School Board announces Read to Feed program, approves targeted Math and STEM Grant – The Defuniak Herald & Beach Breeze

[The Defuniak Herald] School Board announces Read to Feed program, approves targeted Math and STEM Grant – The Defuniak Herald & Beach Breeze

Story by ADRIANNE WALLINE CAMPBELL 

The Walton County School Board held its regular meeting on Jan, 17, 2023, at the South Walton High School. 

April Wilkes, Executive Director of the St. Joe Community Foundation and Tiffany Nelson of Food for Thought Outreach Inc. announced the “Read to Feed” Elementary Literacy Program Kick-Off. The “Read to Feed” initiative that helps Walton County School District students raise funds to provide free lunches to fellow students in need. The Read to Feed initiative grants $0.25 to Food For Thought Outreach for each successfully completed accelerated reader test with a score of 80% and above. This is the second year for the program. 

On the consent agenda:

• Paxton High School received approval for a band student to travel to Miami, FL on January 26-29, 2023, for FROST Honor Band. The Frost Honor Band Festival brings approximately 150 talented high school instrumentalists from the State of Florida to the University of Miami Frost School of Music for two days of rehearsals, master classes by Frost School artist faculty, and a final concert. 

• South Walton High School received approval for the Competitive Cheer Team to travel to Orlando, FL via charter bus on February 9-13, 2023, for the 2023 National High School Cheerleading Championship. 

• Walton High School received approval for FFA members to travel to Gainesville, FL on January 27-28, 2023, for the University of Florida Meats and Livestock Evaluation Clinic.

• Approval was given for a purchase exceeding $25,000.00 – St. Joe Grant – VPK (Voluntary Prekindergarten) purchase from LakeShore for the WISE school in the amount of $37,269.05. It is the first public magnet school in Walton County, Florida. 

• Paxton Band Students received approval to travel to Troy University in Troy, Alabama on February 2-4, 2023, to participate in the SEUS (Southeastern United States) Honor Band. 

A Contract Between Walton County School District on behalf of Emerald Coast Middle School and the Emerald Coast Fitness Foundation, Inc. was approved, as well as approval of the Swim Team Schedule for 2022-2023 School Year. Practices begin in February at the Destin Aquatic Center (DAC) in Destin. Walton County School District Property Deletions Second Quarter of S/Y 2022-2023. Disposal of outdated assets including summer computer refresh 2022 and transportation nineteen (19) buses and two (2) trucks. 

Approval was given for a Targeted Math and STEM Grant in the amount of $ 310,494.00.

Approval was given for an ARP (American Rescue Plan) ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) Supplemental Programming in the amount of $653,911.00. 

Approval was given for Intensive Afterschool and Weekend Academies in the amount of $507,088.00. 

Approval was given for ARP (American Rescue Plan) ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) Instructional Materials Grant in the amount of $ 338,880.00.

Certificate of Substantial Completion for Freeport Elementary School Phase 2A was given. Grand Opening will be on Jan. 24. 

The board agreed to advertise for Architectural and Engineering Services for Educational Ancillary Facilities in DeFuniak Springs, FL., a new board room facility. 

The board approved Work Order #2 and GMP (guaranteed maximum price) to Allstate Construction for MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) repairs on the WISE center. 

A lease was renewed with VESTA Housing Solutions, LLC for Relocatables at Paxton, Bay, and Butler. 

Jeri Michie was appointed to the 2023-2024 Calendar Committee. Other members are: Darlene Paul, Chair; Josh Harrison, WCSD Representative; Heather Gainey, WCSD Representative; Kaye Black, WCSD Representative; Susan Moody, WCEA Representative; Jeffery Patrick, WCEA Representative; Victoria Wilkerson, WCEA Representative, and Christina Weeks, WCEA Representative.