Principal Lynn Bruner took on a unique challenge this summer.
She was responsible for combining Osceola and Ortona Elementary Schools into the new Beachside Elementary School for the 2021-22 school year.
Eventually, Beachside staff and students will once again move from the 1950s-era Osceola campus to the old Ortona campus in Daytona Beach. Next year, they will stay in the new $22 million Beachside building indefinitely, which is currently under construction.
Until the new school opens in the 2022-23 school year, Ms. Bruner has more buses to reroute and a change in the car loop to coordinate as well as cafeteria seating for additional students and the hiring of teachers for the convergence of student populations. .
In a video produced by the district, Ms. Bruner summed up her excitement for families returning with her and welcoming new families en route to the location of the temporary school.
“I want you to know that my vision for school is simple yet powerful. When students wake up in the morning, if it’s a school day, I want all of our students to want to come to school,” she said.
Students who have attended Ortona or Osceola are automatically enrolled at Beachside for the upcoming school year. To register or for more information, call (386) 258-4669. Students are expected to arrive August 16 at all schools in the district.
Ground was broken on August 2 for Beachside School. Not all parents were in favor of the merger and expressed objections to the school board prior to the decision to merge the schools; and still remain bitter about how the decision was made. One parent, Kathleen Miksits, has two students, one of whom attended both old schools.
The Ormond-by-the-Sea parent worried about his children’s earlier wake times, longer bus rides and less parental involvement, which was better in Osceola than Ortona. “We love the community involvement at Osceola and hope it doesn’t get lost in making us a bigger school,” Ms. Miksits said.
In addition to the new school, Volusia County Schools opened a vocational facility at Pine Ridge High School in Deltona. The district received a state grant of $531,457 through Florida Pathways to Career Opportunities for the program’s equipment, software, computers, and curriculum.
The district built a facility to house larger training machines and a classroom. The district plans more professional programs in the future.
The half-cent sales tax initiative has funded more than just schools. There are safety and security measures and new technologies, school board member Linda Cuthbert explained in a recent column.
Last year, only college students were allocated laptops. This year, all grade levels will receive them, although K-2 students will receive iPads. “Research shows that individual laptop programs increase student success, and we’re proud to join the Technology 1:1 family!” Cuthbert said.
She also said that there will be 20 new student buses. The district transports approximately 22,500 students on 175 different routes in a typical year. “We transport our precious cargo over 4 million miles,” Ms Cuthbert said. Buses are inspected every 28 days.
All students will receive free breakfast and lunch this year, new English textbooks, and a new AVID program in middle and selected elementary schools. The voluntary pre-K will be added to five more elementary schools.
The Volusia County School District lists many other new schools or renovations to existing buildings on its Sales Tax Funding Expenditure Reporting webpage. Volusia Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Fritz said, “This half-cent sales tax initiative will help ensure our children succeed as students today and as productive citizens. tomorrow.
Many other projects are under construction. Construction is underway for the 220,000 square foot Deltona Middle School replacement project. The first phase of two will be ready in early spring 2022.
It is proposed to construct the Turie T. Small Elementary School Replacement Project behind Campbell Middle School, near the current site of Turie T. Small. A selection committee was to recommend a construction manager on August 11. Planning and design have already begun. Construction will begin in the spring of 2022 and is expected to last 12 to 14 months.
Woodward Elementary in DeLand is also in the design phase, where major renovations, classroom additions, and a new food service building are underway. Construction is expected to start in the summer of 2022.
New Smyrna Beach Middle is undergoing a campus-wide renovation, which is underway and scheduled for completion in August 2022. The project includes new heating, air conditioning, and window systems. Inside, the ceiling, lighting and floor will be replaced.
Meanwhile, Ms Bruner has more details to consider than many people might believe are humanly possible, including a reconfigured car loop and a new location for buses.
For the new school year, the drop-off and parent pick-up for motorists and the bus loop will be modified to facilitate traffic flow. Parents bringing their child by car will use Osceola Avenue to enter the car loop and exit on Seminole Avenue. The bus loop with be at Lucky Drive.
Last week, holding the architect’s rendering of Beachside Elementary on a notice board, Ms. Bruner said, “It’s the light at the end of the tunnel.”