Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Human Trafficking and Cyber Safety Community Event

Who: River Ridge Middle School PTSA, Pasco Commission on Human Trafficking, and Paving the Way

What: Human Trafficking & Cyber Safety Awareness Series

When: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 24

Where: River Ridge Middle School cafeteria
             11646 Town Center Road, New Port Richey

Why: Most people aren’t aware that human trafficking is a growing problem in this community. Students can become unwitting victims through chat rooms and applications on the internet, if they are not careful.  Parents need to be aware of the problem and how to protect their children, while both parents and students need to know how to recognize the signs of human trafficking victims and the traffickers’ recruitment tactics.  Pasco County Schools is one of the only school districts in Florida that includes human trafficking as part of 6th and 9th grade health courses.

How: Middle and high school students, parents, and the community are invited for dinner, which will be served at 5:30 p.m.  At 6 p.m., the docufilm, "Trapped in the Trade," will be shown, followed by a discussion with community leaders about human trafficking and cyber safety.  The event is free, but anyone wishing to attend is asked to RSVP at, so organizers can plan the dinner.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Kindergarten Pre-Registration Opens May 20

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (April 15, 2019) – Pasco County Schools kindergarten pre-registration is Monday, May 20, at all public elementary schools. Contact individual schools for details about orientation activities and times. Head Start/Early Head Start applications are available at select elementary schools.

Kindergarten pre-registration requirements:

  • Child must be 5 years old on or before Sept. 1, 2019
  • Child’s birth certificate or other proof of birth date
  • Health examination – HRS Form 3040
  • HRS Certificate of Immunization
  • Three proofs of residency such as: current utility bill (i.e. electric, water, etc.), or lease agreement, or deed or property tax assessmen; and additional documents supporting stated address, such as auto registration, driver’s license, or voter registration.

For information about kindergarten, call Danielle Varcardipone at (727) 774-2404, (813) 794-2404, or (352) 524-2404.

Head Start/Early Head Start Application

Applications for Head Start or Early Head Start may be submitted for infants, toddlers, and children through age 5 that meet income eligibility requirements. Expectant mothers also may apply in advance of a child’s birth. Completing an application does not guarantee a child's eligibility for services.

Minimum Required Documents:

  • Proof of birth for all applicants (certified birth certificate, current immunization record, or hospital birth record). Expectant mothers provide proof of pregnancy.
  • Documentation of the most current household income for the last 12 months: 1040 tax form, 1099, W-2 or 4 to 8 weeks of paystubs. Proof of SSI/SSD (if applicable)
  • Proof of child support for all children in the household (if applicable)
  • Proof of residency in Pasco County dated within the last 12 months (Florida ID/driver’s license, utility bill, signed lease agreement, etc.)
  • Proof of guardianship or custody documents for children with a non-parent caregiver
  • Protective Services and/or foster care verification; verification of cash assistance; documentation of a diagnosed disability for a child, or proof of disability of parent and/or guardian (if applicable)

For more information about Head Start/Early Head Start, visit or call Alexis Russell at (727) 774-2730, (813) 794-2730, (352) 524-2730.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Future Teachers Celebrate through Service

Who: River Ridge High School New Teacher Academy (NTA) students and lead teacher Beth Hess, Hudson Elementary School (HES) students, and Florida Teacher of the Year Joy Prescott

What: Celebrating through Service day

When: 9 a.m. Monday, April 22

Where: Hudson Elementary School, 7229 Hudson Ave., Hudson

Why: The NTA students partner with Hudson Elementary to hone their skills and to support the Hudson students and teachers.

How: NTA students will visit classrooms, teach lessons, and support HES teachers’ curriculum. The NTA puppet show philanthropy project, “No Strings Attached,” performs at 9 a.m. for students in kindergarten through 2nd grade, and 10 a.m. for 4th and 5th grades (3rd grade will be on a field trip). The story showcases the realities of students living with the 13 conditions identified by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This production is only possible through the support of Pasco Education Foundation.

Other NTA student-led philanthropy projects that day include S. S. HUDSON and the second annual “Books by the Beach.” S. S. Hudson is the philanthropy project organized by Jillian Hermansen, a second year NTA student, to emphasize “summer safety” while growing and learning. The project will provide various items to students who participate in Books by the Beach. Each participant will receive items such as sunglasses, visor, lip balm, and water bottle to emphasize protection from the Florida sun.

Books by the Beach is the largest philanthropy project of the year. Several sponsors provide books, backpacks, information, and ice cream to students as they go on a walking scavenger hunt for summer reading books. The project, organized by Raynee Meek, takes 75 elementary students to Hudson Beach, stopping along the way at Healthy Families, the Hudson Marina, Inn on the Gulf, the Hudson Beach Pavilion, and Hudson Beach Ice Cream Parlor. The students learn about bike, boat, and summer fun safety, all while choosing books at each stop.


