August 1, 2020

Dear JCDS Families, 

With camp concluded and the classrooms being prepared for the start of a new school year, I wanted to take this opportunity to welcome all of you back for the 2020-2021 school year.  

This year when we welcome your children back to school, things will look different. From classrooms that must be arranged to accommodate CDC recommendations for physical distancing and healthy spaces, to one-way paths through our hallways, and lunch in the classroom or at a picnic table outside!  

As an independent school, we have greater opportunities to provide an on-campus experience than the local public schools. With over 19 acres, classrooms spread out (literally, outside if teachers choose!), and large spaces that may be repurposed to accommodate groups of students, we are in a unique situation to be able to deliver on our mission even during these challenging times. 

Thank you to you, our parents, for taking the time to communicate with us about your desires and hopes for your children. We appreciate the open dialog and time you have taken to understand our learning options. We honor and respect each family as you make difficult choices for your children. 

I would also like to take this opportunity to publicly thank our faculty for the time they have spent this summer participating in additional professional development to receive the necessary training to work with our upgraded learning management software.  I am appreciative of the work that both faculty and staff have done to prepare for the modified work environment in our classrooms for both our on-campus learners and those working in hybrid modalities.

It is my hope that we can shine as a community, support one another, and partner together to make this a great year for each of our students.  
Pat Walker
Head of School

Head of School Pat Walker has more than 35 years of experience as an educator, including seven years teaching 1st grade at JCDS. She also served as Director of Admissions for thirteen years prior to being named Head of School in 2014.

Ms. Walker holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Wake Forest University. She and her husband, James, are parents of twins who are alums of JCDS. Ms. Walker is passionate about character education and serving the children in her care.

She is active in the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS), for which she has served on several FCIS evaluation committees, and the Elementary School Heads Association (ESHA).
Located In Jacksonville, FL, Jacksonville Country Day School is a private school for Pre-K 3 through 6th grade. JCDS prepares students for a healthy and productive lifetime of intellectual exploration, character development, and social responsibility.