Return to Headlines

School Updates from Principal Jackson

VHS Update - July 2, 2020

Good Afternoon VHS Class of 2020 Graduates and Families,

On July 16, we welcome you to join us in the Venice Performing Arts Center (VPAC) for a Cap and Gown photo opportunity. The event will take place beginning at 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Graduates and families will enter the VPAC to the playing of Pomp and Circumstance, receive your diploma cover, and walk across the stage as your name is being called. While on stage, professional photographers will take photographs of graduates and their families. We will be purchasing the rights to the images so that each family will be able to have access to the digital images free of charge. Graduates will also be able to pick up pre-purchased yearbooks and senior class panoramic photos during this time. Upon entering the lobby of the VPAC, we ask that you wear a face covering.  Hand sanitizer will be on hand in the lobby. Families will remain in a designated spot until it's your time to enter the main area of the VPAC. We also ask that families remain in vehicles until your designated time.  Please sign up for a time slot on the link below. Thank you.

Eric Jackson

Principal, Venice High School (When it asks “How many do you need, select 1”)


VHS Update - June 30, 2020
Virtual Graduation
VHS Update - June 26, 2020

Good Afternoon Venice High School (Class of 2020) families,

This is Principal Eric Jackson with an important update about the graduation ceremony and senior social. It is with great sadness and disappointment that I have to announce both events have been canceled. The digital graduation ceremony we recently prepared will now serve as our graduation ceremony. We are working through plans to provide seniors and their families with the opportunity to have a cap and gown photo event on July 16. I’ll be sending out more details and specific requirements related to that opportunity as plans are finalized.

Please know that this decision was not made lightly. All Sarasota County high schools have been continually working with the school district and the local Department of Health to develop a way to safely hold these celebrations. As we are all aware, Florida has recently experienced a rapid increase in COVID-19 positive cases and guidelines have changed. After a considerable and lengthy discussion today, our high schools, the school district, and the local Department of Health determined it would not be safe for our seniors and staff members to participate in the graduation ceremony or social for seniors as planned.

I hope everyone is having a safe and relaxing summer so far. Please keep an eye out for any updates we send through email or over our school social media.

Thank you,

Eric Jackson

VHS Update - June 6, 2020
Good Afternoon Class of 2020,

Congratulations to our seniors for successfully completing your 2019-2020 courses! We are so proud of your accomplishments and look forward to celebrating with you in July.

Although your classes may be completed, please be mindful that attending the senior social event and/or commencement is a privilege afforded to Venice graduates.  It is not a right.  Since our graduation ceremony is in mid-summer this year, be respectful with your actions in the community as well as on social media. Your conduct outside of Venice’s campus is essential to earning your way to these last two events. Although we want every graduate to walk in the July ceremony and participate in the social event, this privilege can be revoked.


  1. Please be on the lookout for information on how to complete your virtual graduation slide in the near future. The virtual graduation presentation will be released on the day of graduation.
  2. Senior obligations will be mailed home by July 1. Obligations (outstanding lunch and media fines) must be fulfilled prior to graduation. If you still have textbooks, they can be dropped off in the front office between 8am-2pm daily beginning June 8th.
  3. The Senior Social Event will be held July 11th from 7pm-11pm at Venice High School. Tickets will be available on our school website beginning June 29th. The cost is $20.
  4. Graduation Rehearsal is at 4p.m. at Cool Today Park on July 15th.
    1. Your attendance at rehearsal is mandatory for walking on July 16th
    2. Guest tickets will be passed out at rehearsal.
  5. We are closely watching CDC regulations and will be in contact with our seniors regarding the number of guests permitted at commencement. Currently, we have four tickets per graduate.
  6. Keep checking the VHS website, Senior REMIND, Facebook page and Instagram for updates throughout the summer. Beginning in July we will no longer be able to text and email seniors and their families.  All communications will occur through the other mentioned communication tools.

If you need anything or have any questions, please contact me.

Have a great summer and I will see you in July!



Mr. Eric Jackson

VHS Update - June 4, 2020
Good Morning VHS Families,
Thank you for a great school year.  The unique challenges we faced during COV-19 showcased the strength, tenacity, and solidarity of the Venice High School community. The entire staff greatly appreciates your flexibility and support as we engaged in new approaches to teaching and learning. We miss you and look forward to seeing you in person very soon.
As district leaders determine the next steps for opening schools this Fall, I will continue to provide you with timely communication throughout June and July. The administrative team and clerical staff will be on campus throughout the summer months to prepare for an August 10th start.  
The summer months are an excellent time to update your personal information in the Parent Portal. Never has virtual communication been more important. The information in the portal accounts are one of our primary means of communication to families. Please visit to set-up or update your portal information.
In addition, registration for the 2020-2021 school year is underway.  Visit with your snap code letter in hand to re-register your student.
If during the re-registration process you updated your address, you will need to provide the school with proof of residency.  This document can include a FPL/water bill, a lease agreement, or a purchase agreement.  Simply faxed, email or mailed these documents to us. The email is She is also available via email to assist with any re-registration questions.
We hope your summer is full of good times with friends and family.  And if you need an adventure, open a book. You have access to over 10,000 FREE books through at  I promise it will not disappoint.  
From the VHS family to yours, stay healthy and safe.
Eric Jackson
Principal, Venice High School
VHS Update - June 2, 2020
Good Evening VHS student and Families:

