Superintendent Bobby Pearce is excited to continue Wakulla County school improvements for the upcoming 2014-2015 year that begins for students on August 18. “We made some great strides last year, and I am happy to see that we can plan on doing some improvements at each level of elementary, middle, and high school while still keeping a careful eye on the taxpayers’ dollars,” he notes.
Student safety is a priority at every school, and Riversink Elementary School is piloting a buzz-in system for visitors. Using federal Homeland Security dollars allotted to the district, RES was chosen because it has the newest doors to support the system with very little structural changes needed. “If it is as successful as we expect, we will be looking at all of our schools in the future,” states Pearce.
At Wakulla Middle School, renovations from last year’s HVAC upgrades continue to bring the WMS campus on par with the Riversprings Middle School facilities. Wakulla Middle will receive a completely new gym floor, as well as new exterior doors, locks, and new bathroom doors. All of this is paid for through earmarked money that can only be used on facilities.
Both middle schools and Wakulla High School will benefit from a revived Chorus program, giving students who love to sing or who want to learn how to sing yet another opportunity to enjoy the arts.
In addition, Wakulla High School will join the pre-kindergarten, elementary and middle schools in providing a breakfast program to all students. The program consists of free, reduced price, or full pay breakfast for students, depending on their needs. Observes Pearce, “We can’t teach children when they are hungry. This way, all students can start off their day well-nourished and ready to learn.” Lunch is already set up this same way at all schools, according to federal guidelines.
Wakulla High School continues improvements on both the facility and academic sides. The asphalt is being resurfaced, school grounds are being improved, and signs for clear directions of where visitors are to go to get the answers they need are in place.
WHS has finalized a completely renovated Student Services Center, where students and parents can get information all in one place like course scheduling, scholarships, counseling, careers, testing, exceptional student education, and much more. A new social worker position will be filled by MSW Ashley Anderson, who will be housed in the WHS Student Services Center but be available for all of the schools on an as-needed basis.
“Also, we will continue our highly successful partnership with Lively Technical Center for year two of the Automotive Technology program, and add Welding on the WHS campus as another Lively program,” says Pearce.
There will be even more Tallahassee Community College dual enrollment course offerings on the WHS campus, and a new dual enrollment agreement with Florida State University for students who qualify to take courses at FSU. These college courses are at no cost to the parents or guardians.
All in all, the 2014-2015 school year holds many opportunities for students to excel in the classroom, in the arts, and on the sports fields.