Superintendent's Newsletter

October 2022

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News after Ian

First, I want to say "thank you" to all the families, staff, and community members who helped Flagler Schools transition two of our campuses from schools to emergency shelters and then back to schools again. While several of our neighbors are still dealing with the effects of Tropical Storm Ian, we have been able to give our students some sense of normalcy by getting all our campuses open with minimal disruption.


When we first announced our decision to close schools to prepare for potential shelters, people on social media started asking about "hurricane make-up" days. I appreciate everyone wanting to be proactive in planning for the future but making a decision on an instructional make-up plan requires guidance from the Department of Education.


We now have a plan for moving forward following Tropical Storm Ian passing by us, and it has little impact on our calendars. We are shifting the end of the first and second quarters. This means the first quarter will end on October 14th, and the second quarter (and first semester) will end on January 11th, after we return from our Winter Break. This allows us to keep the Teacher Workday on October 17th and November 21st as the start of our Fall Break.


Hopefully, we will get through the rest of the Atlantic hurricane season without any more storm impacts that would force us to take another look at our instructional calendar.

Elevating Excellence Award

As we entered this school year, I wanted to find a unique way to honor our employees. And after we came up with the "theme" for this year, Elevating Excellence, the lightbulb went off. It's all about creating a great climate and culture in all our buildings. To do that, we've got to recognize greatness in what our people are doing and celebrate those who go above and beyond. I've asked everyone to elevate excellence, so now we've created the Elevating Excellence Award to highlight those doing just that.


Principals and directors from across the district nominated many deserving people, but in the end, Mindy Morris was chosen as our inaugural winner.


Dr. Kimberli Halliday, Director of Exceptional Student Education nominated Morris. Her nomination form read as follows:


“Mindy created a Behavior Referral Program for supporting students in the MTSS process & Students with Disabilities. This program has every step necessary to assist a full school-based team in meeting each student's individual behavioral needs. Mindy trained school/district leadership and instructional/support staff through district-wide training.


Mindy also fine-tuned a level system supporting our students served in behavior cluster programs. This level system provides students with disabilities a research-based ABA-supported process for acquiring the skills they need to succeed in the general education setting. She coordinated school-based trainings and provides technical assistance to be sure the programs are implementing the strategies with fidelity.”


Mindy's work in creating this program helps staff, which in turn, helps our students.


We were able to surprise Mindy while she was at work at Matanzas High School. I was honored to be joined by Flagler County Education Foundation Executive Director Teresa Rizzo. The Education Foundation has agreed to provide a modest financial award to each monthly winner.

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Top Scholar Named

I want to congratulate Shawn Zhudro. The Flagler-Palm Coast High School senior was recently named a National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalist. This puts him in the top 1/2 percent of ALL high school seniors in Florida! Congratulations, Shawn. All of us at Flagler Schools wish you the best of luck as the process moves to the finalist stage.

Welcome Our Student School Board Members

Something that makes Flagler Schools unique across not only our state but the nation is our Student School Board Member program. Both Matanzas and Flagler-Palm Coast High Schools have a senior representative on our School Board. While they don’t have a vote, the elected school board members do consider the student voice often.


On Tuesday, September 20, our newest Student Board Members were seated. Matanzas High School Principal Kristin Bozeman introduced Isabella Tietje, and Flagler-Palm Coast High School Principal Bobby Bossardet introduced Roymara Louissaint. Both have impressive academic records and equally impressive records of service beyond their campuses. We are fortunate to have them represent our students.


I will meet with them throughout the school year as I seek out their opinions concerning issues involving our students.

Upcoming Events

I hope you join Flagler Schools this Sunday at AdventHealth Palm Coast for the "Pink on Parade 5K." This event helps raise money for breast cancer awareness, education, and screening in our community. We have a number of district teams taking part, as well as students cheering participants along. For more information, check out https://runsignup.com/Race/FL/PalmCoast/pink5k


We have a couple of important events for our families coming up, and they're both under the same roof.


On Tuesday, October 11th, we will have our FAFSA Night (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This event aims to simplify the financial aid process for prospective college students. The FAFSA is the first step families need to take when applying for college financial aid. We'll have several presentations, as well as high school and college counselors on hand to answer your questions and help you fill out the form.


On that same night, we are also bringing back our Community Resource Showcase, which gathers social service organizations from across our county. Families will have the opportunity to talk with representatives and seek out help right there.


Both events will run from 5 pm - 7:30 pm at the Buddy Taylor/Wadsworth cafeterias.

1/2 Cent Sales Tax Renewal

Our 1/2 Cent Sales Tax Renewal campaign is now underway. Flagler Schools has a section on our website dedicated to informing the public on what we've done with these funds for the past twenty years, as well as what we intend to do with this money over the next ten years, should voters approve the measure on the November ballot. We hope you take a look at the information and share it with your friends and neighbors.
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