Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pasco Schools Introduce After School Super Snacks

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (September 11, 2014) – The District School Board of Pasco County announces the sponsorship of a new After School Meals pilot program at a dozen schools.

This program, a subcomponent of the Child Care Food program, is designed primarily to provide nutritious snacks and meals to children in after school programs.  Pasco is offering a “super snack” at selected schools that were already participating in the After School Snack program.

Unlike other school meal programs, the After School Meals program is funded through the Department of Health instead of the Department of Agriculture.  All of the program requirements are the same, but the district can offer five components instead of just two.  Schools and the districts Food and Nutrition Department found that the small snack wasn’t enough for many of the kids, so super snack is being tested at the locations listed below before offering it to all schools with 50 percent or more students receiving free and reduced price lunch.

Children must be enrolled in an approved after school or extended day program, unlike summer feeding, where anyone through age 18 can receive a meal.  Snacks and meals are available at no separate charge to the children at the sites listed below:

Name of Site and Address

R.B. Cox Elementary School - 37615 Martin Luther King Blvd., Dade City, FL  33523

Gulfside Elementary School - 2329 Anclote Blvd., Holiday, FL 34691

Lacoochee Elementary School - 38815 Cummer Road, Dade City, FL 33523

Chester Taylor Elementary School - 3638 Morris Bridge Road, Zephyrhills, FL 33543

Woodland Elementary School - 38203 Henry Drive, Zephyrhills, FL 33540

Crews Lake Middle School - 15144 Shady Hills Road, Spring Hill, FL 34610

Gulf Middle School - 6419 Louisiana Ave., New Port Richey, FL 34653

Hudson Middle School - 14540 Cobra Way, Hudson, FL 34669

Paul R. Smith Middle School - 1410 Sweetbriar Drive, Holiday, FL 34691

R.B. Stewart Middle School - 38505 Tenth Ave., Zephyrhills, FL 33542

Anclote High School - 1540 Sweetbriar Drive, Holiday, FL 34691

Pasco High School - 36850 State Road 52, Dade City, FL 33525

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Sweet Potato Harvest at Gulfside Elementary

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (September 9, 2014) – Students at Gulfside Elementary School will harvest sweet potatoes they grew in gardens at the school on Thursday, Sept. 11.

Once harvested, the sweet potatoes will be taken to the school kitchen by two chefs from the American Culinary Federation Tampa Bay Chapter who will clean, cut, and roast the sweet potatoes so they can be served at lunch.

Two 3rd grade classes will harvest sweet potatoes from the 3rd grade garden at 9:45 a.m.  It will take approximately 20 minutes for these children to harvest the sweet potatoes.

At 10:15 a.m., two 2nd grade classes will harvest sweet potatoes from the 2nd grade garden.  It will take approximately 20 minutes for these children to harvest the sweet potatoes.

Chef Vince Blancato is teaching the children how to plant and care for their gardens.  He will oversee the harvesting on Thursday.

Gulfside Elementary School is located at 2329 Anclote Blvd., Holiday.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Watch Two Schools Use Technology to Teach Kindergarteners

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (September 5, 2014) – Schools throughout Pasco County are blending technology into the curriculum, and below are links to two videos showing kindergarten teachers using Apple products to facilitate instruction.

Sunray Elementary School has gone 1-to-1 in almost every classroom.  Following is a video showing 1-to-1 kindergarten classes learning how to use their iPod Touches and iPad Minis:

Another example is Chester Taylor Elementary School teacher Kanin Wynne.  Following is a link to a video in which she demonstrates how she uses YouTube in her Learner Active Technology Infused kindergarten classroom:

The videographer is Andrew Dunn, Pasco County Schools District Information Technology Literacy Specialist.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Pasco District to Serve Free Breakfast at 45 Sites

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (September 3, 2014) – The District School Board of Pasco County today announced an amendment to its policy for serving meals to students under the National School Breakfast Programs for the 2014-2015 school year. All students will be served breakfast at no charge at the following sites:

Pasco Middle
Richey Elementary
Lacoochee Elementary
Mary Giella Elementary
Anclote Elementary
Moon Lake Elementary
James Irvin Education Center
Chester W. Taylor  Elementary
James M. Marlowe Elementary
Chasco Middle
Sunray Elementary
Moore Mickens Education Center
Schwettman Education Center
Gulf Middle
Hudson Elementary
Schrader Elementary
Bayonet Point Middle
Gulfside Elementary
Woodland Elementary
Calusa Elementary
Hudson Middle
Gulf Highlands Elementary
Gulf Trace Elementary
R.B. Stewart Middle
Crews Lake Middle
Paul Smith Middle
Anclote High
Cotee River Elementary
Hudson High
Ridgewood High
Centennial Middle
West Zephyrhills Elementary
Fivay High
Mittye P. Locke Elementary
Gulf High
Fox Hollow Elementary
Centennial Elementary
Northwest Elementary
Pasco High
Zephyrhills High
San Antonio Elementary
Marchman Technical Education Center
Seven Spring Elementary
Athenian Academy

For more information contact Julie Hedine, manager of Food and Nutrition Services, at 813-794-2439 or

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or if all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)
If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (in Spanish).
“USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.”

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.

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