WSHS Principal Newsletter Column

WSHS Principal Newsletter Column
Posted on 07/25/2023

Dear Winter Springs High School Students and Parents:

Summer is almost over believe it or not, the 2023-2024 school year here. On Thursday, August 10, we will welcome around 2000 students back to Winter Springs High School. This summer has been a busy one with a lot of new hiring, some facility projects, and a lot of hard work. I would like to say “Thank you” yet again to our facilities crew who is working hard to prepare our campus for the 2023-24 school year. We cannot wait for the new school year to begin!

As always, my communication to parents and the community will be divided into sections.


I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome Tom Oliver, new WSHS Assistant Principal, to our staff!  I asked Tom to do a little write-up to introduce himself. Here it is…. Hello BearNation – I am entering my 26th year as an educator. I moved to SCPS in 2006 to serve as a teacher, head coach of multiple sports, testing coordinator, S.A.M. and Assistant Principal. I am married to my wife, Shari for 26 years and have 2 grown children, Bryce (23) and Brooke (20). I enjoy football, motorcycles, cooking barbecue, and hanging out with his bulldog Thor! Check him out! I look forward to working with the WSHS Teachers and Staff! GO BEARS!









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SAVE the DATES! MARK YOUR CALENDARS! So MANY WSHS important dates to get on your calendars!

• WSHS Bear Bash 2023 – Tuesday, August 2, 2023, 10am-12pm

• Buy Parking Permits and Senior Painted Parking at Bear Bash – Tuesday, August 2, 2023, 10am-12pm

• WSHS Athletics Cleaning-Up Day – Saturday, August 5, 2023, 9am-12pm

• First Day of School – Thursday, August 10, 2023

• Senior Painted Parking Day – Saturday, August 12, 2023, 8am-12pm

• WSHS Tailgate Party – Friday, August 18, 2023, 5:30pm-7pm

• 1st HOME Football Game vs Space Coast Friday, August 18, 2023, 7pm

• WSHS Open House – Monday, August 28, 2023, 6pm-8pm

• SENIOR LUNCH BEGINS (Off campus)! Wed, August 23, 2023 (Form must be completed – No Exceptions!)

• WSHS College and Career Fair (Tentative) – Wednesday, September 6, 2023 (Time: TBD)

• WSHS Trunk or Treat – Thursday, October 26, 2023, 6pm-8pm

• WSHS Homecoming Week – Monday, October 2, 2023, through Saturday, October 7, 2023

• WSHS Homecoming Dance – Saturday, October 7, 2023 (Time/Location TBD)

• Seminole State College Decision Day Class of 2024– Friday, December 1, 2023 (TBD)

• WSHS Prom TBD – Most likely in March, April, or May

• GRAD NITE at Busch Gardens OR Grad Bash at Universal Studios for the Class of 2024 (Date/Time/Location TBD)

• Senior Class of 2024 Picnic (Date and Time TBD)

• Senior Class of 2024 Breakfast (Date and Time TBD)

• Class of 2024 Graduation – End of May 2024 (Date and Time TBD)


To assist you, please read through the following:

For the 2023-2024 School year, Winter Springs High School counselors will be assigned the following students:

• Ms. Spence: All students with IEPs

• Ms. Lash: All students in the IB or Pre-DP program and Last Names MO-RE

• Ms. Durand: Last names A-FO

• Ms. McBryde: Last names FR-MI

• Ms. Urena: Last names RH-Z and all ESOL students

Red Apple Dining Update: We would like to keep SCPS families updated about some important changes for the upcoming 2023-2024 school year. The federal waiver allowing all students to eat breakfast and lunch at no charge, has expired. We encourage families who need assistance to complete an application for meal benefits. Free and reduced-price meal applications for the 2022-2023 school year will be available starting July 18. Online applications can be completed on

Families who have not applied for meal benefits for the 2023-2024 school year can expect to resume paying the full price for campus dining meals beginning August 10. The federal government requires an application to be completed each year to determine eligibility.

Red Apple Dining’s mission is to nourish and enrich the lives of their guests through an exceptional dining experience. Delicious, high-quality meals are prepared fresh daily in our campus restaurants. With multiple entrée options available, there is something for everyone.

We invite you to “experience the difference” at your campus restaurant this upcoming school year. Keep an eye on your inbox, as additional information will be sent in the coming weeks. We look forward to serving your family. Please visit or call 407-320-0226 for more information. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@RedAppleDining).

WSHS Student Check Out (No Phone Call Outs):

We will no longer allow a parent/guardian to call the front office to check out a student out from Winter Springs High School. Students will only be able to be dismissed from campus during the school day if a parent/guardian shows up at the school and shows appropriate identification that will be matched with the information we have in Skyward. Any exceptions to this procedure MUST be cleared by and through Mr. Gaffney, Principal. We wanted to send this message out early in the summer for all families to make the appropriate adjustments with appointments and schedules. Please feel free to contact me with any questions at [email protected].

Class of 2024 Senior Pictures

Please look for an email from Leonard's Studio with your personalized access code and scheduling information for your senior formal pictures. If you did not receive an email or cannot find an access code, go to the following link below or call Leonard's Studio:

Customer Service 800-215-4852

Main Office 904-209-3300

Fax 904-209-3399

To be in the yearbook, you will need to schedule an appointment with Leonard's studio. The WSHS cutoff date to take the picture is in October. If you take the picture after this date, we cannot guarantee that there will be in the yearbook. Please be advised that there is a sitting fee. Studios are open for pictures after June 5th! Contact Ms. Oberle with any questions ([email protected])

IB Program:

Our IB Program (International Baccalaureate) has available seats!!  Students who have been designated Pre-IB now start their junior year which is when the IB program really begins to be exciting! If you are interested in learning more about this program, please contact Ms. Sutton, Assistant Principal, at 407-320-8726 ([email protected]) or IB Coordinator, Dr. Vickers at ([email protected]).

