School Board plans May 22 staff walkthrough at new Freeport Middle School

ARCHITECT MARIBEL PARZYCH EMI (l) and Jill Smith, Walton County School District Facilities Director (r).

Story by ADRIANNE WALLINE CAMPBELL 

The Walton County School District held its regular meeting at the Tivoli Complex/Board Room on May 7, 2024. Board member Jason Catalano was not present. 

The board approved a free trial of SmartPass digital permission slip system to be used at South Walton High School for the remainder of the 2023-2024 school year and will purchase SmartPass for the 2024-2025 school year. The cost for the 2024-2025 school year will be $6,805. Dustin Shroyer, Assistant Principal at South Walton High School explained its value to the school. 

An agreement was made between the School Board and the Northwest Florida Community Hospital, and North Walton Doctors Hospital, for the purpose of providing learning experiences for the students enrolled in health sciences programs at Emerald Coast Technical College and Health Medical Academy at South Walton High School. Health Science programs include Practical Nursing, Patient Care Technician, Pharmacy Technician, and Nursing Assistant. The Hospital will permit the use of the institution for Health Science students for supervised experience in a clinical facility and concurrent related instruction. The agreement will be for one year and will automatically renew each year until terminated. A similar agreement was made with HCA Florida North Florida Hospital in Gainesville for the field of Practical Nursing. 

TINA RUSHING, Marketing and Key Accounts Representative of CHELCO.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between MetroPower and Emerald Coast Technical College was approved. MetroPower is an electrical contractor serving the greater Southeastern U.S. since 1947. They specialize primarily in the needs of the Industrial, Healthcare, Federal and Premier Commercial market segments. This establishes a partnership that provides access for apprentices of MetroPower to gain college credit for completion of MetroPower’s Apprenticeship Program, which is an approved registered apprenticeship program through the GA Department of Labor.  The college credit can be applied toward the attainment of a Florida Vocational Certificate in Plumbing from ECTC and a Certificate of Completion from the GA Department of Labor. The courses available are 1. Helper, Plumber, Pipefitter; 2. Residential Plumber; 3. Commercial Plumber; and 4. Plumbing Applications. 

Two Public Hearings were held, the first was for K-12 Science materials that will be recommended to the school board for adoption. No one commented and was approved. The second was to adopt amendments to school board rules/policies. No one commented with this one either and was approved. “The purpose of this policy is to set forth the investment objectives and parameters for the management of public funds of the School Board of Walton County, Florida (hereinafter “School Board”). These policies are designed to ensure the prudent management of public funds, the availability of operating and capital funds when needed, and an investment return competitive with comparable funds and financial market indices.”

Property Deletions for the third quarter were approved. They can be purchased on govdeals.com, and the list can be found on https://go.boarddocs.com/fl/waltonsd/Board.nsf/files/D4KHZM4AE79A/$file/Junk24Q3.pdf 

Personnel Recommendations & Personnel Addendum that were approved included the transfer of Nina Borthwick to the position of Principal of South Walton High School from the position of Assistant Principal. She is replacing Alexis Tibbetts. 

Approval was given to purchase Write Score for ELA (English Language Arts) aligned Assessments and Hand-Scored Literacy Assessment Programs for $115,096.16. 

Approval was given for the revisions to the 2022-2025 District English Language Learners (ELL) Plan. “Our current District English Language Learners (ELL) Plan is in effect until 2025.  However, Rule 6A-6.0903 F.A.C. addressed requirements for exiting English Language Learners from the ESOL program.  To address the revisions required by the rule, FLDOE asked all districts to make the technical changes to assessments and to align the terminology that was adopted.  We were directed to underline the new language and strike out the deleted words in specific sections. These changes are relatively minor and remove the specific names of assessments such as WIDA ACCESS 2.0, which is referred to in Rule as the statewide English Language Proficiency Assessment and to remove the FSA and rename it the statewide English/reading assessment.  Therefore, as the names of assessments are changed in the future, they will continue to be referred to as a “statewide” exam for the specific area. These revisions do not alter our provision of services to this population of students, but specifically address the steps denoted in the approved Rule.  Pages 18 & 19 contain the majority of required steps for exiting students, which directly correlate with our practice.”   

DUSTIN SHROYER, Assistant Principal/TSA, South Walton High School.

The Notice of Rule Development will be advertised in the DeFuniak Springs Herald – Beach Breeze newspaper beginning on May 30, 2024. The advertisement for the Notice of Intent will run in the newspaper on June 6, 2024. The public hearing for the Code of Conduct will be scheduled for July 2, 2024, with approval of the document immediately following. The advertisement for the 2024-2025 Student Progression Plan will also be advertised at the same time. 