Linda Cobbe, 813-794-2717 (w), 813-361-8349 (c)
Wayne Bertsch, 813-794-2259 (w) or 850-251-1835 (c)
Beth Hess,, or 912-674-6949


Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Pasco Schools Camp Quest Summer Enrollment is Open

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (April 3, 2019) – Camp Quest, operated by the district’s After School Enrichment Programs department, immerses students in career explorations, volunteer opportunities, workshops that build direct life skills, field trips, and more.  Each camp is designed to provide experiences that foster individual strengths and interests. In order to provide the best possible experience for camp, enrollment in each camp is limited to 20 students. There are four enriching camps from which to choose. The cost of each two-week camp is $220, and participants in each one receive camp-related items.

Early Educators Camp - June 24 - July 5

Location:  Land O Lakes High School Culinary building
8 a.m. – noon

The Early Educators Camp provides the support and guidance needed to become involved in early childhood education.  Participants will develop leadership and life skills, and learn about child behavior, discipline, professionalism, and safety. All participants will earn their certification in first aid, CPR and AED.  This camp will be led by a certified teacher who specializes in early childhood education and family consumer sciences. The first aid, CPR and AED training will be provided by a certified Red Cross trainer. Camp participants will receive a drawstring backpack full of resources, a pocket first aid kit, flashlight, and DVD.

Culinary Camp - July 1 – July 12

Location:  Land O Lakes High School Culinary building
Culinary Cadets (Grades K-5)
8 a.m. – noon
Chop It Like It’s HOT!  Teen Chef Camp (Grades 6-12)
12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Each Culinary Camp offers activities that stimulate, foster, and promote interest in the culinary arts. Participants will learn about cooking techniques, explore the food service industry, and engage in a fun, creative outlet while developing leadership and cooperation skills. Led by industry trained chefs and certified teachers, participants will learn how to prepare a variety of dishes, pair foods, and explore what foods promote healthy living. Basic vocabulary, following a recipe, and utilizing safe cooking methods will be highlighted. Camp participants will receive an apron, hat, rubber spatula, and cookbook.

Aerospace Camp - July 8 - July 19

Location:  Sunlake High School
8 a.m. – noon (Grades K-5)
12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Grades 6-12)

Aerospace Camp will engage students in interactive activities designed to reinforce standards for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. Participants will be immersed in topics ranging from flight to renewable energy. The hands-on curriculum is ideal for those who may consider careers in engineering, physics, and math. Activities for all ages may include piloting a flight simulator, building solar car models, performing science experiments, building stomp rockets, and more. The Aerospace Camp will be led by a certified teacher with specialization in aerospace technologies. Camp participants will receive an aerospace STEM kit.

Aspiring Medical Professionals - July 22 – August 2

Location:  Wiregrass Ranch High School
AMP It Up! (Grades 6-12)
8 a.m. – noon

Aspiring Medical Professionals is a career-themed camp in which participants explore health career programs. Participants will learn about health career paths such as nursing, medical assistant, pharmacy technician, and surgical technology. Participants will receive first aid, CPR and AED training and certification, tour PHSC nursing simulation labs, and more! Hands-on activities will prepare participants for certification in the medical field and will be presented by certified and licensed medical professionals. All participants will receive a lab coat and stethoscope kit, which includes a blood pressure cuff and scissors.

For more information, or to register for a camp, click here.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Pasco Schools Celebrates Financial Literacy Month

Who: Pasco County Schools students, staff, and families

What: Financial Literacy Expos, Weekly Themes, and Young Entrepreneur Competition

5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, April 1, at Marchman Technical College 
5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 4, at Wesley Chapel High School
See below for weekly themes and Young Entrepreneur dates and locations.

Why: April is Financial Literacy Month in Florida, and the district is offering these events to help parents/guardians, employees, community members, and students with financial planning and business matters.

How: The expos will showcase financial experts from the USF Stavros Center, Financial Planning Association of Tampa Bay, Pasco Hernando State College, and local businesses in an exhibit hall located in the school cafeterias. There also will be brief informational sessions offered by community and business partners on financial planning topics and budgeting.  For more information about the expos, go to the Financial Literacy web page.

Also, each week in April will feature a financial literacy theme. The theme for week one is the Financial Literacy Expos, week two is “Money in a Minute,” week three is “Financial Futures,” week four is “News Cents,” and week five is “May Day/Pay Day.”

Another district initiative spotlighting Financial Literacy Month is the Pasco Young Entrepreneur Competition.  This competition affords students in business entrepreneur programs the platform to showcase their business acumen, creativity, and presentation skills in a Shark Tank-style setting.  Participants must sell a unique and viable business idea to judges. Winners of school-based competitions will compete at District Finals with the chance to win up to $2,500 in cash prizes.

Competition dates are as follows:


Location Date Time
Fivay High Wednesday, April 3 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Mitchell High Friday, April 5 9:15 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Wiregrass Ranch High Monday, April 8 8:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.
River Ridge High Tuesday, April 9 8:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Pasco High Wednesday, April 10 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Land O' Lakes High Thursday, April 11 7:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Zephyrhills High Friday, April 12 9:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.
District Finals
Land O' Lakes High
Wednesday, April 24 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.


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