This school year marks the end for both schools. Come August, the schools will merge to become the new Beachside Elementary.
As the 2020-2021 school year comes to a close, Osceola and Ortona Elementary are also embarking on a new chapter.
With both schools merging to become Beachside Elementary in the fall, to be housed at the current Osceola campus until the new school at the Ortona site on North Grandview Avenue is built, a piece of Ortona history was unearthed on Thursday, June 3: A time capsule, buried in 2003 following the school's 50th anniversary.
Fifth grade students from both schools had the opportunity to contribute new items to be included in the time capsule, to be buried when the new school is constructed.
“What a wonderful event to start our journey off together," said Osceola Elementary Principal Lynn Bruner, who will be the principal of the new Beachside Elementary.
The time capsule was dug out in front of Ortona and Osceola Elementary fifth graders, and School Board Member Anita Burnette. This was a moment the principals wanted to share with the students, and though it took a lot of digging on their part, both Bruner and Ortona Elementary Principal Katie Dyer were all smiles.
Included in the 2003 time capsule was an Ortona yearbook — with the students' photos in black and white, causing surprise among the fifth graders present — as well as newspaper articles, school T-shirts, a list of faculty members and school flyers.
Some of the items that will be in the new time capsule are an Osceola "Awesome Award" certificate, bracelets commemorating Osceola different "houses," a Polaroid of an iPhone 8 and iPad, newspapers, T-shirts and yearbooks from both schools.
Dyer said this marked a new beginning.
“A beginning that we’re sharing together, so I just think that is such a cool thing," Dyer said.
Volusia County Schools states Beachside Elementary will open in the 2022-2023 school year. The new two-story school will serve 765 students.