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WCSD COVID Update: 8.13.21

August 14, 2021

August 13, 2021

To the Parents of the WCSD: 

 

I want to thank everyone for a wonderful start to the 2021-2022 school year! The first few days are always special ones as we are excited to see our students and begin school year traditions! I want to thank everyone for being patient as we continue to make car lines, bus times, and other logistics as effective as possible. 

 

Speaking of patience, we appreciate your support and flexibility as we continuously monitor COVID-19. This week, we received a new statewide Student COVID Decision Tree from the Florida Department of Education (FDOE). This decision tree looks slightly different from the Walton County tree, but many of the protocols are the same. This new statewide decision tree for students will go into effect for Walton County students on Monday, August 16, 2021. Here is an outline of the major changes for the new decision tree: 

 

  • Direct exposure will now be defined within six feet for a cumulative time of 15 minutes of a positive case.
  • Any student fully vaccinated, or that has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days, will NOT NEED to self-isolate or quarantine, if they are exposed.
  • Any student not fully vaccinated and exposed must quarantine:
    • 7 days from date of exposure; if asymptomatic, the student can return on Day 8
    • OR
    • 4 days from date of exposure; if asymptomatic, the student can test on Day 5 (Rapid or PCR) and return immediately with a negative test result (test must show the student’s name).

The new Student Decision Tree is posted on our website, and we will help walk you through it if your child is in close contact with a positive case. If your child is required to quarantine due to a school case, we will provide missed work for your child. The format of this work will be determined by your child’s school.

 

COVID-19 is a serious pandemic, and I know we are all ready for it to be “over”.  Until the danger subsides, we will continue to remind students to make good choices at school, which include the successful use of mitigation strategies, such as hand washing, hand sanitizer, and social distancing.  Students may also wear masks. At this time, screenings may be done randomly at schools, so we encourage parents to screen their children at home – checking temperatures and COVID symptoms. If students have a fever or other COVID symptoms, please keep students home. I know that is hard to do when you think they may be experiencing a minor condition, but this proactive step can make a huge difference. Our schools will also continue to clean appropriately and keep detailed seating notes, especially if contact tracing is needed. 

 

We appreciate everyone’s flexibility. If and when additional protocols change, please know that our decisions are always based on data, new or revised best practices, and/or expert information. All decisions are made with our employees and students in mind, and in Walton County, safety is always our number one priority. 

 

I am looking forward to all of us having a wonderful 2021-2022 school year.  We will get through these challenging times together!  Keep pressing 4wRd

 

WCSD COVID 19 Update:  8.13.2021

Sneak Peak for 2021-2022

June 24, 2021

Sneak Peak Information:

August 5, 2021

8:00 - 9:00 ALL Kindergarten Students

1st through 5th grades by last name:

10:00 - 11:00 A - G

12:30 - 1:30 H - N

2:30 - 3:30 N-Z

You will receive your class placement on this day for grades 1 - 5. Kindergarten students will receive a letter via email and mail with information from the teacher prior to Sneak Peek. You will also be able to meet your teacher, get important beginning of the year paperwork, transportation information, as well as sign up for PTO. There will also be an opportunity to purchase some Butler items from PTO while you are here. 

Entrances will be open in the front, as well by the pavilion. 

We look forward to seeing you then!

I'm proud to announce the 1st Annual Birdies for Butler Golf Fundraiser and Silent Auction.  All proceeds from this event will benefit the students and staff of Van R. Butler Elementary School.  Join us Saturday, June 12th at The Links Golf Club in Sandestin for a day of laughs, long drives, made putts and hopefully a few birdies!!!  

For more information and how to register, please CLICK HERE!

We are continuing to monitor Hurricane Zeta.  Our local weather experts have forecasted tropical storm force winds beginning tonight and ending in the early hours of Thursday morning.  With this information, the Walton County School District will continue school as planned for tomorrow, October 29th.  As always, safety is our number one priority.  If you have any safety concerns, absences should be based on the best decision for your family.  We will continue to monitor the weather, and we encourage you to continue to check back on our district website.  

Weather Update 9/16/20

Due to localized flooding and current road conditions, all Walton County schools will remain closed through tomorrow, Thursday, September 17th.  Closures include both students and employees.  Based on information from Emergency Management, rain is expected through tomorrow which may cause continued flooding, tropical storm force winds continue through today, and possible tornado threats may continue as well.  Please stay safe!

