Walton County Free Wi-Fi Hotspots Available for Online Learning
As the school year begins, Walton County would like to remind the public that we offer 13 free Wi-Fi hotspots locations throughout the County. The County is aware that during these times of COVID-19, many parents have opted to have their children attend school virtually. These hotspots are open 24/7/365 and are available for use for online learning.
These Wi-Fi hotspots allow the community to access the internet in areas where internet is either sparse or unavailable to the community and are available at the following locations:
Walton County Fire Rescue in Gaskin – 32 Tim Padgett Way, Westville
Walton County Fire Rescue in Glendale – 6062 County Hwy 1883, Ponce de Leon
Sheriff Substation Paxton – 621527 US Hwy 331 N, Laurel Hill
Sheriff Substation Mossy Head – 40 Sand Mine Rd, Mossy Head
South Annex Courthouse – 31 Coastal Centre Blvd, Santa Rosa Beach
DeFuniak Springs Courthouse – 571 US Hwy 90 E, DeFuniak Springs
Walton County Fire Rescue in Woodlawn – 7363 US Highway 331 S, DeFuniak Springs
Freeport Business Complex – 842 State Hwy 20 E, Freeport
Walton County Fire Rescue in Windswept – 1250 J W Hollington Rd, Freeport
Walton County Fire Rescue in Choctaw Beach – 13837 State Hwy 20 W, Niceville
Walton County Jail – 796 Triple G Rd, DeFuniak Springs
District 3 Commissioner’s Office – 552 Walton Rd, DeFuniak Springs
Walton County Fire Rescue in Red Bay – 7900 State Hwy 81 S, Ponce de Leon
In order to access the Wi-Fi, the user will have to turn on their Wi-Fi settings on their devices and search for available signals. The name of the Wi-Fi that they will access is Community Wi-Fi. There is no password on the connection.
Once the Wi-Fi is accessed, users will need to stay in range of the antenna for the Internet to continue to work. The signal is not 360 degrees around a building. The signal will be strongest closer to the antenna, but the signal should extend approximately 500 ft from the antenna location.
The speeds of the Internet will depend on the number of users accessing the network. If there are many users on the network at one time, the speeds will be slower. We anticipate that speeds will be faster when the offices are closed in the evenings and on the weekends.
While the speeds may not be as fast as those expected within a home or office setting, they should support the ability for the public to perform such tasks as completing homework assignments, job applications, Wi-Fi based phone calls, etc.
As the County and our partner continue to work through the process of the installation of our fixed wireless community broadband network, we would like to remind the public that these services are available. We understand the importance of broadband access to every house in the County and are continuing to work as quickly as possible to provide those services. (Information on Community Broadband Project – https://www.co.walton.fl.us/1287/County-Broadband-Project)
If you have any issues accessing any of the Wi-Fi hotspots, please contact the Walton County Administrative Offices at 850-892-8155.
Walton County’s Take Stock in Children program receives $10,000 donation from Gulf Power
DeFuniak Springs, Fla. — Today, Walton County’s Take Stock in Children program received a $10,000 donation from Gulf Power that will be used to purchase 2 year college scholarships from the Florida prepaid foundation.
“We are grateful for the continued support from our community partners like Gulf Power, particularly in this time of uncertainty, that allow our organization to continue to grow and prosper,” said Amy Wells, Take Stock in Children Program Director. “Investing in our students to ensure they are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful is truly an investment in our community’s future.”
Walton Education Foundation is the lead agency for the county’s Take Stock in Children program, which provides mentorship for 40 students. The program helps to ensure that students graduate from high school with the knowledge and skills they need to complete their post secondary education and to successfully enter the workforce.
About Take Stock in Children
Take Stock in Children of Florida was established in 1995 as a non-profit organization in Florida that provides a unique opportunity for deserving low-income youth/students, many from minority families, to escape the cycle of poverty through education. The organization offers students college scholarships, caring volunteer mentors and hope for a better life. Its comprehensive services start in middle school, continue through high school and include their transition into college. For more information, visit https://www.takestockinchildren.org/.
About the Walton Education Foundation
Walton Education Foundation, Inc was established in 1995 as a non-profit organization to serve the educational community of Walton County. The organization mobilizes support and resources through alliances, grants, and fundraising events. For more information, visit https://waltonedfoundation.org/.
PHOTO CAPTION: Gulf Power external affairs manager Juliet Milam provided a donation for Walton County’s Take Stock in Children program to Amy Wells, Take Stock in Children Program Director and MH Carr, Executive Director for the Walton Education Foundation.
