MILTON — Out of 36 schools in Santa Rosa County, 29 have received the Golden School Award for their success in the 2016-17 school year.
According to the Florida Department of Education’s website, they present the Golden and Silver School Awards to recognize exemplary programs that promote parent and community involvement in education.
The Golden School Award recognizes elementary, middle, high and adult schools that meet the following criteria:
A minimum of 80 percent of the school staff participated in training related to school volunteerism.A school volunteer coordinator is designated for recruitment, placement, training and supervision of school volunteers.
The total number of hours of volunteer service equals twice the number of students enrolled in the school. Any volunteer activity that contributes to student improvement may be counted.
This year, the following schools achieved this award:Bagdad Elementary
Berryhill ElementaryChumuckla ElementaryS.S. Dixon PrimaryS.S. Dixon IntermediateEast Milton ElementaryGulf Breeze ElementaryHolley-Navarre IntermediateHolley-Navarre PrimaryT.R. Jackson Pre-K CenterJay ElementaryOriole Beach ElementaryPea Ridge ElementaryW.H. Rhodes ElementaryBennett C. Russell ElementaryWest Navarre IntermediateWest Navarre PrimaryAvalon MiddleGulf Breeze MiddleR. Hobbs MiddleHolley-Navarre MiddleMartin Luther King MiddleThomas L. Sims MiddleWoodlawn Beach MiddleCentral HighGulf Breeze HighMilton HighNavarre HighPace High
At the Nov. 9 school board meeting, a representative from each school was presented with a certificate for their success. These schools achieved a total of 178,570 volunteer hours with 6,837 total volunteers.
Oriole Beach and Pea Ridge Elementary have both won the Golden School Award for 36 years, the highest out of the 29 schools, with many close behind.
“In Santa Rosa County we understand how vital our parent and community volunteers are to the success of our schools,” April Martin, director of elementary education and district volunteer coordinator, said.
“Those volunteers put in at least 178,570 hours in our schools, and some off campus, volunteering. I say at least, because the hours listed are what we were able to document. We realize that there are many more volunteers and volunteer hours for which we are not able to account.”
According to Martin, schools are required to hold a volunteer training around the beginning of each school year.
The schools will also review with their staff the volunteer guidelines: what is acceptable to ask volunteers to assist with and what is not.
“We do hold at each school some type of Volunteer Appreciation event or recognition toward the end of the school year to let our volunteers know how much they mean to us,” Martin said.
Each fall, the school district also recognizes the Outstanding Volunteers of the Year, according to Martin.
“As the volunteer coordinator for our district, I am extremely proud and thrilled about the high number of schools in our district who received the Golden School Award,” Martin said. “I was just astounded by the high number of volunteers and volunteer hours we documented in 2016-17.
“This is truly a testament to the outstanding, supportive parents and community we have in Santa Rosa County and is one of the main reasons we have such a successful school district.”