Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

St. Johns' Dreams: Upgrades at School

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

St. Johns' Dreams: Upgrades at School

Article excerpt

School uniforms and improved relations with parents top the

list of things St. Johns County School Board members would like

to see in public schools in the future.

At a board workshop Monday, board members listed those as

long-range goals to be included in a five-year strategic plan

the district is devising to improve the school system.

Other ideas included hiring more high school guidance

counselors, capping future high schools at 750 students instead

of 1,500, sending newsletters to teachers to keep them informed

of School Board action and banking more land to be used for

future school sites, especially in Ponte Vedra Beach where land

is scarce.

Also, board members plan to begin sending parents a survey this

year, and each year after, asking parents to rate how well they

are treated by the school system.

All board members agreed planning for the future was a step in

the right direction.

"This is what the board should be doing. So often boards drift

into inertia and micro-management," said board member Joe Gordy.

Board member Judy Ham introduced uniforms as a way to improve

student appearance in the county's two high schools.

However, other members told her high school students would

never go for the idea and it would take full cooperation to make

it work.

Still, all board members agreed it would eliminate the

distinction between the haves and the have-nots as well as

improve student behavior.

"You don't act the same way in a tuxedo as you do in shorts,"

Gordy said.

Board members agreed they would like to start encouraging all

schools to pursue uniforms.

At this time, they don't plan to mandate them. But they may

discuss a possible mandate in the future.

Currently, Hastings Elementary is the only school with

uniforms. However, it is voluntary. State funding and a private

grant paid for the uniforms.

Mill Creek Elementary in St. Augustine is leaning toward having

uniforms, said board Chairwoman Judy Krug. …

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