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April 2022

In this Issue:


 
Did you Know?
 

Okaloosa County is the only school district in Florida to be designated as an Academically High Performing School District by the Florida Department of Education every year since 2012-2013.

What does it mean to be Academically High Performing?

1. TOP ACADEMICS: 
     Earn a grade of A for two consecutive years;
     has no district-operated schools that earn an "F"
2. CLASS SIZE COMPLIANCE: 
     Complies with ALL class size compliance requirements
3. STRONG FINANCIAL STANDING: 
     Has NO material weaknesses or instances of material noncompliance noted in its annual independent   financial audit

The Legislature created this distinction to recognize and reward school districts that demonstrate the ability to consistently maintain or improve their high-performing status.
 

In the Okaloosa County School District
Opportunities are Provided, Passions are Ignited,
and Everyone is Important!

OCSD Spotlight

Zot Artz Visits Silver Sands School

On April 11th, the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation sponsored an Artist in Residence at Silver Sands School. Dwayne Szot, the founder of Zot Artz, wants all students, regardless of physical ability, to be able to experience the magic of creating art. Mr. Szot has engineered different tools that can be connected to wheelchairs or handled by students who may have difficulty using traditional art tools. Watch the video to learn more!

Richbourg School Hosts Olympics

Richbourg students participated in the Richbourg School Winter Olympics. Each class got to pick a country they wanted to represent and learned about the country. Once the class picked their country, they had to make a replica of the flag and a poster with fun facts about their country. Students carried the flag and poster around the gym during the opening ceremony. Over two weeks, the students competed in 4 different events during PE (curling, slalom race, bobsledding single/double, and speed skating). They were awarded gold, silver, or bronze medals based on their placement in the events. Parents were invited to attend the closing ceremony to watch students receive their medals.

Anne T. Mitchell Award Ceremony

The School Board of Okaloosa County hosted the 48th Annual Anne T. Mitchell Academic Senior Honors Assembly on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, at the Northwest Florida State College Raider Arena. Five hundred eighty-three students were recognized for earning a Weighted Grade Point Average high enough to designate them Summa Cum Laude (4.25+), Magna Cum Laude (4.00-4.2499), or Cum Laude (3.75-3.9999) at their respective school. 

A highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Peggy Gorday Bruner Award, which is Okaloosa County’s highest award for educational achievement and excellence. Mrs. Bruner was a teacher in the Okaloosa County School District for 25 years and was married to former Superintendent Max Bruner. The 2022 nominees for the honor were Stella Hurley, Baker School; Amirah Ricks, Choctawhatchee High School; Aubrey Tew, Crestview High School; Olin Wolfgram, Fort Walton Beach High School; Dylan Adams, Laurel Hill School; and Page Dolloff, Niceville High School. Olin Wolfgram was named the most outstanding academic scholar among all of the county’s graduating classes!

Each honors student was highlighted in a video tribute to the Senior Class of 2022: The Stars of Tomorrow, which you can watch here: https://youtu.be/xtb1S_MTcds.

For your planning purposes, Graduation dates and times have been scheduled and can be found here: https://www.okaloosaschools.com/articles/2022/graduation-dates-2022 . Each ceremony will be streamed live on YouTube, and schools will distribute links closer to graduation!

Crestview High School Band Selected to Perform at Southeastern Regional Concert Band Festival

The Crestview HS Wind Ensemble was recommended and selected to perform at the Southeastern Regional Concert Band Festival, an invitational event sponsored by Music for All. The event was held at Georgia State University’s Rialto Theatre in Atlanta. 

The program included “O Vos Omnes,” a piece that was commissioned for the Crestview Band. The music was arranged and conducted by Dr. Clifton Taylor, the Associate Director of Bands at Mississippi State University. 

“The band received rave reviews from four world-renowned clinicians as well as other bands, band directors, and audience members in attendance,” said Jody Dunn, Crestview HS Director of Bands. “Okaloosa County was well-represented at this most prestigious event by the Crestview High School Band members!”

Okaloosa Public Arts Banner Contest

Twenty-three Okaloosa County School District high school students were recently recognized at the Cinco Bayou Town Council as winners of the Okaloosa Public Arts (OPA) banner contest.

OPA Board Member Toni Dineen presented each winner with a check and displayed the banners before a packed audience of parents, family members, and the Okaloosa County School District representatives. The banners will be hung on poles along Eglin Parkway from the Cinco Bayou Bridge to Hughes Street. Mayor Jean Hood said, “The Town of Cinco Bayou is honored to partner with the OPA to display this incredible artwork.”

“Okaloosa Public Arts is an organization of Okaloosa County artists and other citizens who are committed to providing exceptional and meaningful art in our public spaces through private donations,” according to contest coordinator and OPA Board Member Toni Dineen.