Gulf Power Foundation Provides Multi-Year Grant to Connect Walton Students with Career Pathways Local students and families now have easily accessible information to make more informed decisions about education and career options at their fingertips through Walton County Career Pathways.
Specific education pathways from middle school through university level are compiled in an easy-to-follow “First, Next, Later” in a number of in-demand industry sectors along with job titles and expected hourly wages at each education level.
The program is being made possible through a five-year grant from the Gulf Power Foundation to the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations with Career Pathways websites and resources being developed in the company’s eight county service territory. A comprehensive site – Northwest Florida Career Pathways – is underway to allow students to explore options throughout the region.
The local program is being facilitated through the Walton Education Foundation in partnership with the school district, other education institutions and civic and economic development organizations. In addition to the online and print resources, grant funds will support related activities through the education foundation each school year.
“We are honored to support our community partners as they work directly with students and families to make informed, intentional decisions about their future.” said Jennifer McFarren, deputy foundation manager of the Gulf Power Foundation. “Gulf Power has a long history of supporting collaborative workforce development efforts as we work together to grow and enhance Northwest Florida’s economy.”
About the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (CFEF): The CFEF is the membership organization for Florida’s school district-wide local education foundations. Established in 1987, the CFEF maximizes the individual and collective strength of Florida local education foundations to support local partners and schools. The CFEF has 64 member foundations with 1,100 business and community leaders serving as volunteer board members. Collectively, they raise more than $64 million annually to support students, teachers and schools through a variety of programs. The CFEF has provided nearly $46.5 million to local education foundations since 2001 through various private- and public-sector partnerships, including the State of Florida School District Education Foundation Matching Grant Program.
The Walton County School District has prepared at home learning schedules for all students in Walton County. If your student needs a device or does not have access to the internet please contact the school district 850-892-1100.
THE ST. JOE COMPANY AND WALTON COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT ANNOUNCE THE CREATION OF A STEAM HIGH SCHOOL IN WALTON COUNTY, FLORIDA
WATERSOUND, Fla.— The St. Joe Company (NYSE: JOE) (“St. Joe”) and Walton County School District today introduced the Magnet Innovation Center at St. Joe Watersound, a STEAM high school facility unlike any other school in the region.
The Magnet Innovation Center was unveiled at a press conference on Thursday featuringremarks from St. Joe CEO Jorge Gonzalez, Magnet Innovation Center Director CarrieSneed and Walton County School District Superintendent Russell Hughes. The announcement was commemorated with a presentation of keys which were uniquely designed by students and created using the Center’s 3D printer.
St. Joe will continue to own the site, located at 133 S. Watersound Parkway, but enable the school to operate under an agreement with the Walton County School District. St. Joe and the Magnet Innovation Center will share the campus until St. Joe relocates its corporate offices to the Beckrich Office Park in Panama City Beach, which it intends to do in the spring of 2020. At that time, the school will be able to utilize the entire facility.
The inaugural students of the Magnet Innovation Center have been taking classes at South Walton High School since the beginning of the 2019-20 school year while they await the completion of renovations at the new campus. This first phase of renovations is expected to be completed in December. The Walton County School District has worked for several months to build laboratories and classrooms and to enhance campus safety and accessibility.
“We could not be more pleased to see our office campus go to a use that will be such an asset for the local community and region. Our campus is laid out perfectly for a school and large enough to accommodate many years of growth,” said St. Joe CEO Jorge Gonzalez. “We are firm believers that a rising tide lifts all boats. When good things happen for the community, good things happen for our residents. This enhances the educational opportunities in our community, which is good for everyone.”
In addition, the St. Joe Community Foundation provided a $226,118 grant that the school has used to purchase robotics and technology equipment. Created in 1999, the Foundation provides grants in the areas of education, environmental stewardship, healthy communities, and programs that honor the cultural arts. The Foundation has issued grants totaling more than $23 million in Northwest Florida since its inception.
Russell Hughes, superintendent of the Walton County School District, said that having the opportunity to use this location for this purpose is a tremendous gift for the county, the fastest-growing in Florida and the sixth-fastest in the nation.
“When I saw the facility, it was just phenomenal. To have a school we wouldn’t have to build really was a godsend,” Hughes said. “We’re creating something that we want people from around the world to fly in to see.”
