Monday, August 29, 2016

Pasco School Board Seeks Input on Naming Schools

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (August 29, 2016) – The District School Board of Pasco County is accepting suggestions from the community for the names of two schools that are scheduled to open in August 2017.

Elementary B is located in the Bexley Ranch subdivision, north of State Road 54 and east of the Suncoast Parkway. High School GGG is located on Old Pasco Road in Wesley Chapel.

School Board policy encourages community members, educators, and students to provide suggestions for school names. The Board prefers to name schools after the general location, features of the area, or historical information about the school’s location, and the suggested name must be descriptive and brief.

If submitting the name of an individual, the name should be of a person of prominence recognized for his or her outstanding civic or educational contribution. The Board will only consider naming a school after an elected official or School Board employee if he or she has been deceased for two or more years or left public office or employment in the district two or more years ago. The name, once adopted by the Board, is considered permanent unless the facility or its use changes.

Please submit your suggestions with a brief explanation for each school name by October 1, 2016. Email separate submissions for each school to dhebert@pasco.k12.fl.us, and type “Elementary B” or “High School GGG” in the subject line. Submissions also can be faxed to 813-794-2716, or mailed to:

Deborah Hebert
Pasco County Schools
Communications & Government Relations Dept.
7227 Land O’ Lakes Blvd.
Land O’ Lakes, FL 34638

Monday, August 22, 2016

Bayonet Point Invites Community to Tour Renovated School

Who: Bayonet Point STEM Middle Magnet School staff and community

What: School tours

When: 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, August 30

Where: Bayonet Point STEM Middle Magnet School
11125 Little Road, New Port Richey

Why: To show the community the major changes and improvements made to the newly renovated and remodeled school.

How: The community is welcome to come out to see the newly renovated Bayonet Point Middle School. Staff members will lead tours every 30 minutes. Visitors also will have the option of touring the school on their own. Staff will highlight the cafeteria, media center, collaboration centers and classrooms, including the new art room.

Bayonet Point Middle School was closed all of last school year for the remodeling project, which was funded with more than $16 million generated from the voter-approved Penny for Pasco. The Penny for Pasco plan includes renovations of all of Pasco’s “Kelly” schools, which were built without classroom walls or exterior windows. The project included additions of windows and walls; plus replacing wiring, plumbing, drywall, phone and intercom systems and technology; new paint; and improving safety features.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Letter to Land O’ Lakes High and Pine View Middle School Parents

August 16, 2016

Dear Land O’ Lakes High & Pine View Middle School Parents:

Over the last couple of months, district staff has been gathering information on which to base the decision about where to house LOLHS students during the school’s total renovation, scheduled to commence in June 2017. We considered three options:

Option 1: Remain at LOLHS

Option 2: Sunlake double sessions

Option 3: House LOLHS students at High School GGG

Given these options and the pros and cons of each, I had made the decision that the third option, GGG High School, was the option that best meets our criteria. Then, we received the student counts for the first day of the 2016-2017 school year, and everything changed.

Part of the initial plan for moving LOLHS to High School GGG involved rezoning students out of Wiregrass Ranch High School to get them off of the 10-period school days that began last school year. Yesterday, the school that was built for 1,633 students had 2,478 students show up. That number likely will continue to grow over the next few days. And the middle school that feeds into WRHS – John Long Middle School, with a capacity for 1,327 students – welcomed 1,810 students. Both schools saw more students on the first day than we projected for the whole year, as did others in the Land O’ Lakes/Wesley Chapel areas.

Without getting into every detail, the higher-than-expected enrollment numbers created problems that would affect multiple communities. Adjusting for all of the factors, coupled with the cost associated with moving LOLHS and other students onto the High School GGG campus, I have reconsidered. I now believe that the least disruptive solution is to keep students at Land O’ Lakes High School during the renovations.

Although we determined that this is the best among the options that we had to consider, it still will not be ideal.

Keeping LOLHS open while these renovations are taking place will delay completion of the project by a year and reduce the scope of work to account for the added cost of extending the one-year project to two years. The school will be a construction zone and we will have to place dozens of portable classrooms on and around the campus. We won’t have practice fields and will reduce the number of parking spaces. There will be utility disruptions and construction dust.

On the bright side, all LOLHS students will remain together on one campus. Culinary students will still be able to use their beautiful culinary academy. Agriculture students will be on the same campus as their animals. Sporting events will take place at the school. The school will remain in Land O’ Lakes. We will take every precaution to ensure that the construction project does not impact student safety.

This decision was not made lightly and was not made without significant input from staff. We will schedule a parent meeting to discuss all of the details later this fall. Meanwhile, we will post updates on the school renovations web page: http://www.pasco.k12.fl.us/renovations and on and the district’s social media sites, and Land O’ Lakes High School will keep parents informed on their website and social media sites.

If we all work together as a team, we can make this a positive experience. In the end, we will have a beautifully renovated, practically new high school.

Sincerely,

Kurt S. Browning

Superintendent of Schools

Leadership Summit to Cultivate Student Involvement in Positive Change

Who: Pasco County high school student leaders and the teachers who serve as their student government sponsors

What: Raising Student Voice & Participation (RSVP) leadership summit

When: 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, August 27

Where: Land O’ Lakes High School commons area
20325 Gator Lane, Land O’ Lakes

Why: The goal is to work with student government sponsors and student leaders to create ways to engage students in their school and community.

How: Raising Student Voice & Participation (RSVP) is sponsored by the National Association of Student Councils and the National Association of Secondary School Principals. RSVP is a student engagement program that uses democratic dialogue to give students the tools to speak out and take action on issues in their schools and communities that are important to them. RSVP asks students what they care about and what proposals they have for positive school and community change, and then shows them how they can work with adults to implement their ideas. For more information, contact Land O’ Lakes High School principal Ric Mellin at (813) 794-9400.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Cotee River to Hold STEAM Olympics

Who: Cotee River Elementary School 4th and 5th graders

What: STEAM Olympics Day

When: 2 p.m. Wednesday, August 17

Where: Cotee River Elementary School media center
7515 Plathe Rd., New Port Richey

Why: To celebrate the opening of the school’s Makerspace.

How: Students will use different STEAM tools to kick off the Makerspace. They will use Lego’s WE DO to build and code a soccer activity, Ozobot’s for bowling activities, and will have a Little Bits electronic building blocks activity. For more information contact Steve Loveless at 727-774-3000.

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