Congratulations to these high school winners:
  • Laurel Hill School – Heaven Green, Calie Steele, Maryssa Bryan, Briana Mott
  • Fort Walton High School – Sophia Krantz, Jayde Claybrook, Eliana Batarao, Evdokia Watkins
  • Crestview High School – Zoe Van Zandt, Katie Everett, Fiona Adair, Vivian Brooks
  • Destin High School – Hope Wheatley, Megan Kurtz, Tony Martin, Colt Moore
  • Niceville High School – Paetyn Hoffman, Natalie Larsen, Samantha Feldman, Lillian Mook
  • Choctawhatchee High School – April Boutin, Yvonne McDaniel, Laikyn Worth
Choctawhatchee High School
Mayor Jean Hood, Sarah Harris (Art Educator), Yvonne McDaniel, Laikyn Worth, and April Boutin, Lisa Hall (Art Educator), and School Board Member Linda Evanchyk.
Crestview High School 
Mayor Jean Hood, Alex Pottinger (Art Educator), Vivian Brooks, Zoe Van Zandt, Fiona Adair, Katie Everett, and School Board Member Linda Evanchyk
Laurel Hill School
Winning banners created by Briana Mott, Maryssa Bryan, Heaven Green, and Calie Steele.
Niceville High School
Mayor Jean Hood, Darla Jones (Art Educator), Samantha Feldman, Natalie Larsen, Lillian Mook, Paetyn Hoffman (not pictured), and School Board Member Linda Evanchyk.
Fort Walton Beach High School
Mayor Jean Hood, Kim Moran (Art Educator), Principal John Spolski, Sophia Krantz (not pictured), Eliana Batarao, Evdokia Watkins, Jayde Claybrook, and School Board Member Linda Evanchyk.

Proclamations

Theater Arts

Fort Walton Beach High School (FWBHS) Senior, Amy Syverson, was instrumental in drafting the Theatre Arts Proclamation passed by the School Board in March.  Syverson is pictured above with Jason Blanks, FWBHS Theatre Arts Director, Lisa Tucker, OCSD Fine Arts Specialist, and Superintendent Marcus Chambers. Syverson serves on the International Thespian Student Leadership Council (ITSLC). The ITSLC is an initiative of the International Thespian Society with the goal of connecting student leaders from across the world to better theatre education for all students.

Fine Arts

Educators and administrators represented OCSD Fine Arts programs at the March 14 School Board Meeting for the Proclamation of Fine Arts Appreciation Month. The Proclamation honors the continued excellence and positive impacts of the fine and performing arts education program on student achievement. The schools' fine arts education includes a broad range of educational experiences and academic content accessible to all students through band, chorus, art, and theater courses.
World Autism Month
 
April is World Autism Month! Light it up Blue and spread Autism Awareness while also spreading kindness!
Child Abuse Prevention Month
 
National Child Abuse Awareness Month is observed during the month of April to recognize the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect. The Okaloosa County School District visited the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center this morning to offer our support to Sheriff Eric Aden as he read and affirmed a proclamation to continue the fight against and eradicate child abuse.
READ MORE
Month of the Military Child
 

Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation observing April 2022 as the Month of the Military Child (MOMC) in Florida to pay tribute to military children and youth for their commitment, their struggles, and their unconditional support of our troops - because when parents serve in the military, their kids are heroes too.

Let's Celebrate.....Military Youth together by wearing purple for the month of April. Purple highlights all branches of service.

For more information, visit the Military page on this website.

Our schools are doing great things to show their support for Military Children and recognize their sacrifices this month. Bluewater Elementary decorated classroom doors and invited Military dads to come to see the students' country reports on display in their cafeteria. Eglin Elementary is participating in Spirit Week the April 18-22. These are just a couple of examples of how we are showing appreciation to the military dependents enrolled in our schools!
Reading Scholarships still available!
 
Applications for the Reading Scholarship Accounts sponsored by Step Up for Students and Just Read, Florida will be open through the end of April. Eligible students include all public school students in grades 3 through 5 who scored a Level 1 or 2 on their FSA ELA in grades 3 or 4 in the Spring of 2021 (last school year). The $500 scholarship can be used by families on things such as after-school tutoring in reading or summer reading programs!

More information is available at StepUpForStudents.org/Reading. It is most helpful to include the student’s FLEID on the application. The students may be asked for their ELA score report, but it is not required to complete the application.

New Buses

The Okaloosa County School District now has a bus replacement program and we are extremely excited about it! In the past, we purchased school buses when we could no longer fix them (and when we could afford to). This resulted in OCSD’s fleet being labeled the oldest in the state.

Our Superintendent Chambers and our School Board Members have been working together to create the Bus Replacement Program we now have in place. "I thank each of our Board Members for their vision and commitment to modernizing our bus fleet" said Superintendent Chambers. Because of the Half-Cent Sales Tax, funds in our Capital Outlay Project have been freed up, allowing us to purchase 40 new school buses in 2020-2021 and another 20 new school buses in 2021-2022. These four school buses are the first to arrive with the “22” sticker on the bumper!

The new buses have the latest safety and technology features available, and we are proud to have the "Okaloosa District Schools" name on them!

FOCUS

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: https://www.okaloosaschools.com/articles/2022/registration 

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:
https://bit.ly/FamilyPortalLogin

Need more info?
https://bit.ly/ELCOffices

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 https://www.okaloosaschools.com/ 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 the end of April. Thank you for your continued partnership which helps to make Okaloosa County Schools even better! Complete the survey now!

2022 Graduation Dates and Times

Copyright © 2022 Okaloosa County School District, All rights reserved.


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