St. Johns County continues to be home to one of the fastest-growing school districts in the state. The student count for the St. Johns County School District on opening day (Aug. 10) was 34,906, an increase of 1,850 students or 5.3 percent over last year’s first day number of 33,056.
The high school student count was 11,016, middle school attendance totaled 7,101 and the K-8 schools totaled 4,180. The elementary school population totaled 12,008; however, this count includes approximately 33 percent of the kindergarten population since schools stagger the kindergarten start date over a three-day period. Another 331 students are enrolled at the district’s alternative, charter and Department of Juvenile Justice schools.
First Coast Technical College has 343 students enrolled in its adult education and dual-enrollment programs at the St. Augustine, Palatka, Barge Port and North campuses. This number does not include those students enrolled in night programs.
On Aug. 22, community members are invited to attend the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) Expo to learn about volunteer opportunities available in the St. Johns County School District. Individuals will be on hand to provide information about tutoring and mentoring kindergarten through senior students, as well as reading to pre-kindergarten students. The expo will take place from 4-6 p.m. at the Fullerwood Auditorium, 10 Hildreth Drive. For questions or information, email Cheryl.Freeman@stjohns.k12.fl.us or call 904-547-3952.
ART EXHIBIT OPENS SEPT. 1
As part of the visiting artist series, Florida School of the Arts will present a gallery exhibition for Gainesville artist Lydia Dildilian. The exhibit will open with a reception at 7 p.m. Sept. 1 in the Fine Arts Gallery located on St. Johns River State College’s Palatka campus. The exhibit will be on display through Oct. 3. Gallery hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and during main stage performances. Gallery exhibits are free and open to the public.
Young students can learn first-hand the art of poetry and how to develop graphic novels as part of the 2016 Florida Heritage Book Festival. Florida Poet Laureate Peter Meinke and artist Jeanne Clark Meinke will offer a hands-on poetry session for eight to 12-year-olds and acclaimed graphic novelist Andre Frattino will teach teenagers the nuts and bolts of the graphic novel industry on Sept. 17.
Three-hour long sessions will be offered for both poetry and graphic novel genres on Sept. 17. The poetry session will be from 9 a.m. to noon. The graphic novel session, open to 13 to 18-year-olds, will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Each session is $20 per participant and registration is required. Go to fhbookfest.com for information or to register.
SJR STATE OFFERS ART CLASSES
St. Johns River State College is offering two non-credit art classes open to the public. The first class is Art History III, which will cover art from Realism through Impressionism and Post-Impressionism and into the 20th Century. The class is Tuesday and Thursday from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Aug. 30 to Sept. 22.
The second class is Drawing I and will develop basic drawing skills by concentrating on the elements of descriptive drawing, from line quality, tonal values across various mediums and placement and composition. Classes will meet Tuesday and Thursday, 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., starting Sept. 27 through Oct. 27. For information or to register for the classes, go to sjrstate.edu or call 904-808-7400.