Approval was given for Renaissance Place Linking Study Addendum. Back on September 5, 2023, the Board approved the renewal of Renaissance Place licenses for the 2023-24 school year in the amount of $60,143.60. The budget source is ARP ESSER 3 Formula Grant. 

Agreement with EPIC Consulting, Inc. for Coaching/Consulting Services was approved. Service Provider agrees to provide the development and delivery of professional learning opportunities with content related to Differentiated Instruction created to meet the content specific requests of representatives of the School Board. Jodi O’Meara is an educational consultant, author, certified life coach and professional developer for educators and administrators. Service provider will be paid up to $3,000.00 per day not to exceed twenty days. 

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Nova Southeastern University, Inc. and Walton County School District was agreed upon. The MOU was entered into on behalf of its College of Psychology. Walton County School District is in need of expanding capacity to provide mental health services to students in high need schools; desires to encourage and facilitate District employees to advance their education in school psychology or school counseling and is also willing to provide NSU trainees with opportunities to complete fieldwork, including practicum and internship training. They wish to create a school-based mental health educational association for the purpose of placing NSU trainees into the Walton County Public Schools System as mental health service providers (school psychologists and school counselors). This agreement will be for five years. 

FOCUS add-on: Document Management Module, Product Schedule Agreement was approved at a cost of $5,777.44. It scans physical documents into a student-centric document center and categorizes them. 

Master Service Agreement between Lumen/CenturyLink and School Board of Walton County was approved for $1,649.75 monthly. This is for the internet for South Walton High School. 

Approval was given to CHELCO to use the Little League Park for a post-storm staging area should we be impacted by a major hurricane. They will also use Maude Saunders Elementary School for Post-Storm Meal Prep. Tina Rushing, Marketing and Key Accounts Representative, said it would cost approximately $1 million per week to construct and maintain a “tent city.” 

A Contingency Modification #1 to Allstate Construction for WISE Center Renovations in the amount of $56,815.00 was approved. 

Jill Smith, Facilities Director gave a Project Update and Design Rendering Review for Educational Ancillary Facilities that is planned to be built on Walton Road, not far from Walton High School. Pre-Construction Fees with Allstate Construction for the Educational Ancillary Facilities for $160,063.00 were approved as well as the Owner and Construction Manager Agreement. EMI Architects have designed the project, and the front of the building and parking lot faces east. It will be a 2-story building with a lot of natural light. A complete set of drawings to be expected in November, and construction is expected to be complete in 18 months. 

Smith also gave a Project Update for the New Freeport Middle School Project. On May 22, a staff walkthrough is planned. Furniture and technology are expected to be delivered and set up on July 8 and the move from the old Freeport Middle School will commence at that time. August 2 will be the first day for teachers and the students first day will be on August 13. “This has been quite an undertaking, and everyone is excited to see it open!” 

Payment for the Small District Council Assessment Invoice for 2024/25 in the amount of $350 was approved. 

Approved Consent Agenda:

• Freeport High School Criminal Justice Program Students to Travel to Dothan, Alabama on May 6, 2024, and May 15, 2024, for 911 Certification Testing.

• Paxton High School Track Team Member to Travel to Bradenton, Florida on May 3-5, 2024, to Attend a Middle Grades Track Meet at IMG Academy.

• Walton Middle School FFA Creed Team to Travel to Orlando, Florida on June 9 – 14, 2024, to Attend Florida FFA Creed Events and FFA Summer Convention.

• Walton Middle School FFA to Travel to Orlando, Florida on June 10 – 14, 2024, to Attend Florida FFA Summer Convention.

• Walton Middle School SeaPerch Team to Travel to College Park, Maryland on May 30 – June 2, 2024, to Compete in the SeaPerch International Competition.

• Purchase Order Dell for $213,737.52 Staff Laptop Refresh

• Purchase Order Dell for $384,441.60 Summer Refresh & Elementary

• Purchase Order for $428,910 for Dynabook for Refresh and Elementary

• Purchase Order for UDT for $117,160.00 for Jar Carts

• The purchase order will help upgrade all camera servers across the district. Walton County School District received notification that the 2024 Hardening Grant application submitted has been approved with $158,275.25 allocated to the camera server upgrade project. The additional funding ($70,782.61) for the camera upgrade project will come from the school safety budget. Security Engineering will be installing the new camera servers for the district. The total amount is $229,057.86. 

• A purchase order for Rinker Materials and Superior Drainage Products for South Walton High Stadium Improvements in the amount of $173,467.74.