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March 2022

In this Issue:

OCSD Spotlight

2nd Annual College and Career Fair

The Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation (OPSF) hosted the 2nd Annual College and Career Fair for high school students on Saturday at Beachside Community Church in Fort Walton Beach. The event brought 200 high school students and many of their parents face-to-face with 52 local businesses, colleges, and military branches. Students heard inspiring and informative presentations from Senior Director Brian Barnes of the College Board and Michele Burns from Career Source Okaloosa/Walton. The presentation from Career Source Okaloosa/Walton addressed resume building and interview skills for students. Students were also able to complete a unique interest inventory using Tratify that identified careers suited for them. Read more about this amazing event!

Ms. Karen Peek, Teacher Professional Services Program Director, Ms. Terri Baum, Certification Analyst, and Ms. Jill McNamara, Consulting Teacher did a great job recruiting new employees for the Okaloosa County School District at the 2nd Annual College and Career Fair!

OCSD Spotlight


​Three years ago, Peggy Brockman of United for a Good Cause came to Superintendent Chambers with a proposal. She wanted to bring a national program called HOPE Squad into each of the Okaloosa County School District schools. HOPE Squad is a peer-to-peer youth suicide prevention program in which students and advisors participate in training to help those who feel helpless find the help and HOPE that they need. Mr. Chambers said, “YES” without hesitation.

Fast forward to the first week of March 2022- We are hosting our inaugural HOPE Week and HOPE Squad conference. OCSD welcomed Dr. Greg Hudnall, the founder of HOPE Squad, from Utah. He hosted two community information sessions in Okaloosa County and two in our neighboring Santa Rosa and Escambia Counties. On Friday, March 4th, he and Superintendent Chambers traveled to six of our schools to talk to the HOPE Squad members about their importance. Keep Reading

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Middle School i-Ready Diagnostic Celebrations!

The second i-Ready diagnostic is in the books, and there is cause for celebration!  Schools around the district are getting creative in acknowledging students’ growth.  Melissa Bowell, principal of Meigs Middle School, credits her Math and ELA department and grade-level chairs with the idea of providing an ice cream truck for students showing growth on both diagnostics.  Bowell says, “IT was a BLAST today!”  The administration at Destin Middle School pushed carts around the school delivering treats to students based on typical or stretch growth.  Bruner decided to forgo the calories and schedule a 4-Square Tournament while Davidson teachers select from incentives ranging from a note or call home or Panther Praise tickets as rewards. Fridays in February at Davidson include extended cell phone privileges for students achieving 70% or higher overall growth. What ingenious ways to show students that progress matters!

Math Discourse

Let's Give them Something to Talk About!

Math Discourse is the process of engaging students in math talk. It is a way for students to explain their thinking, methods, and strategies in solving problems. Using this strategy helps students retain math concepts and gain confidence as mathematicians. Teachers in Okaloosa County have been using discourse cards and thinking processes to help students become fluent in Math Discourse. Practice at home can reinforce these skills.
i-Ready Math Discourse for Families provides activities and Discourse Cards to use with your student at home. These cards were designed to support families and students engaging in mathematical discussions. 
The links below provide tips for using Math Discourse and sample activities for Grades K-5 and Grades 6-8 at home.

i-Ready Classroom Mathematics Discourse Activities For Families K–5 2021 (

i-Ready Classroom Mathematics Discourse Activities For Families 6–8 2021 (

i-Ready Classroom Mathematics Discourse Cards For Families 2021 (


Civics in OCSD

The Florida Joint Center for Citizenship provides teachers, students, and parents with a standards-based civics curriculum, online instruction, and EOC assessment practice modules. If students are absent from Civics class, they can access lessons on the websites provided by clicking on the flier. 


Career Experiences Class at OTC

The We GROW / Career Experiences Class at Okaloosa Technical College is designed for students with Unique Skills to gain employability skills necessary to transition from High School to the workforce. The students participate in simulated employment while developing soft skills to prepare them for future careers in the community. The students have the opportunity to earn school-based certifications in Auto Detailing, Landscaping/Groundskeeping, Culinary Arts, Office Assistant, and Hotel/Motel Housekeeping. The students also participate in several School-Based Enterprises, including Auto Detailing, Landscaping, School Store, and a Christmas Woodworking Shop. The program assists students in obtaining gainful employment after exiting the program. 


Student Information System

Kindergarten and New Student Registration is open now for the 2022-2023 school year! Parents will create a FOCUS Parent Portal account to begin the process. Please find more information about registration on our website: 

If you prefer, you can visit the school you register with and use their registration kiosk in the front office.

*Please note that parents registering students for the CURRENT school year (2021-2022) will use our original parent portal, which can also be accessed via the link above!

VPK Registration

Voluntary Pre-K Registration is OPEN and available for students whose 4th birthday falls between February 2nd and September 1st.

Register through the Florida Division of Early Learning Family Portal:

Need more info?

Half-Cent Sales Tax Update

Citizen's Oversight Committee

Safety Related Half-Cent Sales Tax Construction Projects Continue

School safety is a priority of our Superintendent and School Board. Work is ongoing in the area of school safety as the district is in the final stages of single point of entry and perimeter security projects funded through the Half-Cent Sales Tax. The remaining schools are scheduled to be finished this summer. Also, construction should begin this summer on multi-purpose buildings at our high schools, including Baker. The order in which those projects will begin has not been finalized. The bid process for the remaining construction projects (classroom additions and cafetoriums) will occur over the next few months. All of the construction projects are competitively bid and pricing is subject to third-party validation. 
The Citizens’ Oversight Committee regularly receives information to track expenditures and to stay apprised of the status of projects on the schools’ sales tax lists. For more information, visit the Capital Projects Dashboard at  

Material Adoptions

The Okaloosa County School District is currently examining materials for adoption to be used in elementary, middle, and high school math classes. Links and login information are available on for teachers, parents, and members of the public wishing to review the materials being considered.

Parent Survey

Your Feedback is Important!

Parent Surveys are a great opportunity for parents to provide feedback and suggestions to the school their child attends.  You may submit a survey for each child attending an Okaloosa County School by clicking the image on the right. The survey does not require a Student ID and is web-based.  This survey will remain open through March 25, 2022. Thank you for your continued partnership which helps to make Okaloosa County Schools even better! Complete the survey now!

2022 Graduation Dates and Times

2022 Spring Break

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