Chief of Community Relations for the St. Johns County School District, Christina Langston, reported to Historic City News that yesterday’s opening day found St. Johns County continuing to be one of the fastest growing counties in the state; the student count was 31,671 — an increase of 1,168 students or 3.8 percent over last year’s first day attendance of 30,503.
During the past six years, many districts have seen sustained or declining enrollment, but that is not true for the St. Johns County School District.
“We had one of our finest openings today and I couldn’t be more pleased,” said Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner. “I visited many schools and witnessed the outstanding planning and preparation by principals, teachers and support staff. Students arrived with smiles on their faces and eager to learn. Our maintenance and custodial staffs had the schools in pristine condition and the food service team was very well prepared.”
The high school student count was 9,831 with 1,858 students at Bartram Trail High School, 1,938 at Creekside High School, 1,307 at Pedro Menendez High School, 1,608 at Allen D. Nease High School, 1,537 at Ponte Vedra High School and 1,583 at St. Augustine High School.
There were 215 students in attendance at St. Johns Technical High School (SJTHS). SJTHS is located on the campus of First Coast Technical College and offers academic studies combined with career and vocational training.
Middle school attendance totaled 6,738, with student headcounts ranging from 589 at Sebastian Middle School to 1,216 at Fruit Cove Middle School. The other first day figures were Alice B. Landrum Middle School with 1,128, R. J. Murray Middle School with 715, Pacetti Bay Middle School with 1,062, Gamble Rogers Middle School with 772 and Switzerland Point Middle School with 1,256.
The district’s K-8 schools totaled 3,124. Liberty Pines Academy had a first day headcount of 1,257, Patriot Oaks Academy with 908 and Valley Ridge Academy with 959.
The elementary school population totaled 11,361; however, this count includes less than 25 percent of the kindergarten population since schools stagger the kindergarten start date over a five-day period. Another 402 students are enrolled at the district’s alternative, charter and Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) schools.
“I am thankful to our transportation department and the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office for ensuring our children got to and from school safely,” Joyner added. “I am also very appreciative to our parents for their continued support and their patience as we work through the first days of this school year.”