Friday, August 22, 2014
Transportation Transformation a Tremendous Triumph
Land O’ Lakes, FL – (August 22, 2014) – The Pasco County Schools Transportation Call Center call volume has reached such a low level that it is closing down after today, one week earlier than planned.
Web banners will remain on the district and school websites through next week, but if parents call the xxx-xxx-2500 numbers, they will be forwarded to one of the transportation compounds for assistance. In addition, schools will continue to use the My Bus Loop app through next Friday, August 29, and may use it throughout the school year.
The early closure can be attributed to the planning, training and other steps the district and schools took to make the transportation system run smoothly at the start of the school year. Those steps include:
- Establishing a period (June 27 – September 1) during which no new bus stops were added
- Communicating the new bus stop moratorium to parents
- Developing the My Bus Loop app
- Training school staff to use My Bus Loop
- Use of the My Bus Loop app at the schools the first week of school to check buses in and out
- Training volunteers on the software to help parents who call in
- Bus drivers’ practice runs prior to the start of school
- Planning and set-up at orientation days and the start of school including having trained staff entering information into the database
- Elementary student bus labels placed on the correct color bus bands
- Bus bands organized and distributed properly during registration and orientation
- Parents cooperating with this new district process.
“This is an example of how successful an operation can be when district departments work together, schools work with the district, and parents and students work with the schools and district,” said Superintendent Kurt Browning. “We also owe our gratitude to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office for helping with elementary school traffic issues and supplying volunteers to help at the call center,” he added.
Friday, August 08, 2014
2014 - 2015 School Registration and Open House Schedule
The complete school registration and open house schedule is now available.
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
Statement from Superintendent Kurt Browning on Revision to Student Progression Plan Recommendation
Land O’ Lakes, FL – (August 5, 2014) – On Tuesday, July 1, 2014, the District School Board of Pasco County held its first public hearing on revisions to the Student Progression Plan (SPP). One member of the public spoke during the public hearing. The gentleman read a letter from his daughter stating her opposition to the part of the proposed SPP removing the valedictorian and salutatorian designations for high school graduates.
Following the meeting, a television interview program mischaracterized the reasons for the recommendation, generating approximately 30 emails, most opposed to it. I spoke to folks who offered their opinion to me at meetings and out in the community, and I sought out the opinions of current and former educators. Finally, I met with a group of thoughtful, experienced, trusted staff and we had a detailed discussion about the valedictorian and salutatorian designation, as well as other issues related to GPAs.
After much reflection and discussion, I have made the decision to preserve the valedictorian and salutatorian titles while we look at the underlying issues with our grading and grade weighting processes. The SPP the School Board will consider at next Tuesday’s final public hearing will not include the original recommendation to remove the val/sal titles.
I want Pasco principals, school leaders, and teachers to know that I still think changing how we honor our best and brightest is the right thing to do. I believe there is a better way to recognize the highest achievers, encourage more students to strive for excellence, and eliminate the practice of recognizing only two students per school each year.
Let me be very clear, though; I in no way advocate “giving a trophy to every student!”
We will revisit this matter for the 2015-2016 school year, after we have had the opportunity to put together a panel of academic experts who will examine our current practices and make recommendations for improvements. We will look at laws, how counselors verify student credits, State Board Rules, and how we designate which courses receive extra weight.
Meanwhile, Pasco principals have the flexibility within their schools to determine how valedictorians and salutatorians will be recognized and who will speak at graduation. I also encourage all of our high schools to use the cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude honors provided for in the SPP to recognize outstanding students at graduation.
(The public hearing on the Student Progression Plan is at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, August 12, in the Building 3 North auditorium, 7227 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., Land O’ Lakes.)
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Pasco Schools Introduce Online Credit Card Payment Option
Land O’ Lakes, FL – (August 4, 2014) – The District School Board of Pasco County announces that it will begin accepting credit/debit card payments during registration and orientation days this year through SchoolPay®.
Parents will be able to purchase school merchandise and yearbooks, and pay for fees, field trips, and other school items at the school or online through links on school websites. The district Human Resources Department also will accept credit card payments to pay for fingerprinting fees.
“It’s important to me as superintendent to offer parents convenience and to increase our use of technology in our daily operations,” said Superintendent Kurt Browning.
The district piloted the program at Wiregrass Ranch High School and Connerton Elementary School during the 2013-2014 school year. Both schools reported increased collections and positive feedback from parents about the ease and convenience of paying school fees online with credit and debit cards.
The district’s Food and Nutrition Services Department accepts online credit/debit card meal payments at MyLunchMoney. School vending machines also will accept credit/debit cards and each school will have a dining room credit card reader for meals at point of sale stations.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Pasco School Board Tentative Budget Reduces Property Taxes
Land O’ Lakes, FL – (July 29, 2014) – The District School Board of Pasco County held its first public hearing on the 2014-2015 tentative budget, which will reduce property taxes rates by 0.208 mills.
The total tentative budget is $1,199,382,140, an increase of $119.9 million over last year’s budget. It includes a General Operating budget of $544 million and a Capital budget of $335 million.
The General Operating Budget increased from $518.8 million to $544.4 million. The increase is due to changes in the base student allocation and increases in projected enrollment.
The total tax millage for the 2014-2015 fiscal year is 7.149, a decrease of 0.208 mills. Under the proposed rate, a homeowner of a $125,000 home, after the deduction of the $25,000 homestead exemption, would pay $20.80 per year less than last year.
The Operating Budget covers the cost of higher Florida Retirement System employer contributions rates; the new cost associated with 176.228 new allocations needed to meet Class Size; increases in health insurance and property premiums; Affordable Care Act annual fees and funds for professional development and curriculum mandates.
The budget also includes a modest salary increase for all employees and the use of roll forward funds from the 2013-2014 school year.
The Capital Budget is $334,609,467, an increase of $90 million over last year. The largest capital project appropriations are for the renovation/remodeling of existing facilities including campus re-development of Anclote, Pasco, Quail Hollow, Sanders Memorial and Shady Hills elementary schools, Bayonet Point Middle School, and Marchman Technical Education Center.
In addition, the budget includes a bond issue to finance the future construction of a new school and for major HVAC repairs at various schools.
The final public hearing on the 2014-2015 budget is at 6 p.m. Tuesday, September 16.
Five Most Recent...
- Transportation Transformation a Tremendous Triumph
- 2014 - 2015 School Registration and Open House Schedule
- Statement from Superintendent Kurt Browning on Revision to Student Progression Plan Recommendation
- Pasco Schools Introduce Online Credit Card Payment Option
- Pasco School Board Tentative Budget Reduces Property Taxes