News Archives

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Pasco Schools Will Resume Computer-Based FSA Testing

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (March 3, 2015) – Pasco County Superintendent Kurt Browning notified middle and high school principals this afternoon that they should resume computer-based English language arts (writing) exams for 8th through 10th grades on Wednesday.

The decision was made based on the need to complete exams prior to spring break, which starts on March 16, and information provided in a conference call with the Florida Department of Education.  The DOE reiterated that AIR made improvements to the testing platform last night and throughout the day, noting that there was a significant improvement in performance this afternoon and AIR continues to develop solutions.

“We have come to the conclusion that no matter how long we wait, there will be issues with this computer-based test, so suspending tomorrow’s exams would just be kicking the can down the road,” Browning said.

Schools were told to notify the district’s Accountability, Research, and Measurement Department if they experience problems similar to those some students encountered during Monday’s testing.  Staff will provide guidance if issues do arise, including recommending suspension of testing for the day.

Odessa Elementary Celebrates Dr. Seuss Day

“If we didn’t have birthdays,
you wouldn’t be you.
If you’d never been born,
well then what would you do?”
Odessa Elementary Celebrates Dr. Seuss Day

Who:  Odessa Elementary School students, teachers, and staff

What:  Dr. Seuss Day

When:  1:40 p.m. and 2:40 p.m., Friday, March 6

Where:  Odessa Elementary School, 12810 Interlaken Rd., in New Port Richey

Why:  Dr. Seuss Day is celebrated nationwide on March 2, when thousands of schools, teachers, and students gather to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday by reading their favorite Dr. Seuss books. Due to FSA testing, Odessa Elementary is celebrating on March 6.

How:  Target public relations staff will visit the media center to read to kindergarten students and discuss some facts about Dr. Seuss. They will read to four classes at 1:40 p.m. and then an additional four at 2:10 p.m. For more information, contact John Thomas, assistant principal at Odessa Elementary School, at (813)346-3703 or via email at

CONTACT:     Linda Cobbe or Spencer Pylant
                        Communications & Government Relations
                        (813)794-2717, (813)361-8349 or (813)794-2259, (813)388-0020

Airman Returning Home from Deployment to Surprise Son

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (March 3, 2015) – Andrew Beck is returning to the United States from a one-year tour of duty in Korea on Wednesday, March 4, and will surprise his son, Andrew “Deuce” Beck, Jr., at Seven Springs Elementary School at noon. 

Deuce’s mom, Jillian Beck, has arranged with SSES principal Vicki Garner and his third grade teacher, Vicki Albrizzi, for the Air Force tech sergeant to make a surprise appearance in front of Deuce’s classmates. 

Seven Springs Elementary School is located at 8025 Mitchell Ranch Rd., in New Port Richey.  Media can park in the parking lot in front of the school and enter through the main gate to the front office.  If you call ahead, the school can reserve a space.

Lightning to Strike Cypress Elementary

Who:  Cypress Elementary School, All Sports Arena, and Tampa Bay Lightning alumni

What:  Hockey clinic

When:  9:45 a.m. Tuesday, March 10

Where:  Cypress Elementary School covered PE shelter, 10055 Sweet Bay Ct., New Port Richey

Why:  To teach students hockey skills.

How:  All Sports Arena is one of Cypress Elementary School’s business partners.  All Sports has partnered with the Lightning to bring several of the team’s alumni to the school to provide students with engaging and interactive instruction throughout the day.  For more information contact Deborah Burd, 727-774-4500.

CONTACT:     Linda Cobbe or Spencer Pylant
                        Communications & Government Relations
                        (813)794-2717, (813)361-8349 or (813)794-2259, (813)388-0020

Pasco Superintendent Suspends Tuesday’s FSA Computer-Based Testing

 Land O’ Lakes, FL – (March 2, 2015) – Pasco County Superintendent Kurt Browning has suspended Tuesday’s administration of the computer-based Florida Standards Assessment in English language arts

In a recorded message to 8th through 10th grade parents, Browning said, “After talking with the Florida Commissioner of Education this afternoon, I am not confident that the state’s testing company can correct problems with their system in time for tomorrow’s test-takers.  I do not want any more students to have questions about the validity of their answers due to problems with the state’s online testing system.”

The decision was made to suspend the online testing so that schools and parents would be aware before school starts tomorrow.  The state assured superintendents that AIR will work through the night to resolve issues students and teachers experienced today, but the possibility that a resolution would not materialize prior to the first bell on Tuesday prompted the superintendent’s action.

Although most schools did not experience significant problems today, some teachers had issues signing on to the AIR testing platform to begin their testing session, preventing student access to the test.  Some students who successfully launched the exam were kicked off in the middle of their test and lost their test information.  Other students who were kicked off while testing were able to log back in the state’s testing platform to retrieve their answers.  In some cases, students received an error message that could not be explained.

Grades 4 through 7 paper-and-pencil testing and regular instruction will continue on Tuesday.

“I am hopeful that the testing company fixes the problems we experienced today so that 8th through 10th graders can resume their computer-based exams on Wednesday,” the superintendent concluded.

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Kurt S. Browning, Superintendent of Schools
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