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August 7, 2020


Re-opening Schools Update for Parents


We are now one week and one day away from re-opening our schools, and I wanted to update you on the key activities of the WCSD.


As employees returned to work, teachers and staff members were able to participate in a wide variety of trainings and meetings focused both on the re-opening of traditional school as well as our new Innovative Learning Digital Academy (ILDA) option. 


First, school principals kicked off the 2020-2021 school year at their respective schools.  Principals were able to share their school’s individual re-opening plans and procedures with staff, including schedules, lunch, special area, recess, arrival/dismissal, and more.  For questions and information that are school specific, please visit your school’s website for more information.


Second, the Curriculum and Instruction Department (C & I) provided numerous trainings for teachers and schools and continue to do so moving into next week.  Teachers are receiving advanced training from Microsoft on our ILDA platform, Microsoft TEAMS.  Teachers are also receiving training, have watched sample videos, and been able to troubleshoot the ILDA model.  C & I has created a new ILDA link on our website which includes frequently asked questions, video tutorials, and additional resources for parents and students.  C & I has also worked with special area teachers, such as art and music, to discuss specific safety protocols and procedures for art related topics, such as cleaning and sharing of materials.  C & I has also provided mental health trainings to better help staff support students when they return.


Third, the WCSD Safety Specialist was able to facilitate a training with school staff which included a presentation by Dr. Morell from the Florida Department of Health.  Dr. Morell specializes in communicable diseases and was able to provide both instructions on proper screening of employees and random screening of students as well as advisement on COVID-19 related concerns and questions.  Dr. Morell also spoke with all school nurses and was able to work through specific questions and sample scenarios that may occur within a school.  The WCSD has also posted the at home daily COVID-19 screener for parents of traditional students.


Finally, technology is preparing computers for ILDA and WVS school students as well as a new one-to-one initiative at our middle schools.  For students who are distance learning, schools will reach out to parents once computers are ready.


Thank you again for your support.   Please continue to check your school’s website for further information.  Many schools have provided written documents, videos, orientations, and/or live Q & A sessions to better help parents and prepare students for the August 17th return to school.

Orientation Information

July 29, 2020

Click below for information about orientation for the 2020-2021 school year.

Superintendent A. Russell Hughes will hold a

live virtual town hall to discuss the WCSD Reopening

Plan with a live Q & A session.

Monday, July 13, 2020

6:00-7:15 p.m.

Click Here to Join

Superintendent A. Russell Hughes has developed a Re-opening Plan for the Walton County School District (WCSD).  The plan, which was created through a Re-opening Task Force which began meeting in May, has been vetted by local experts, including the Florida Department of Health and Walton County Emergency Management.  The plan is a lengthy, internal document written as directions for employees, but this FAQ sheet has been written specifically with parents and students in mind.  As you read over this handout, please remember the COVID-19 situation is a fluid one.  Because the re-opening of schools is a local decision, we will continue to watch and learn from several data points, including COVID-19 numbers and locations, CDC and state guidelines, and Florida’s Re-open Plan, so there may be revisions to the plan as the summer progresses.  If you have any questions or concerns, please send a text to 850.204.9667 or call 850.892.1100.

A Message from Superintendent Hughes:

Due to the Commissioner of Education’s Emergency Order No. 2020-EO-06, the Walton County School District will now release our Re-opening Plan for the 2020-2021 school year by end of business on Wednesday, July 8th.  Thank you for being understanding and supportive as we create the best plan for our students and our employees.

Update from Superintendent A. Russell Hughes

June 11, 2020


Today, Governor DeSantis, Commissioner Corcoran, and the Florida Department of Education released a 150-page plan entitled “Re-opening Florida Schools and the CARES Act: Closing Achievement Gaps and Creating Safe Spaces for Learning”. The document provides specific guidance on many school topics, such as social distancing, mask use, transportation, academics, school events, and more. The report serves as a recommendation to Florida Superintendents and school districts and allows for local decision making based on what is best for individual counties.


Today’s announcement is great news for Walton, because we have been working on a re-opening plan specific to our needs for the past several weeks. As Superintendent, I created a Re-opening Task Force in May which is meeting regularly and includes expert stakeholders from the Florida Department of Health and Walton County Emergency Management. Many of the topics being focused on by the task force have been guided by COVID-19 data; Florida’s phases, which were established by our Governor; CDC guidelines; and our recent parent survey results. For example, in our survey data, only 5% of our parents indicated that their students may not return to our brick and mortar buildings and are considering Walton Virtual School. With that input, we immediately started preparing for our next steps and ultimately for the restart of our school year on August 10, 2020.


To start, we have carefully and strategically begun bringing small groups of students onto our campuses. On June 1st, we were able to serve families by opening our SPICE program to 180 students at four schools. To date, this program has been very successful, and the process has allowed us to transition effectively keeping our children and employees safe.


Our district will move to a second step on June 15th when we welcome an additional wave of students for the purpose or restarting extracurricular activities.  This next step will allow us to bring on more students and employees while still moving meticulously.  We have learned a great deal from these small steps, including everything from how to screen students and employees quickly and efficiently to keeping siblings together to minimize exposure.

Next, in July, we hope to continue bringing additional students back for our annual Summer Bridge and other types of educational programs to help fill in learning gaps from the last nine weeks and/or help students who may need a jumpstart to the 2020-2021 school year.


In preparation for the new year, we are working hard to provide answers, options, and innovative solutions.  As our state and nation moves forward, we will begin to see school districts across America discuss non-traditional ideas for the educational process.  We do know that school will look different.  COVID-19 effects, phases, and information may continue to change, so traditional school processes like scheduling, car drop off, school lunches, buses, and more may change with what we know and learn.  For example, whether we wear masks, not wear masks, or choose to wear masks, all will be addressed.  Please know over the coming weeks, our school district will determine what is best for all stakeholders.  We will work hard to achieve and are committed to the best re-opening plan for our district.  Rest assured, this task, and likewise making it EPIC, is taken seriously for the well-being of our children and greater community. 


Please continue to look for additional information from my office which will be rolled out in the weeks to come.  When decisions are made, you will be the first to know, and we will post the information as soon as we finalize it.  Until then, if you hear rumors or have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your school(s) and/or the district office.  Thank you for your trust, confidence, and belief in our school district, and thank you for giving us time and grace to make the best decisions for our children. 

VRB Families,

Your PTO has partnered with 1st Day School Supplies to offer a one-stop-shop for ordering your child's supplies for the 2020-2021 school year.  In an effort to provide a better expreience for our familes, you are able to have these supplies shipped directly to the school and they will be delivered to child's Homeroom teacher.  

The deadline to order through 1st Day School Supplies is July 1st.   If interested, please visit

We've also attached the school supply lists to our website if you prefer to shop locally.

I hope you all are enjoying your summer and your VRB administration is diligently planning for the 2020-2021 school year!

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