School Board Update
December 16, 2012
O I know that your hearts are breaking along with mine in the wake of yesterday's tragic events in Connecticut. I want to reassure our parents that your children's safety is of paramount concern to the St. Johns County School District. You should have received an Alert Now message from your principal yesterday, letting you know that each of them met with their staffs yesterday afternoon to review our emergency procedures to make sure that everyone is fully aware of the procedures we have in place should an emergency occur on campus. Regular drills of all emergency situations are held on each campus so that all staff will be prepared to act quickly to ensure the safety of our children should the need arise.
Dr. Joyner spoke with the St. Johns County Sheriff's Department yesterday, immediately upon learning of the events in Connecticut. The Sheriff's Department is providing us with extra support next week, with a more visible presence on our campuses. Every effort is being made to make certain that our children are safe. Should you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact our district office or me personally.
On a less somber note, our School Board voted at our meeting on Tuesday to approve the issuance of up to $40 million in bonds to finance two new K-8 schools, which are scheduled to open in the fall of 2014. These schools will be located in the Durbin Crossing and Nocatee developments and will address the overcrowding in our schools generated by the fast growth in these two areas. Building both schools at once allows us to mitigate rising construction costs and to provide needed seats more quickly. When these bonds are sold, our borrowing capacity will be essentially capped. State law allows districts to bond up to 75% of the anticipated revenue generated by ad valorem taxes. We are seeking ways to continue to address the rapid growth in our county (we are the fastest growing in Florida). After building
these two schools, we will not have the funding necessary to construct other new schools for quite some time.
Two of our career academies recently received the 2012 Intergenerational Legacy Award from the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. Stellar Academy of Engineering at Allen D. Nease High School and Academy of Architecture and Building Sciences at Pedro Menendez High School, along with St. Johns Housing Partnership, worked together in service learning projects benefitting the elderly, helping to bridge the gap between generations. I am very proud of these students as well as students from multiple schools who have taken part in food and clothing drives, monetary collections, and many other service activities to benefit our community. We are truly blessed to have students who understand the benefit of working for the benefit of all the citizens of St. Johns County.
May each of you have a very joyous holiday season. If I may serve you in any way, please contact me at email@example.com.
St. Johns County School Board