Bus Route Information: Beginning August 4, 2023, a Transportation hotline is available for parents and families to call with their school bus related questions. The hotline will be available 7 days a week from 7am-7pm. Please call 407.320.7588 during this period.

DIVIDEND at Winter Springs High School - Get Involved!!!

There are many opportunities available to both parents and community members to get involved with Winter Springs High School:

Dividends is the volunteer program for WSHS and SCPS. All Dividends volunteers are required to re-activate their applications each year

Back to School Sales Tax Holiday July 24 through August 6

Consumers can purchase qualifying back-to-school supplies exempt from tax during the 2023 Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday.

Student Insurance

The cost to be covered during school hours for the entire school year is only $20. The 24-hour Plan annual cost is only $42. This will help protect your student on weekends, holidays and the 2024 summer break. This one-time payment for insurance may supplement your primary insurance and help with your deductible costs. These plans provide up to $25,000 of coverage, per accident, subject to the policy limits and provisions. Signing up is easy! Simply fill out the registration form online by visiting or pick up an application at your child’s school. 407.798.0290

WSHS Business Partners – WE NEED YOU!

Partners in Education (PIE) is a broad-based program which promotes business involvement in our schools. It is an exchange of human resources between a business and a school involving internships, tutoring, classroom presentations, job shadowing, student and or teacher recognition, field trips, student work displays, student competition judging, apprenticeships, or a customized program designed by a company and the partner school. The focus of this program is to create ongoing connections and relationships with partners who can share their experience and resources with our students. As well as providing our students with access to more opportunities that support their social and physical growth throughout the educational process.


Be a part of giving back and working and mentoring our students for the 2023-2024 school year! Must be over 18 years of age to mentor, an approved SCPS Dividend, and approved by our WSHS Mentor Coordinator! Sign-up today! Check our Facebook page or your email for information or contact Dr. Carpenter at [email protected] for details.

“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” — Denzel Washington

2023-2024 SCPS School Calendars:

Under student calendars tab you have access to a text, block and iCalendar version of the need-to-know dates surrounding your child's academic schedule. These calendars serve to keep you informed on important dates regarding school holidays, breaks, early dismissals and more. We encourage you to utilize these resources to stay engaged in everything we have to offer our students here at SCPS.

WSHS Athletic Department Information:

Are you interested in WSHS Athletics??



*Football Conditioning has started! Tryouts / Practice Start July 31st.

-Coach Dycus: [email protected]

*Girls Volleyball Tryouts / Practice Start July 31st)

-Coach Mallard: [email protected]

*Boys and Girls Cross Country Conditioning started / Practice Start July 31st

-Coach Clark: [email protected]

*Boys and Girls Bowling Practice Starts August 4th at Oviedo Bowling Center

-Coach Ash: [email protected]

*Boys and Girls Golf Practice Starts August 4th at Tuscawilla Country Club

-Coach Ciero: [email protected]

*Boys and Girls Swimming Practice starts August 14th at Lyman HS Pool

-Coach Weinberg: [email protected]

Any general questions please contact Athletic Director Gomrad: 

[email protected]

IMPORTANT!! In order to participate in summer conditioning, tryouts, practices for any sport you must be WSHS enrolled and create their online account and be fully cleared:


DIRECTIONS FOR SCPS ONLINE ATHLETIC CLEARANCE (must be updated each school year): 


NEW FHSAA EL2 FORM (valid 365 days from doctor exam): /UserFiles/Servers/Server_2583444/File/Athletics/FHSAA-EL2-Sports-Physical-Form.pdf

SCPS CARDIAC CLEARANCE FORM (testing completed once during high school career, just upload from your account document library each school year): /UserFiles/Servers/Server_2583444/File/Athletics/CardiacClearance.pdf

You can get ECG from your physician or try this company if needed:

WSHS Boy's Cross-Country is looking for a few good men. If you think that you can run and are willing to work hard, come join the WSHS Boys’ Cross-Country Team Today. Conditioning has already started this summer. Times are 6:30-8:00AM Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. 11:00AM Tuesday and Thursday. 7:00AM on Saturday. Meet Coach Clark at the Football Stadium. Make sure you have all the athletic paperwork and requirements met. Go to our website and search athletics for all the information or contact our Athletic Director Mr. Gomrad with [email protected]. GO BEARS!

WSHS Golf: WSHS is looking for any interested rising 9th-12th grade students to play on our WSHS Boys or Girls Golf Teams! Contact Coach Ciero if interested at [email protected]. All participants must have cleared physical in file and all the required athletic criteria!

Meet the Coaches: Wednesday, August 2, 2023 – during Bear Bash 10am-12pm

Athletic Facility Clean-Up Day: Saturday, August 5, 2023, 9am-12pm

WSHS Football Information:

Contact Head Coach Tim Dycus, [email protected] with any questions.

In conclusion, we are looking forward to a GREAT school year! We will continue to make safety a priority and will strive to make sure that our students graduate and have the best academic opportunities we can provide! Our BEAR code of Believe, Engage, Achieve and Reflect will continue this year to promote positive behavior and making positive choices!

Looking forward to a great 2023-24 school year!

Caring for your child,

Mr. Pete Gaffney, Principal, Winter Springs High School

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