The buses will be rolling again Wednesday, Aug. 10, when public school students in St. Johns County return to the classroom for the start of the 2022-23 academic year. It will be a day of reconnecting with old friends and perhaps making new ones. Some students will find themselves in new schools, learning new routines and finding their places. Teachers will be learning names and matching them to faces.
Day one is always a day of excitement and promise.
It’s also a day of great activity — the first of many. Each school day, 293 district buses transport more than 25,000 students an average of 26,000 miles. School cafeterias serve 73,375 meals and 44,900 a la carte items each week.
Perhaps the big news this year is the opening of the district’s ninth high school: Beachside, located at 200 Great Barracuda Way, Saint Johns. And the mascot is — you guessed it — the barracuda.
Located within the Twin Creeks Development, Beachside High School is designed for about 2,100 students. It consists of five buildings arranged around a central courtyard. The main, three-story classroom building will house general education classes, ESE classes and science labs and a collaborative concourse on each floor.
Academies to be offered at Beachside include: Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Information Technology, Veterinary Assisting and Biomedical Sciences. This brings to 35 the number of academies, acceleration academies and JROTC programs in the district.
Varsity and junior varsity fall, winter and spring sports will be available at Beachside, and the plan is to offer football, volleyball, baseball, softball, swimming and diving, soccer, lacrosse, basketball, tennis, golf, weightlifting, cross country, track and field, competitive cheer, competitive dance and wrestling.
At the helm of the new school will be Principal Greg Bergamasco, Assistant Principal Mollie Altick and Assistant Principal Ryan Sirak.
Want to know more about Beachside High School? Go to www-bhs.stjohns.k12.fl.us.
The St. Johns County School District has an enrollment of 48,816, though that figure will probably have to be updated before long. The county is growing rapidly.
The district is the largest employer in the county, with 5,893 full- and part-time employees. Instructional staff comprises more than half.
Families looking to relocate to Florida have taken note of the district’s state rankings. Often, these parents will say they moved here “because of the schools.”
The district has earned an “A” grade every year since at least 2010. In 2021-22, it had 29 “A” schools, seven “B” schools and three “C” schools. According to the 2022 state assessments, the district was first in the state for reading, first in end-of-course exams, first in math for two grades, and first in science for the eighth grade.
Nine months from now, the 2022-23 school year will be complete, with the last day of class on May 25. But the memories forged over that time, beginning next Wednesday, will live on for the students of St. Johns County.
For more information, go to stjohns.k12.fl.us.
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