It’s hard to believe the end of the school year is already here. I am so pleased with what we’ve accomplished this year. I would like to highlight some events in our district before looking forward to an exciting 2019-2020 school year.

In March, our students participated in three annual Volusia Fitness Festivals, in which more than 1,800 Volusia public school students, grades 4-8, were involved. These festivals highlighted the fitness abilities students have developed over the course of the school year. Students competed against similarly-aged students from other schools. The individual events, some of which are part of the Presidential Fitness Challenge, included the 50-yard dash, shuttle run, mile relay, standing long jump, pull-ups and sit-and-reach.

James T. Russell, Superintendent of Volusia Schools

Volusia County Schools now has Angel Funds where members of the community can help bring students’ negative meal accounts into good standing. Funding for meals is available for students who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals, but meals for students who do not qualify for the program are not funded. Individuals and charitable organizations can donate money to a school’s “Angel Fund” to help repay student meal debt. Money donated to angel funds are distributed equitably to students with an outstanding meal debt. We strive to give our students the best education and nutrition. Students who eat regular, healthy meals are less likely to be tired, are more attentive in class, and retain more information. To help support this program, individuals or organizations that would like to make a charitable donation can contact an individual school’s front office and ask to contribute to their Angel Fund.

The school board convened on Thursday, March 28th to determine a change of schedule for all schools that would facilitate handling many factors including a need to build in more time between bus routes to avoid late buses at the middle school level and the addition of 30 minutes to the elementary student day. We believe the later start time for High School will also be beneficial. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics , middle and high schools should start at 8:30 a.m. or later to give students the opportunity to get the amount of sleep they need. With these several ideas in mind, the Volusia County School board voted to change school start times for next year to:

•Elementary 7:50 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.,

•Middle 9:30 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.,

•High School 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

These times will be effective in August 2019, for the start of the 2019-2020 school year. The School Board developed this schedule by modifying the start time committee’s option #1 after reviewing the results of the survey. We understand that later Middle School start and end times may be challenging for some families. Some options being considered are morning tutoring and offering more clubs for Middle Schools to help families transition to the later start time.

Thank you and enjoy this edition of Volusia Parent Magazine.