New schools open in St. Johns County

Students at select schools get iPads, laptops

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – Students in St. Johns County made their way back to the classroom Monday, some in new schools -- Patriot Oaks Academy and Valley Ridge Academy.

Courtney Duprey, a teacher at Patriot Oaks, is the parent of two boys who attend there as well.

"I am looking forward to being in a brand new school," Duprey said. "I'm looking forward to be with my boys."

Her kids are also excited about a few things.

"I'm looking forward to my teacher and just a new school," said Logan Duprey, who began fourth grade.

When asked what he thinks the best part about kindergarten will be, Gavin Duprey said, "Arts and crafts."

District officials are starting the new year welcoming a new technology program.

"Each child in the classroom has either an iPad if you're in K-2 or a laptop if they're older, and teachers use that technology for instruction," school board member Bev Slough said.

The pilot program is happening at Patriot Oaks Academy, Valley Ridge Academy, Sebastian Middle, Ketterlinus Elementary, South Woods Elementary, Palencia Elementary and St. Johns Tech High School.

District officials said they believe there are an extra 1,000 students in the district this year.