Freeport High School continues to stay open as a shelter.  Please visit Walton County Emergency Management for more information.  We will continue to monitor the weather with our local experts.  Continue to check our district and schools’ websites and social media platforms for more information. 

Weather Update 9/15/20

Hurricane Sally’s track has continued to slow and move to the east. Due to that, all Walton County schools, including extracurricular activities, will remain closed through tomorrow, Wednesday September 16th.  Closures include both students and employees.  Based on information from Emergency Management, tropical storm winds and heavy rain will continue to impact Walton County today and Wednesday with potential of historic levels of flooding. 

Freeport High School is opening as a shelter today at 5:00 p.m.  Please visit Walton County Emergency Management for more information.  We will continue to monitor the weather with our local experts.  Stay safe, and continue to check our district and schools’ websites and social media platforms for more information.  

Re-opening Update for Parents 8/28/20

 

We are excited to wrap up our second week of school!  The first ten days have been smooth and successful, and we want to thank everyone for being so supportive. 

 

This week, the Florida Department of Education with guidance from the Florida Department of Health released a Decision Tree regarding COVID-19.  The Decision Tree is a structured guide for COVID-19 related decisions.  The tree applies to all Walton County traditional students and employees.  The document includes situations regarding COVID-19 symptoms, a positive test, or if a person has close contact with a person with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test.  The Decision Tree is what we will follow district-wide in Walton and throughout the state of Florida.  The document works in conjunction with screening questions approved by the Department of Health, which were provided at the beginning of the school year, and remain on the safety page of our district website.

 

We have received several questions this week regarding if parents will be notified regarding COVID-19 exposure.  The short answer is ABSOLUTELY!  When a student or employee is exposed to COVID-19, we immediately begin contact tracing with the support of our health department.  If your child meets the definition of exposure (less than 6 feet of contact for 15 minutes or longer), then you will be notified.  If you hear a rumor of a positive case but you have not been notified, that could mean that your child was not exposed or there was not a case at all.  Know that you will hear from us!  We are working hard to balance contact tracing while maintaining student and employee confidentiality and transparency.  We take these tasks seriously, handle them professionally, and will continue to do so.

 

We would also like to remind parents that today is the tenth day of school and the last day to make enrollment changes.  According to the Student Progression Plan, 4.0.5 states that all class changes must be made within ten school days into a new semester.  9.0 for Walton Virtual School also references the ten school days, stating once a semester has begun and the regular drop period has passed (ten days), a student may not withdraw.  Due to this, if you have chosen traditional/Innovative Learning Digital Academy and/or Walton Virtual, it is best for your student to remain in one of these two choices for the remainder of the fall semester (until December 18th).

 

With two more weeks to go until progress reports, please make sure you are signed up on the FOCUS Parent Portal.  As a member of the Parent Portal, you can check your child’s grades, attendance, and more!  To register for a FOCUS Parent Portal account, select FOCUS Connection for Parents on the district website. Please reach out to your school if you need further assistance. 

 

As always, we would like all parents of our brick and mortar students to continue to reiterate the importance of social distancing and the wearing of masks, when social distancing is not feasible, with their children.  Students - keep up the good work!

 

As the weeks continue, please know we will continue to make the necessary adjustments and best decisions for our students.  We want to continue to build upon our success with transparency.  We want our re-opening to be a positive experience for our community.

Re-opening Update for Parents 8/21/20

 

We are excited to wrap up our first week of school!  We want to thank everyone for being so supportive of not just the start to the 2020-2021 school year, but to all the changes that have taken place due to COVID-19.  Everyone has been so gracious and positive this week.  Students are working hard, faculty and staff have been innovative and flexible, and our parents have been awesome partners on this new journey.  We are glad to be back!

 

Because we want to continue the success of our first week, we would like all parents of our brick and mortar students to continue to reiterate the importance of social distancing and the wearing of masks, when social distancing is not feasible, with their children.  We found that as the week progressed, many students started to feel comfortable and more at ease in their surroundings and that’s encouraging, but we do want to continue to remind students that social distancing and masks are best practice until the pandemic is over.  Students - keep up the good work!

 

Thanks to all of our distance learning and virtual students and families as well.  Thank you for being a great team player this week as we have collaborated with technology and other new procedures.  Please remember we have a page devoted to our Innovative Learning Digital Academy, as well as Walton Virtual School, on our website. 

 

As the weeks continue, please know we will continue to make the right adjustments and best decisions for our students.  We want to continue to build upon our success, and we want our re-opening to be a positive experience for our community! 

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