Clay County students head back to school

New micro gardens among programs available for students this year

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Clay County students officially ended their summer vacation Tuesday morning as they returned to their classrooms for the start of the new school year.

Seniors at Fleming Island High School carried on their annual tradition of marching into campus wearing crowns and making noise, announcing their presence.

Throughout the county's 41 public schools, some new and exciting programs are now available for students, including micro gardens to help in the county's most needy neighborhoods. Superintendent Charlie Van Zant said there's a special curriculum picked out from a written grant for STEM education.

"Students and their parents are going to have a chance to help tend these gardens, grow the food, take the food home and consume that, and learn about how it's grown in school," Van Zant said. "You know every piece of food doesn't come from Publix or Winn-Dixie, and a lot of our children don't understand that."

One piece of advice Van Zant gave families Tuesday was to make sure children eat a good breakfast.

He also talked about the One Clay app, which gives parents all kinds of information about their child's school. 

The app is free to download on a smartphone or tablet, and parents can type a child's school in and stay up-to-date on ball games and matches, recitals and even classwork.

"Both of my boys are in Lakeside because I just like the schools so much,” Kim Dohm said Tuesday as she was dropping her sons off at school. “Clay County is just the best. I love the teachers, the education that they get is superior."

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