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, all Sarasota County high schools were forced to cancel spring Prom events in compliance with State policy and CDC guidelines. Consequently, district and school leaders coordinated to determine a feasible way to bring our students together one final time.  After a great deal of discussion, brainstorming, and processing, we concluded that a formal “prom”  presented too many obstacles for many of our families, especially after the devastating consequences of COVID-19. Even before the pandemic, approximately 40% of Venice High School students participate in our “Free or Reduced” meal program, an indicator of the reality many families are facing.  The goal is for our seniors to have an opportunity to end their 13 years of education with the celebration they deserve.

Thankfully, the decision was made for all high schools to host a senior social event so that the entire graduating class can celebrate together. All high schools will host an on-campus celebration. We all feel this is the correct path given the unique situation so many of our families presently find themselves.  At Venice High School, our social event is now scheduled for Saturday, July 11 from 7:00 PM to – 10:00 PM. We plan to host this event in our school’s gymnasium. This will be a semi-formal, casual event, in which we will use the same DJ, lighting company, casino games, raffle prizes, and photo booth company reserved for the prom. This celebration will be followed by the commencement ceremony on Thursday, July 16th, 2020.

Tickets will be on sale on line June 29 – July 6. The link will be available on the VHS website beginning June 29th. The cost is $20 per ticket. If you have purchased a senior package, we are in the process of generating refunds. Tickets are limited to Venice High School graduating seniors ONLY.

Please contact Mrs. Mia Slaton regarding ticket details. She may be reached via email at

We want this to be an incredibly special and memorable event. The most special part of the event will be having all our senior class back together again! Knowing this social event will serve as an opportunity for our graduating class to come together one final time, we are striving to ensure all seniors can participate.

Thank you in advance for your support of this special event!


Eric Jackson
Principal, Venice High School
VHS Update - May 29, 2020

It is with great enthusiasm and pride that we release the VHS 2020 Virtual Senior Awards Ceremony.  Congratulations to all scholarship recipients.

VHS Update - May 19, 2020

Good Morning Venice High School’s Class of 2020 and Families,


Thank you for a great turn out at our Cap and Gown Pickup Event yesterday afternoon. It was great to see you in person as it has been a while. Many teachers came out to cheer you on and recognize your milestone accomplishment. If you were unable to pick up your cap and gown or drop off books, laptop, or pick up personal items, you may do so next week on Wednesday, May 27th, Thursday, May 28th from 10 am-2 pm, or Friday, May 29th from 4 pm-7 pm in the front loop.


Looking ahead, I have exciting end-of-year details to share:


  • We are in the process of finalizing an agreement with Cool Today Park to host this year’s live graduation. This venue will allow us to host a live graduation ceremony under CDC guidelines.
  • Graduation Ceremony, Thursday, July 16th at 8 pm @ Cool Today Park
  • Please do not decorate caps
  • The event will be streamed live
  • Graduation Rehearsal, Wednesday, July 15th at 4 pm @ Cool Today Park
  • (4) Tickets will be distributed per graduate at rehearsal (limits dependent on CDC guidelines)
  • Virtual Graduation. We are in the process of preparing a Virtual Graduation as well. It will be released on graduation day.
  • Senior Dance has been scheduled for July 18th – details to follow
  • Yearbook pick up front loop week of July 20th – details to follow


If you have an outstanding financial obligation, a statement will be mailed to you. Please fulfill your financial obligation before July 15th.


Thank you for your efforts to finish your high school experience on a strong and positive note. We are so proud of what you have accomplished. The Class of 2020 will forever be remembered…


Take care and stay healthy!


Eric Jackson

Principal, Venice High School

VHS Update- May 1

Good Afternoon VHS Families,

I hope this message finds you well and that you are staying healthy. If you have been following the news, you are aware of Governor DeSantis’ update regarding COVID – 19 restrictions. “The restrictions, which have been in place since early April will be lifted "in a very measured, thoughtful, and data-driven way." Under phase one, schools will remain closed until further notice.

