Walton County’s Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) program recently began in the Bay Elementary School facility.

SANTA ROSA BEACH — The former Bay Elementary School facility has become home to Walton County’s Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) program.


Over the summer, many Walton county parents awaited the Walton County School Board’s decision on whether or not to use the Bay Elementary School facility as the new VPK site for students. After two school board meetings, the decision was made that the facility should be used for a VPK program.


Former Bay Elementary School Principal Pam Jones led a team of teachers in the transition of the school into a specially-designed facility for the program. Teachers for the new VPK program come from Butler Elementary and other Walton County VPK programs.


Teachers and staff at the school welcomed their new students for the 2019-2020 school year.


The students are learning from the Opening the World of Learning (OWL) curriculum. Through the curriculum, students learn how to navigate the school and classroom environment while engaging in learning activities and making new friends. For homework, the students are asked to read with a family member and play.



The school recently hosted a Fall Festival and Trunk or Treat, where parents and local businesses were able to provide a fun and safe trick-or-treating environment for the students.


Children also recently attended a field trip to Rockin’ B-A-B Ranch in DeFuniak Springs, where they toured the farm. Students were able to pet and feed animals such as camels and lemurs and received a pumpkin. Students were even surprised with a visit from Superintendent Russell Hughes.


It was not an easy road to get to where the school is currently. Bay School experienced a tough financial start, but fundraisers have helped in assisting the school. Currently, a PTA is being formed that will further assist in raising funds.


Principal Jones hopes that Bay School will continue to remain a VPK site for students in Walton County in the future.