The Magnet Innovation Center students are taking specialized classes in STEAM subjects: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. Currently, there are 60 students enrolled in the center. When the new school opens in December, they will start their day briefly at South Walton High School, then board a bus for the 12-minute ride to the Magnet Innovation Center. They will return to South Walton High School in the afternoon to complete the rest of their instruction.
Officials expect that the school will grow, doubling in size next year and rising to as many as 250 students in four years. Students from across Walton County are invited to attend the magnet program, but it is selective. Applicants must submit letters of reference and write an essay about their interest in, experience with or desire to learn more about STEAM.
The school will have top-of-the-line tools to facilitate teaching. In addition to wet and dry labs complete with equipment and software, the Center is acquiring a CNC milling machine with air power drawbar. The Visual Technology Lab will be outfitted with iMAC workstations and access to virtual reality goggles, digital drawing tablets, 3D printers, 3D scanners, laser engravers, large format printers and numerous software programs. Students will work to earn certifications in programs such as Adobe, AutoCAD, Inventor and Revit.
“Having a campus totally dedicated to educating our students in the area of STEAM is vital to not only the success of our students but the success of our local area,” said Carrie Sneed,Director of the Magnet Innovation Center. “Northwest Florida is a booming area of technology and advancements for the future. Having a campus here, in Walton County, where we can start building relationships with our students and community members, will promote bringing those students back to the area as adults to work in our local economy.”
Important Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains “forward-looking statements,” within the meaning of Section 21E of the Exchange Act, including statements regarding The St. Joe Company’s office relocation to Beckrich Office Park and the Walton County School District’s intent to operate the Magnet Innovation Center in Watersound, Florida. These forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by cautionary statements and risk factors set forth in St. Joe’s filings with the SEC, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2108, it Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and subsequent current reports on Form 8-K, as well as the following: (1) the ability of St. Joe to relocated its corporate headquarters to Beckrich Office Park, (2) the ability of the Walton County School District to complete the renovation of the Magnet Innovation Center and (3) the interest of future students in a STEAM school in Watersound, Florida.
About The St. Joe Company
The St. Joe Company, together with its consolidated subsidiaries, is a real estate development, asset management and operation company. The Company owns land concentrated primarily in Northwest Florida and has significant residential and commercial land-use entitlements in hand or in process. More information about the Company can be found on its website at www.joe.com. More information on the Company’s current project pipeline can be found at www.joe.com/project-updates.
About the Walton County School District
Walton County is a large, rural county in the Panhandle of Florida. With approximately 68,000 residents, Walton extends north from the Alabama line south to the Gulf of Mexico. Key towns in Walton are Paxton, DeFuniak Springs, Mossy Head, Freeport, and Santa Rosa Beach. The school district has over 10,000 students at six elementary, three middle, three high, and one K-12 school. In addition to two charter schools, the district also hosts two magnet programs, one alternative placement center, one technical college, and one virtual school. For the first time since 2010-2011, WCSD was designated as a back-to-back “A” District in 2019. This ranked us at #7 in the State. Our overall position in the State based on State Assessments in 2019 was #8. In 9 out of the 21 categories, we were ranked in the top 10. This is evidence of the power of leadership and exceptional teamwork!
The Walton Education Foundation, in partnership with the Walton County School District, is hosting 100 teachers, administrators, district administrators, and instructional leaders from all schools including our charter schools at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort and Spa on November 2, 2019 to address challenges that teachers frequently face, including declining morale, feelings of isolation, and frustration about their untapped potential.
We are seeking four $1,000 sponsorships. For your $1,000, you can promote your company to our teachers and administrators. You will be able to put your logo on printed material, display a banner, add an item to the teacher’s bags or even do an onstage give-away for one – three lucky teachers.
Please see attached for more information. We can accept credit card donations too!
Is this something that you or your marketing team would be interested in? Email me/Text me/Call me if so. I’ll be reaching out to all Walton County School District vendors that work with our ClassLink system.
We are excited to announce to you that for the ninth year in a row, Motorola Solutions Foundation is supporting Walton Education Foundation, and other Education Foundations throughout the State of Florida, through the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (CFEF) with opportunities to receive $5,000 grants for hands-on, problem-based classroom learning conducted with local workplace partners. Applications for the 2019-20 Motorola STEM Solutions Grant Program cycle are now being accepted in the CFEF grants management platform. This year 10 $5,000 grants will be awarded on a competitively scored basis. Click the links below for grant timeline, guidelines and application template.