Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Cypress Creek Middle Students to Conquer Cops Physical Ability Test

Cypress Creek Middle Students to Conquer Cops Physical Ability Test

Who: Middle school criminal justice students

What: Physical Abilities Test (PAT) and obstacle course

When: 7:30 a.m., Thursday, May 16

Where: Cypress Creek Middle/High School, 8701 Old Pasco Road, Wesley Chapel, FL 33544

Why: This is the first criminal justice program in middle school to set up the Florida Department of Law Enforcement course for students. The Physical Abilities Test (PAT) of Florida is consistent with national models and industry standards and is locally validated based on statewide statistics. Components of the test were designed to simulate actual tasks and essential knowledge, skills, and abilities required of the job.

How: Students will utilize the School Resource Officer’s (SRO) police cruiser. Students will begin the PAT seated in a full-size automobile with their seat belt on, their hands on the steering wheel at the ten and two o'clock positions. Each applicant wears a pull-away flag belt around his or her waist, with a flag over each hip. The trunk key is in the vehicle's closed glove compartment. A handgun and a baton are lying in the vehicle's closed trunk. Students must then complete all eight tasks listed below in 6:04 minutes or less.

Components are performed in a continuous flow that is time-dependent in order to determine the participant’s level of physical condition and aerobic capacity while simulating the physical aspects of the job. These skills were identified through job task analysis and a review of critical job responsibilities requiring physical proficiency. Five primary tasks that simulate essential functions of an entry-level criminal justice officer were identified and incorporated into the PAT:

1. exiting a vehicle/opening a trunk;

2. running 220 yards;

3. completing an obstacle course;

4. dragging a 150-pound dummy;

5. completing an obstacle course;

6. running 220 yards;

7. dry firing a weapon six times with each hand; and

8. placing items in a trunk/entering a vehicle.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Pasco County Schools Receives Hundreds of Positive Stories for Teacher Appreciation Week

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (May 13, 2019) – This past week, Pasco County Schools and the Pasco Education Foundation hosted a giveaway on Facebook to kick-off Teacher Appreciation Week.

The post asked Facebook fans to nominate a Pasco teacher who inspires them, to win a prize bag full of items and unique experiences from Pasco County Schools and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. The bag included tickets to the aquarium, a behind the scenes tour of the aquarium, and dolphin adventure tour aboard the catamaran “Nicholas’ Journey”.

The Facebook post received almost 1,000 comments, with nominations coming from current students, former students, parents, and fellow teachers—many with stories of inspiring teachers.

One parent wrote, “Ms. Kimberly Cran, my daughter's Kindergarten teacher from Gulf Trace Elementary deserves a gold medal. My daughter is a very strong willed child and we have tried all sorts of stuff this year working together to try and keep her motivated and finishing strong. My daughter went from not knowing her letters and sounds and in just a short amount of time she learned and is now a 2G reader which is the beginning of 1st grade. She never gives up, tries everything up her sleeve, and go above and beyond for her students.”

Another parent wrote, “Mrs. Kristen Smith at Cotee River Elementary School. Mrs. Smith has always gone above and beyond for my daughter, academically and emotionally. My daughter severely suffers from separation anxiety and Mrs. Smith has made it her duty to provide a welcoming and safe environment that has built my daughter's trust and is helping to shape relationships. As a mother, I feel so much better knowing my daughter is with Mrs. Smith who has all of her best interests in mind and in heart.”

A student wrote, “Ms.Bernhardt is the most inspiring, kindest, most caring teacher I have ever met. She makes me feel like I can accomplish anything. She’s an amazing teacher. I’ve learned so much in her class this year and she deserves so much for what she does. She’s there for all her students no matter what. She cares about her students like they were her own children and I have so much respect for her because of that. You can go to her for anything and she’s always there so help. Out of all the teachers I have come across I can proudly say Ms. Bernhardt is the greatest teacher I have ever had.” Inspiring stories like these were common throughout the Facebook comments.

One person wrote, “Lisa Broere. from Shady Hills Elementary. She’s a true inspiration every day. October of 2018, she found out she had breast cancer. She didn’t give up on her class, or school. I would imagine most would have taken a very excused absence. Not her. She started the year, and she’s finishing it. She had to miss some time in the class, but she was always there. Behind her students, supporting substitutes. Calling, emailing, sending notes to her students. She’s a truly remarkable woman. Already known for being very caring, is an all-around wonderful person. The number of stories about never giving up, overcoming adversity, early mornings and late nights, and teachers going above and beyond the call of duty were overwhelming.

The eventual winner, Joan Vindigni, was awarded the bag by River Ridge High School Principal Toni Zetzsche, and fellow teacher (and the person who nominated her) Beth Hess. According to Beth, Joan is “a quiet force who champions all kids. She works hard to make sure inclusion is not just an ESE TERM, but instead, it is put into action! Check into the story of RRHS’s Prom King. Joanie, as her friends call her, was very instrumental in making this magical evening happen, and it was magical for all, not just one student!

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

61 Pasco Seniors Earn AA Degrees

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (May 8, 2019) – Pasco students from 14 high schools graduated from Pasco Hernando State College before their 2019 high school graduation through dual enrollment courses and collegiate high school.

Following is a list of schools and the number of students who earned AA degrees.

