Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Pasco School Board Vote on Boundaries Postponed

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (May 1, 2018) – Pasco Superintendent of Schools Kurt Browning pulled the item to change attendance boundaries for J.W. Mitchell High, River Ridge High, River Ridge Middle, and Seven Springs Middle schools from today’s Pasco County School Board agenda to allow for the administrative hearing in response to Jim Stanley’s challenge of the process.

An administrative hearing is scheduled for Thursday, May 17, in the school board chambers.

“It would have been my preference to have these boundaries approved today so that schools and parents can plan for next year; however, since the proposal has been challenged, I thought it was prudent to postpone the vote until after the administrative law judge has a chance to hear arguments,” said Superintendent Browning.

School Safety Town Hall Meetings

Who: Pasco County Schools, Pasco County Council of PTAs/PTSAs, local law enforcement, mental health providers, parents, students, and local elected officials

What: School Safety Town Hall Meetings

When/Where: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Wednesday, May 2, at River Ridge Middle/High School
Monday, May 7, at Wiregrass Ranch High School

Why: Public schools, law enforcement, and mental health professionals must comply with new school safety laws, so these meetings are designed to discuss options and get input from the community.

How: District staff and the Pasco Sheriff’s Office will present current safety efforts, what the new law requires, funding challenges, and options for complying with the law. A question and answer period will follow the presentation. Local law enforcement, community mental health partners, legislators, and other elected officials have been invited to attend.

River Ridge Middle/High School is located at 11646 Town Center Rd., New Port Richey.

Wiregrass Ranch High School is located at 2909 Mansfield Blvd., Wesley Chapel.

Pasco School Board Approves Safety Plan, Job Descriptions

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (May 1, 2018) – The Pasco County School Board approved Superintendent Kurt Browning’s proposal to hire a director of school safety and security and up to 50 school safety guards at this morning’s school board meeting.

The 2018 Florida Legislature passed, and the governor signed into law, SB 7026, requiring all school districts to provide security at all schools beginning in the 2018-2019 school year. The Legislature also provided funding in the bill. Districts were given three options to choose from in order to meet this requirement. The options are:

(1) provide school resource officers (SRO) at each school,
(2) provide school safety officers for each school or,
(3) participate in the school guardian program requiring certain school personnel to be armed.

Additionally, the law requires each district to appoint a school safety specialist, which is the director of school safety and security position approved by the board.

“Although my preference would have been to pursue option one, providing an SRO on each school campus, funding constraints made that option unattainable,” said Browning.

To see the job descriptions and responsibilities for both positions, the estimated associated costs, and the superintendent’s proposal, click here. The job advertisements already have been posted on the district website and Facebook page.

The district is hosting two recruitment and interview events for the school safety guard positions on May 10 and May 21 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in building 2 of the district office complex.  Interviews for the director position will be May 10 and 11.

All middle and high schools will continue to be staffed with an SRO through the Pasco Sheriff’s Office and municipal police departments.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Wiregrass Ranch HS Hosts ESE Prom Hollywood Stars: A Red Carpet Event

Who: Wiregrass Ranch HS ESE students and mentors

What: ESE prom and talent show
Theme: Hollywood Stars: A Red Carpet Event

When: May 4, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. TIME CORRECTION

Where: Wiregrass Ranch HS gymnasium, 2909 Mansfield Blvd., Wesley Chapel, FL 33543

Why: Student volunteers, Best Buddies and Special Olympics club students have teamed up for the 5th year to host prom for the 70 ESE students, allowing them to get dressed up and experience the fun and excitement like every other high school student. This annual event is something that they all look forward to all year.

How: This year’s prom will include a professional DJ, a prom court, and voting for King and Queen. The students also are hosting a talent show where participants will receive an “Oscar” after each performance. Three of the senior ESE girls also will be featured as they get “dolled up” for this special occasion. Students solicited the assistance of The Rotary Club to help grow the event through corporate donations and a volunteer professional photographer. For more information, contact Malisa Gonzalez at mmcgowin@pasco.k12.fl.us

Monday, April 23, 2018

Aspiring Entrepreneurs Competition for Pasco County High School Students

Who: Pasco County high school student inventors and successful area business professionals

What: Young Entrepreneurs district finals

When: 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 25

Where: Land O’Lakes High School Academy of Culinary Arts
             20325 Gator Lane, Land O' Lakes, FL 34638

Why: To provide young entrepreneurs an audience to present their business ideas to business professionals, who will evaluate their proposals.

How: The competition provides aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to win up to $2,500 in cash to get their idea off the ground while learning valuable insight from successful business owners who have discovered their key to success.  The student finalists from each of the participating high schools will pitch their business idea to a panel of experts that includes USF’s Chief Creative Officer, mentors from SCORE (corp of retired business executives), a serial entrepreneur, and a crowdfunding investment director.  For more information, contact Tom Saxton at 813-794-2200.

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