Back to school: Big changes in play at some neighborhood schools

As families enjoy the final weeks of summer this month, neighborhood school administrators have been wrapping up many changes and improvements on area campuses. From staff and leadership adjustments to sweeping physical developments, local schools may not look exactly the same come the First Day of School.

Curious about what’s happening where? Several neighborhood school leaders pulled back the curtain a little to reveal some of the exciting changes underway.



The Bolles School

The biggest change at The Bolles School this summer is in leadership. John E. Trainer Jr., Ph.D. retired after 11 years of strong guidance at the School.  Brian E.M. Johnson entered office in July as the School’s seventh president and head of school.  Johnson most recently served as headmaster at Alexander Dawson School in Boulder, Colorado.

Facility improvements are also taking place on each of the four Bolles campuses.  The parking lots are being improved and repaved on the Upper School San Jose Campus including new lights posts added and the bus lanes being moved for more efficient drop off and pick up of students.  Also on the San Jose Campus, continued renovations of Bolles Hall are taking place including resident halls and refinishing the original wood floors in the hallways.  The Admission Office and Finance Center are switching locations with each building being renovated.  Changes on the Lower School Whitehurst Campus include a renovated administrative office and a new building for an additional section of fifth grade.  A new cafetorium and a bookstore are being constructed on the Lower School Ponte Vedra Beach Campus.  At the Middle School Bartram Campus, a new gated welcome station is being placed at the campus entrance.


St. Mark’s Episcopal Day School:

Students, parents, and teachers at St. Mark’s Episcopal Day School will return to school in August to the completion of several final projects that were a part of a recent $5 million dollar capital campaign. Students will enjoy performances, indoor sports, and freshly prepared lunches in the new multi-purpose Lori Schiavone Commons building. They will also enjoy outdoor sports and P.E. classes on the refurbished Berg Family Playfield. Parents will appreciate new paved parking areas around the campus easing morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up.

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