Fall is upon us! This time of the year marks the end of the first term, and it has been encouraging to see our students, teachers and staff working together toward success. With the first quarter in the rear-view mirror, we are pressing onward to make the 2018-19 school year a memorable and successful one for our students.

We recently celebrated Dads Take Your Child to School Day. This is always a great opportunity for fathers, grandfathers and other male role models to engage with their student on the school campus and to learn more about what the kids are doing each day. This is also a chance for the schools to showcase all the hard work that our teachers and staff put in to making sure each child succeeds.

Every elementary school that was assigned a school guardian now has one. These men and women have extraordinary backgrounds in the military, law enforcement or both. Before being trained as guardians, each had to pass formidable screenings; all of them had a drug test, a thorough background check, a polygraph test and a psychological examination.

In all, they took part in 132 hours of intense training with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Department, followed by 24 hours of diversity and school safety in-service given by the district. Those guardians who passed are now in their schools. They are to build relationships with the students, faculty and staff; but, most of all, they are there to keep their campuses safe.

James T. Russell, Superintendent of Volusia Schools

October is School Bus Safety Awareness month. We appreciate all the hard work of Student Transportation Services, ensuring our students are transported safely to and from school. Did you know that last year we transported approximately 28,000 students daily, on 211 bus routes from 2,142 bus stops? Our bus operators travel roughly 4.2 million miles per school year! We are so thankful for the individuals that make this possible.

Since it is School Bus Safety Awareness Month, I want to take this opportunity to remind parents of the importance of watching out for students, being cautious around school buses and “freshening up” on the rules of the road in regard to school buses. We want our students, and bus operators, to return safely to their homes each night.

As we move closer to the holiday season and the weather cools down, we know the work of our students, teachers and staff is going to heat up. Volusia County Schools remains steadfast in its commitment in increasing our district grade to an “A.” Our teachers and administrators are dedicated to ensuring our students achieve the best education possible.

Thank you,

James T. Russell, Superintendent