With all the news coverage about COVID-19, it can be difficult to know how to get the most accurate and up-to-date information to protect yourself and your family.

Further, plenty of misinformation is circulating about prevention. Here are the most basic do’s and don’ts as curated from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Do:  Wash your hands often, for 20 seconds or longer. Also, use hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol.

Don’t: Rely on face masks to protect you. According to Johns Hopkins, “For the general public without respiratory illness, wearing lightweight disposable surgical masks is not recommended. Because they don’t fit tightly, they may allow tiny infected droplets to get into the nose, mouth or eyes.”

Do:  Go about your regular activities but try to keep a distance of at least 2-3 feet from those around you. Also, avoid large groups and mass gatherings. In fact, Gov. DeSantis has asked that all mass gatherings in the state be cancelled for the next month.

Don’t: Try to prevent or kill the COVID-19 virus by ingesting, gargling or applying harsh chemicals to your body. It has been rumored that chlorine bleach or alcohol can mitigate the spread. WHO says this is not true and is very dangerous.

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The St. Johns County School District hosted two town hall meetings to present zoning changes for local high schools, and as a result, has announced newly revised plans.

The new WGV school, currently referred to as High School HHH, will be built on International Golf Parkway next to Mill Creek Academy.

According to the zoning revisions, students who live in areas located west of I95 (all of World Golf Village) will be rezoned from Nease High School to High School HHH once complete. This extends to CR 16A south of Shearwater as well as Orangedale (the portion east of Trout Creek and SR 16). Areas west of Trout Creek are proposed to remain at Bartram Trail.

The rezoning from Nease to HHH will also include a few areas east of I95 including Bannon Lakes, Markland and homes along North Francis Road.

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The St. Johns County School District will host two town hall meetings next week to explore the possibilities for changes to attendance zoning regarding the planned high school, for now known as “High School HHH.” The public is encouraged to attend.

High School HHH is expected to open in time for the 2021-2022 school year. According to WJCT, “It will be built at 11200 St. Johns Parkway at the intersection with International Golf Parkway.”

The new proposed zoning plan will be shared at the town hall meetings, and attendees will have a chance to comment directly to School Board members and district staff. They will also discuss plans for a future “High School III” and possible attendance zoning changes related to SilverLeaf.

The following schools will be impacted by the proposal: Allen D. Nease High SchoolBartram Trail High SchoolCreekside High SchoolLiberty Pines AcademyMill Creek AcademyPacetti Bay Middle School and Switzerland Point Middle School.

Here are the details on each meeting (the same info will be presented at both meetings):

  • Tuesday, February 25at 6:30 p.m. at Nease High School (10550 Ray Road)
  • Thursday, February 27at 6:30 p.m. at Bartram Trail High School (7399 Longleaf Pine Parkway)
 
 
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Being the No. 1 school district in the state means more and more families are moving to the area to take advantage of the outstanding schools. Compared to last year’s first day of school, this year’s first day saw a 6% increase in students county-wide, or 2,240 additional kids.

With this big increase, officials are working hard to maintain our outstanding reputation for academic excellence—and safety.

More associate teachers have been needed to meet the demand and stay compliant with maximum classroom capacities (18 kids for K-3, 22 kids for 4-8, and 25 for high schoolers). In fact, even after the start of the school year on August 12, the county still has job openings for teachers, paraprofessionals, custodians and food service workers.

Beyond the increased needs for staff and faculty, new measures are being taken to ensure schools remain safe from potential threats. Terrible tragedies, like the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, have had a major impact on how all schools approach their own security.

Here are a few changes the district is making to keep your kids safe:

– New surveillance system:A new security surveillance system called Omnicast is being rolled out, which allows the Sheriff’s office to view school camera feeds from a single location. According to the school district’s CIO Bruce Patrou, “A number of schools are now online. We expect to have all of the remaining cameras online over the next two to three months.”

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The Greater World Golf Village Area, from International Golf Parkway (IGP), across S.R. #16 to C.R. #208 and from U.S. #1 to the St. Johns River, is on the cusp of another infrastructure boost.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is underway with design and engineering plans to build north and south Managed Lanes (aka, High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes) on Interstate 95 between IGP and I-295. The approximate 15 mile improvement will be toll-regulated, and like the recently completed segment of I-295 from I-95 to the St. Johns River, will be accessed through the Florida SunPass transponder system.

Since IGP will be the southern portal to the improvement, the I-95 / IGP Interchange (Exit 323) will also be improved by the FDOT, regards ingress, egress, stacking, signalization and vehicle flow. FDOT has nearly completed their ramp and signalization improvement designs. They have also taken care to save, in place, as many of the existing Southern Live Oaks as possible – coupled with a re-planting and treescape supplemental effort.

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Davidson Realty agent Mirtha Barzaga recently held back-to-school drives at the King & Bear Amenity Center and Heritage Landing Amenity Center in World Golf Village. Mirtha collected school supplies to benefit kids in need at several St. Johns County Schools.

The turnout was fantastic at both events, helping lots of students to start the school year off right! Generous donors delivered essential supplies like backpacks, notebooks, folders, markers, crayons, scissors and more.

“Many local students don’t have the basic things they need for school, which makes academic success all the more difficult for them,” said Mirtha. “These supplies help give students the confidence they need to learn, knowing they have the necessary tools.”

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Summer break will soon be ending for St. Johns County students (first day of school is Friday, August 10) and the school district has plenty of resources to help families prepare for the upcoming school year. Here are some excellent online sources for schedules, news and enrollment information.

Enrollment

School enrollment is easy! Just visit the St. Johns County Schools enrollment page to get started. It is recommended that parents register their kids as soon as possible to help reduce the volume of students enrolling when school starts and help the district prepare for the appropriate number of teachers.

Please note:If you are already enrolled, you may still need to take action! Current students must update residency documentation before transitioning to middle (6th grade) and high school (9th grade)!

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The Florida Department of Education recently announced that St. Johns County has once again come out on top in Florida State Assessment (FSA) scores!

Among all 67 Florida counties, St. Johns had the highest percentage of students scoring Level 3 or better in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics (scale is 1 to 5, 5 being the highest possible score).

In fact, our average was 74% in ELA, while the state average was 54%. Math scores were equally as stellar, with St. Johns schools averaging 80% (state average was 60%).

Beverly Slough, district one representative on the St. Johns County School Board, said she is very pleased with the newly announced scores and the county’s placement.

 

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Did you know that hundreds of children in St. Johns County qualify as homeless? Let’s come together to make sure they have what they need to start their school year off right! Davidson Realty agent Mirtha Barzaga is hosting a Back to School Supply Drive on August 5th and 6th to collect items like backpacks, pencils, lunch boxes, highlighters, calculators, colored pencils and more!

The Supply Drive is to support children in need from Kindergarten through eighth grade at our local schools. Each grade has a specific list of needs, which you can view by visiting http://www.davidsonrealtyinc.com/resources/events or Davidson Realty’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/davidsonrealty. Any items you can provide would be so appreciated!

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Northern St. Johns County has become one of the area’s most desired locations for homebuyers. It’s no wonder! Residents enjoy quick access to Jacksonville and an A-rated school district—all set against a pastoral backdrop of live oaks and palm trees (not to mention great golf).

In recent years, the area has experienced significant residential and commercial growth. The U.S. Census Bureau places St. Johns County as the 11th fastest-growing county in the U.S. (based on 2013/2014 estimates).

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