  • Anclote – 1
  • Dayspring – 9
  • Fivay – 7
  • Gulf – 1
  • Hudson – 4
  • Land O’ Lakes – 6
  • Mitchell – 4
  • Pasco eSchool – 1
  • Pasco – 8
  • River Ridge – 4
  • Sunlake – 2
  • Wesley Chapel – 3
  • Wiregrass Ranch – 8
  • Zephyrhills – 3

Students can take dual enrollment courses and enroll in collegiate high school at no cost while in high school, saving families thousands of dollars in college tuition and textbook costs.

High school dual enrollment allows a student to be enrolled in high school and simultaneously enrolled in college or specific technical credit courses at PHSC, which are counted toward high school graduation. To be eligible for dual enrollment, Florida law requires that a student must:

  • Be enrolled as a student in a Florida public or nonpublic secondary school (grades 6-12), or in a home education program;
  • have a 3.0 unweighted high school grade point average (GPA) to enroll in college credits, or a 2.0 unweighted high school GPA to enroll in career dual enrollment courses;
  • for college credits, achieve a minimum score on a common placement test;
  • meet any additional eligibility criteria specified by the postsecondary institution in the Dual Enrollment Articulation Agreement; and
  • not be scheduled to graduate from high school prior to the completion of the dual enrollment course.

For continued eligibility to participate in college credit dual enrollment courses, students must maintain at least a 3.0 unweighted high school GPA and the 2.0 postsecondary GPA specified in the Dual Agreement Articulation Agreement.

The collegiate high school program is designed to allow students to earn an AA/AS degree or a Cape certification while also earning their standard high school diploma. In addition, the Pasco County Schools/PHSC program:

  • provides students priority when enrolling in PHSC courses by allowing them to register at the same time as all other fee paying PHSC students;
  • requires students to be full-time at PHSC and accepted students will not take any courses on the high school campus;
  • allows accepted students to still be considered a student of their zoned high school and students are able to participate in their zoned school athletics, student activities and graduation ceremonies.

To qualify for collegiate high school, students must:

  • be in 11th or 12th grade;
  • have a cumulative unweighted 3.0 GPA;
  • have college-ready PERT scores - Reading (106), Writing (103) and Math (123);
  • provide their own transportation;
  • be willing to take all of their courses at a PHSC campus.

Pasco County Schools high school graduations are scheduled June 4 through June 9. Most will be held at the Yuengling Center at the University of South Florida. Pasco High School’s ceremony will be at the school and Pasco eSchool’s will be at River Ridge Center for the Performing Arts. For school graduation times and dates, visit the Google calendar on the district website.

Friday, May 03, 2019

Pasco PDCP Teachers Have Highest Pass Rate on the Most Certification Exams

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (May 3, 2019) – Pasco County Schools Professional Development Certification Program (PDCP) teachers had the highest pass rate on teacher certification exams in more program areas than any other Florida school district.  Pasco’s pass rate led the state on the following exams:

  • Elementary Ed K-6 Subtest 2: Social Science (100% pass rate)
  • Elementary ED K-6 Subtest 3: Science (100% pass rate)
  • English 6-12 Multiple-Choice Section (80% pass rate)
  • English 6-12 Written Performance Section (90% pass rate)

Pasco’s teachers made the list of Top Performers in a total of seven of 20 reported sections of Florida teacher certification exams. Pass rates are
based on first-time testing attempts.

Pasco ranked third and was one of five districts achieving a 100 percent pass rate on Exceptional Student Education K-12, ranked second on the Elementary Ed K-6 Subtest 1: Language Arts and Reading (80% pass rate), and ranked sixth on Elementary Ed K-6 Subtest 4: Mathematics certification exams (70% pass rate).

Professional Development Certification Programs, or PDCPs, provide educator training for public school instructional staff who are non-education baccalaureate or higher degree holders under Section 1012.56(8), F.S.  Those who successfully complete the PDCP program are awarded a  Florida Professional Educator’s Certificate.

The district’s Human Resources and Educator Quality (HREQ) department offers a multi-year training program that prepares non-education degree holders to successfully transition from a Temporary to Professional Teaching Certificate. .  It includes professional education preparation via online learning and mentor support for newly hired educators with subject area expertise. The program requirements include:

  • Completion of 20 job-embedded tasks that align with the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices.
  • Completion of the 12-week online course: Reading Competency 2.
  • Completion of one of the Classroom Management courses.
  • Success on the the Subject Area, General Knowledge, and Professional Education exams.
  • Working with administration to complete a Professional Education Competence folder.

“This is great news for these teachers and continues the tradition of excellence we’ve come to depend on from our PDCP training staff,” said Superintendent Kurt Browning.  “I’d like to offer my congratulations to each successful educator, and to the HREQ staff that prepared them,” he added.

Click here to see the Florida Department of Education’s Top Performers list.

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Statement on School Safety Legislation

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (May 2, 2019) – Pasco County Schools has received numerous inquiries today about the district’s position on a section of CS/CS/SB 7030.

On Wednesday, the Florida House of Representatives approved this bill, which implements legislative recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission.  It passed the Senate on Tuesday, April 23.  One provision of the bill, which still must be signed by the governor before becoming law, removes the legal prohibition against classroom teachers serving as armed school guardians.

Despite the likelihood of this bill being signed into law, there are no plans under consideration to allow any Pasco County Schools employees to carry firearms on school board property, unless they are employed for the specific purpose of protecting the security of students and staff.  In addition, no school board member has requested that the superintendent pursue allowing teachers or other non-security employees to carry firearms.

School safety guards and the district’s director of safety and security are the only school board employees authorized to carry firearms on school board property.  School resource officers, who are employees of the Pasco Sheriff’s Office or local police agencies, also are authorized to carry firearms on school board property in their official capacity.

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