In case you didn’t know, Teacher Appreciation Week begins Monday, May 4. Every day, Venice High School teachers and staff provide so much to our students—inspiration, motivation, and ultimately, their futures. Families entrust their children to us knowing our staff plays a critical role in educating and shaping their lives. Next week serves as an opportunity to recognize our teachers for their contributions to the lives of our students. 

Here are some additional updates and items of information I’d like to share with you.

  • Graduation has been conditionally re-scheduled for July 16th. We are in the process of making the necessary arrangements for a live and in-person graduation. We are considering options for an appropriate venue that will allow us to conduct the ceremony safely. Graduation will be subject to cancellation pending the most current CDC guidelines and guidance from the Department of Health. I will keep you updated as I have more information to share.
  • We are also planning a digital graduation that will be posted immediately after graduation on our website. This will ensure that all students, even those who will not be able to participate in July due to prior commitments involving the military, college, working in another state, etc. will be part of a graduation celebration.
  • We are looking into the possibility of hosting a senior dance in July. Again, this is subject to the most current CDC guidelines and guidance from the Department of Health. Stay tuned.
  • We are finalizing a plan for locker cleanout that includes picking up personal belongings, textbooks, laptop return, band equipment, etc. Details will be forthcoming very soon.
  • If your child is receiving paper packets, their respective teachers will continue to communicate for attendance purposes and provide support.
  • Please continue to monitor your student’s progress through either Parent Portal, APEX, or Blackboard.
  • During the week of May 26- May 29, "Staff will connect with every child who has not satisfactorily completed their assignments.  Staff will continue to provide "intensive tutoring" and remediation for students in need.


On behalf of the Venice High School staff, please know that we are all committed to following through with quality end-of-year experiences for our students. We will keep you updated with important information and updates. We are so proud of our students’ efforts to make the most of these unique and challenging times. As for the here and now, please continue to stay on top of your school work and finish the year strong.

I hope everyone enjoys a relaxing weekend!



Eric Jackson

Principal, Venice High School



VHS Update April 24

Video from Principal Jackson for Class of 2020


VHS Update April 16

Dear VHS Families and Students,

I hope this school update finds you all well and healthy. Now that we have fully immersed ourselves in remote learning, I want you to know that all VHS students are surrounded by support. No matter the challenges we face or the difficulties we encounter, your teachers, counselors, and support staff will continue to work tirelessly to help your child move forward educationally. If you know of anyone who is still experiencing issues with internet or computer access, please communicate that information to one of your teachers so we may assist.

Effective Friday, April 17th, attendance will be reflected in the Parent Portal weekly. If your child has not logged in and/or communicated with their teacher and completed their academic assignments, s/he will be marked absent for that class period on Friday of each week. Absences will generate automated phone calls to parents. If you would like to monitor the progress of your children, please check through the district’s Parent Portal.

Our teachers’ primary approach to communication with students is through their school-issued email account. Each student is given a school email account using their “N number”. Please ensure that your child is checking that email as frequently as possible through the website.

These are unchartered waters. We appreciate your ongoing patience and support as our teachers strive to provide quality remote learning experiences. Together, we will continue to move forward with patience and compassion to best support each student.

Eric Jackson
Principal, Venice High School



Video from Principal Jackson


Good Afternoon Venice High School Families,

I hope everyone has remained safe and healthy during your time away. These are unprecedented times and I want to thank you for your patience. Please know Venice High School staff are here to help. I encourage you to reach out to me via email if you have any concerns or feedback that will best support the needs of your family.

Through the Developing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regulations and Governor’s orders, please know that your child’s safety and academic pursuits remain our collective focus as we move into the 4th quarter. Your child has worked diligently for three quarters towards earning credits in various classes; please know that we are working just as hard to support them in their goal towards graduation and earning said credits. This includes our International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement students with May testing.

In terms of establishing some continuity for the remainder of the school year, the district will be rolling out the Instructional Continuity for Academic Needs (ICAN) plan effective Monday, March 30th.  Teachers will be receiving training to provide distance learning on a variety of district supported platforms. If teachers have not already taken the time to reach out to students, they will plan to do so beginning next week. Also, the district has been in contact with Comcast.  Their Internet Essentials program is available to anyone who needs internet connectivity in Comcast service areas.  Throughout this week, both district and school-level leaders and personnel will be working hard towards making our upcoming online learning approach a positive and successful experience for your child. Our Venice staff has reached out throughout break asking how to help our families.

Please go to as quickly as possible to begin the connection process. If you need a laptop, please let the school district know by completing the Mobile Device Needs Survey, found at The district recently sent out an email discussing the transition to online learning for all our students. Please fill out an online survey if you require any technological devices (and/or internet). This week, the district has come together to design a plan that can work with all our learners as well as support families as they help their children through the challenges and opportunities of distance learning.

Currently, all sports, practices, banquets and any other school-related events are canceled until Venice High School re-opens.

