveting performance of Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain, arranged by Mark Williams, and a standing ovation at the conclusion of their performance!

Now it's onward to State Music Performance Assessment on April 28 and 29 at the Mattie Kelly Fine Arts Center!!!

FHS Band at District MPA

FHS Band at District MPA

On Friday, March 6, Paxton School held their annual Autism Awareness Walk. All profits from this day go directly to students with autism through Friends For Autism Awareness, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. These students raised $1,225 on this day alone! Bobcats brought their BEST for this awesome event!

PAX Fund Raiser for Autism Awareness

This past week, members of the Spanish team attended their competition in which three members (Cheyanne Eubanks, Trinity Shedd, and Neli Santamria) presented poems and received trophies and SOBRESALIENTE (over-exceeding) ratings. Congratulations, team! 
Spanish Competition Members (Pictured L to R): Samuel Cook, Tyler Boldin, Neeko Brustie, Sponsor: Mrs. Micah Trinidad, Neli Santamaria, Cheyanne Eubanks, and Trinity Shedd.

Congratulations to the members of the Walton High School Band, and their director Peter Muller, for receiving a rating of Superior on a challenging program of musical selections at the Florida Bandmasters Association District Concert Band Music Performance Assessment on Friday, March 6, 2020 at Chipley High School!!  

The band is now eligible to perform at the State Concert Band Music Performance Assessment on April 28 and 29 at the Mattie Kelly Fine Arts Center in Niceville, FL.  

We are so proud of the work this band is doing, and can't wait to hear them perform at State MPA! Go Braves! 

Congratulations to the Paxton Band members who received straight "Superior" ratings at their District Music Performance Assessment for the first time ever! Their performance has qualified them to participate in the State Music Performance Assessment.
Front Row (L to R): Gwenyth Ramsey, Emily Wilson, Band Director: Lindsey Stuart, Bailey Howell, Harmony Heitger, Rylee Fore, Ryleigh Roberts, and Mara Apline.
Back Row (L to R): Jack Boardman, Isaac Mann, Gabe Schofield, Wesley Stephens, Naydene Higgins, Lawson Geoghagan, Samantha Lee, Rylie Hughson, Melody Heitger, Tayten Lehmann, Abby Davis, Alex Lacey, Emma York, Samuel Joiner, Gracie Carter, Hunter Lambert, Zachary Wilson, and Tyler York.


March 10, 2020

COVID-19 Update 3/10/20

Based on the most current information from the Florida Department of Health ( and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (…/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

3... 2... 1... BLAST OFF!  William Quintana, Jett Castillo, Nash Stone, and Abigail Osborne test their ablative shield to see if it will protect their egg-stronaut in Mrs. Harvell's class.
Mrs. Greer Harvell's eighth grade science students put their knowledge of physical and chemical properties to the test when they designed and tested an ablative shield that would protect their egg-stronaut upon re-entry to the earth's atmosphere.  Remarkably, their egg-stronaut survived!  It's a beautiful thing when content knowledge and creativity join forces to yield success.
Maude Saunders 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade parents participated in FSA parent meetings last week.  Our Guidance Counselor, teachers, and Principal shared resources to help student prepare, tips for easing test anxiety and building confidence, and suggestions for helping students do their best on test day.   Our students are working hard every day to meet grade level expectations, and we appreciate the support of our MSE families to help us meet our school goal….excellence!

The March 2020 Monthly Update from Superintendent A. Russell Hughes is here!

This month's video was filmed at the District Office Tivoli Complex in DeFuniak Springs. Superintendent Hughes shares important end of the 9 weeks information, as well as Kindergarten registration, Arts in Education Month, Women in History Month, and accolades for recently received awards and successes,
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