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Seventh grade students in Mrs. Sandy Thorson's class are starting their school year learning the importance of owning their learning.

To introduce a unit on the nature of science that will continue through September, Mrs. Thorson offered students learning scales and goals to self-assess their prior knowledge and learning along the way. She presented students with a five-point scale (like FSA), emphasizing that they should aim to learn at the highest level 5, but that a level 3 should be the minimum that she will accept from them or that they should accept for themselves. She also encouraged students whose learning might only be at a level 1 or 2 right now, as their growth will evolve as new concepts are introduced.

She asked students to look at the provided learning scales and goals and self-evaluate, asking how many concepts they already know. Then she asked them to take a look at how far their learning will likely advance as they explore the new unit.

Mrs. Thorson encouraged her science students to build knowledge about nature of science concepts from their notes, textbook, and digital resources all along the way. She emphasized that though she will deliver the content in as many creative ways as possible, the load of the learning should fall on the students and that they should self-assess all along the way.

At Walton Middle School, our teachers work hard to create the right conditions for students to learn, then we partner with them, holding them accountable for the success they find along their own paths.

WDE is Aiming for Greatness

August 25, 2021

Grade level teams at West DeFuniak have been busy collaborating and creating learning targets for students. These Professional Learning Communities will be meeting throughout the year to support student achievement. As always, WDE is aiming for greatness!

COVID Update August 19, 2021

Much like last year, the Walton County School District (WCSD) will continue to update our stakeholders with our current and total numbers of COVID-19 data for the 2021-2022 school year.  In the spirit of transparency, we hope to share these numbers with you on a monthly if not weekly basis.

Click the Link Below for the Full Update

Walton County School District is seeking substitutes in all areas! Effective August 18, 2021, the substitute rate of pay for almost all positions increased substantially. If you would like to earn extra money while providing a much needed, valuable service to our students, please contact Jami Brown at (850) 892-1100, ext. 1354 or [email protected] for more information.


On August 17, 2021, the Walton County School Board approved the 2021-22 Substitute Salary Schedule recommended by Superintendent A. Russell Hughes. The salary schedule, effective August 18, 2021, provides increased hourly rates of pay for most instructional and non-instructional substitute positions. The percent increases range from 15.6% to 38.9%. Superintendent Hughes and the Walton County School Board recognize the important role substitutes play in providing services to our students and schools and hope the increased rates of pay will help retain current substitutes as well as attract more substitute applicants.

Walton County School District is currently in need of substitutes in all areas. If you are interested in earning extra money while providing a much needed, valuable service to our students, please contact Jami Brown at (850) 892-1100, ext. 1354 or [email protected] for more information. The 2021-22 Substitute Salary Schedule along with other useful information for substitutes may be viewed at


Full STEAM Ahead at MSE!

August 19, 2021

At Maude Saunders, every K-5 student will participate weekly in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) class, where they will apply their critical thinking skills to solve problems. For their first Engineering Design Challenge, students must design a vessel that will carry passengers safely and quickly across a body of water by harnessing the power of the wind. Students must consider density, wind power, water displacement, and many other variables as they design their vessel.  The students are excited to be participating in this first project and anxious to see what the next challenge will be!

The Mustangs took a break from intense racing, training, and strategy that happens  in classrooms to be an A+ School in the cafeteria today to enjoy spaghetti and green beans.  After lunch they went to recess to enjoy the company of classmates, Guidance, teachers, and Principal Hinote.  The Mustang Family always has extreme excitement about being on the grounds of Mossy Head Elementary School.  EPIC is the way in Mustang Country. 

Tell Me Something Good

August 17, 2021

Mrs. Dana Quinley makes times to celebrate the good stuff with her seventh grade science students.  She takes a few moments out of the day, asking students to "tell me something good."  Students share the big and small happy things in their lives, like "getting off my Xbox early last night," "getting a good night's sleep," "eating delicious food," and "moving into a new house after school."  As each shares, the class celebrates each student's good thing according to the motto, "When one claps, we all clap."  As a result, the classroom is filled with smiles and applause.  On the board at the front of the room, Mrs. Quinley lets students post sticky notes spotlighting the good things they are grateful for.  With such a celebratory culture of gratitude, Mrs. Quinley's seventh graders are bound to have a great year.

“Flex Friday” helped to end a great week of school in Ms. Bell’s 9th grade and Mrs. Warren’s 10th grade AVID classes at Walton High School as students came together in groups to build the most successful popsicle stick catapult. Students were given only a certain amount of supplies and had to work as a group, completing the project in 20 minutes. The group whose catapult launched a marshmallow the furthest won. A great time of learning how to work as a group and practice higher order thinking strategies.