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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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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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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craig spezialeWhat do the new virtual school requirements mean for your student?  What’s the difference between AP and Honors courses?  Which high school classes offer college credit?  How do help prepare your middle school student for high school?  To answer these questions and more, don’t miss the free Davidson Speaker Series event on Thursday, Sept. 27th at 7 pm.  Open to all World Golf Village residents and neighbors, the new Speaker Series season kick off with an important Back to School topic geared to parents of current middle school and high school students.  Craig Speziale, Principal of Ponte Vedra High School and a seasoned academic administrator, will discuss getting students ready for high school and post-high school, including changing academic requirements that may impact current middle school and high school students. Says Speziale, “Successfully managing the transition from middle school to high school and from high school to college or other post high school opportunities can be a great advantage for students.  With recent changes in academic requirements in the state of Florida, we want to help parents understand the changes and be aware of the resources available and what the St. Johns County School District is doing to help prepare students.” 

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Davidson Appreciates Teachers ResizedOn Monday, Jan. 23rd the state Department of Education released their annual grades for county schools based on the 2011 FCAT results (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test), and various other categories.  For the fourth straight year, the St. Johns County School District is ranked number one in the entire state of Florida! With 67 total school Districts and 3,078 public and charter schools in all of Florida, it is quite an accomplishment to be consistently at the top each school year.

A lot of credit needs to be given to the students throughout St. Johns County for their hard work, dedication and performances, which is reflected by their overall school grades.  But the teaching staff in St. Johns County needs a standing ovation for the above and beyond attitude they put forth everyday to ensure our children’s bright futures.

That is why more than ever, we as a community need to come together and show our appreciation towards our local teaching staff. As of January 30th and running until February 13th, Davidson Realty’s 4th quarter of Davidson Appreciates Teachers is kicking off. They will be collecting nominations for all the resource teachers at Mill Creek Elementary and Wards Creek Elementary Schools, including PE, Guidance Counselors, Art, Media Specialists, Music, Computer and Spanish. 

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