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Walton County schools see change in enrollment for 2020-2021

Published: Sep. 2, 2020 at 5:22 PM CDT
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WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -

This school year looks different in Walton County, and not just masks and social distancing. The number of students in classrooms is also changing.

About 8,096 students are enrolled in traditional schools, according to Superintendent A. Russell Hughes.

“When it comes to the pandemic in Walton County and the work we’re doing regarding people’s safety, we’re glad that our parents and our community trust us, having 88 percent participation with brick-and-mortar schools,” said Hughes.

He said of all the students in Walton County, whether going to traditional school, doing Walton Virtual School, or the Innovative Learning Digital Academy, there are about 10,000 students, which is 94 percent of the enrollment they had in March of 2020.

That means, enrollment is actually down across the county.

However, at South Walton High School, there is an increase in students this school year.

“Over a hundred, we’ve seen an almost ten percent growth,” said principal Alexis Tibbetts.

She said part of the reason could be because families are moving to their second homes in South Walton full time.

”Some are coming because they were not sure when their schools were starting and we were committed to starting school. And I think some of them have made the decision that they would like to see their kids have an option of the STEAM school and other things, and some people can work at home now, so since they can tele-communicate, it doesn’t matter where they live,” said Tibbetts.

Real estate agents we spoke with also said they are seeing more families moving to Walton County from bigger cities.

Superintendent Hughes added that over the past five days they have not seen any COVID-19 cases at Walton County schools.

Copyright 2020 WJHG. All rights reserved.

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