Additionally, be sure to pay attention to your email, calls from the district, the district website, and follow the Facebook page for Sarasota County Schools for all pertinent and up to date information.

Here are a few key points that have been communicated from the district/state this week:

  • The Florida Department of Education has canceled all state testing.
  • Schools will not reopen until at least April 15.
  • Any/all children 18 or under will be provided meals (lunch as well as breakfast for the next morning) starting on Monday, March 23. The meal service will run Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. each week until schools reopen. Children must be in the car for parents and guardians to receive a meal.  The following locations will be open for drive-up meal service:

Booker High School – 3201 North Orange Avenue
Fruitville Elementary School – 601 Honore Avenue
Garden Elementary School -700 Center Road, Venice
North Port High School – 6400 West Price Blvd, North Port
Atwater Elementary School – 4701 Huntsville Ave, North Port

Venice has an incredible school community.  We are in this together, and we will get through this together! I will continue to provide updated information as we receive it. Please enjoy the rest of your time away. Stay safe and healthy! Hopefully, we will be back together soon. 


Eric Jackson



Greetings VHS Families,

Teachers will participate in two days of training that begins on March 30. Upon the completion of the training, teachers will begin to contact all families to ensure our students have access to the internet and digital devices. Once online instruction begins, teachers will begin posting assignments for the week, maintaining a daily presence with students, providing frequent feedback to students, and keeping families apprised of progress. Your teachers will pick from one of three online platforms to deliver instruction:
1. Blackboard LEARN (This is a platform that many teachers already use within their classrooms and can be found on the student page on the Sarasota County Schools website through MYSCS.)
2. TEAMS (This is a Microsoft application that can be found in MYSCS.)
3. Apex (This is a platform that many core classes will be using in which the content is loaded for the 4th quarter and students and parents can track progress and it also available on MYSCS.)

Our teachers will use a variety of resources to deliver lessons: video chats, video lessons and virtual office hours for students. Along with the development of content-specific lessons, many teachers will also provide students with online programs and resources intended to support their learning. Among these include Khan Academy, CPALMS, Big Ideas, Math Nation, Albert IO, and USA Test Prep. All of these resources are available to students through the MYSCS application. If you have a student with an IEP or 504 plan, I encourage you to reach out to teachers, school counselors, and/or liaison to work with them to see how best to support your child.

Students, our goal is to help you earn all of your credits for this year. Please know that the 4th quarter work does count in the overall semester and final grade. Therefore, you will need to complete your 4th quarter curriculum successfully. Regular communication with your teachers is essential! I encourage you to check your outlook email via MYSCS. Connect with your teachers if you have not heard from them, please feel free to email. For any students that have technology needs, the district sent specific directions to families for pickup locations starting today. Your "n" number has an email address attached to it, which is provided by Sarasota County Schools. Please go to MYSCS, click on Office 365 and then go to Outlook. If you have trouble with Outlook, email me and I will create a help ticket for you to get it resolved quickly.

Families, please know that our district has listed several ways in which you may receive support in a variety of ways. Please refer to the listing below:

Crisis Text Line:
• HERE4U to 741741

Food Assistance
• Sarasota County Schools Meal Sites (open 9 am- 1 pm) are open at several sites: Please see the District website
• All Faiths Food Bank:
• Englewood Helping Hands: 941-474-5864
• Free and Reduced Lunch Application:

Free Internet Access
• Internet Essentials:
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, Internet Essentials has increased speeds to 25/3 Mbps for all customers - no action is required.

Health Care
• Center Place Health: All can be seen regardless of ability to pay.

Housing Assistance
Suncoast 2-1-1:
• By Phone: Dial 2-1-

Mental Health Resources
• Emergency: 9-1-1
• Crisis Text Line: HERE4U to 741741
• Centerstone:
Address: 4010 Sawyer Road, Sarasota
Phone: (941) 782-4150
• First Step/Coastal:
Address: 4579 Northgate Court, Sarasota
Phone: (941) 366-5333
• Florida Center:
Sarasota Address: 4260 17th Street, Sarasota, FL 34235
Phone: (941) 371-8820 ext. 1000
North Port Address: 6929 Outreach Way, North Port, FL 34287
Phone: (941) 371-8820 ext. 1000
• Bayside:
Address: 1650 Osprey Ave., Sarasota
Phone: (941) 917-7760

Thank you all for your patience and flexibility during our transition to distance learning. We will strive to ensure every student receives a quality learning experience. I want to assure you that our staff will be very flexible as we problem-solve each situation that may arise. We will support all students and families to prevent any potential barriers to learning. Please contact me with any questions or feedback you may have. I will do my best to respond promptly. Please stay safe and enjoy this time with your loved ones.


Eric Jackson
VHS Principal