Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Update: Pasco Schools Convenes Student Congress

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (September 27, 2017) – Pasco County Schools high schools have appointed two students each to a new Student Leadership Congress to give students a voice in implementing change in schools countywide. Their next meeting is from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, October 4, at Building 2 Oak Room at the District Office Complex in Land O’ Lakes.

The overarching goal of the Congress is to promote innovative idea sharing and to challenge student leaders to create actionable steps to implement positive change in their schools in collaboration with their principals. Some schools have already implemented change based on ideas the students shared at their first meeting this summer during the Together We Stand Youth and Community Summit.

One that is most impactful is from River Ridge High School. Based on the ideas shared by other schools and the dialogue shared at the Congress, the principal returned to her school with her student leaders and immediately began revamping student government.

Other ideas schools replicated centered around student engagement and recognition:
· Allowing seniors to paint their parking spaces for enhanced connectedness to the school
· Placing yard signs in the front yards of students to recognize them for high achievement on FSA and Advanced Placement exams
· Using a bull horn and confetti to recognize teachers and students

The agenda topics for the September 13 meeting include:
· Unity Day overview/success at Zephyrhills High School
· Drug/alcohol/safety discussion surrounding homecoming activities
· Innovative ways to support Red Ribbon Week
· Feedback on the Safety Pledge implementation and ways to reinforce the message throughout the year
· Strategies to improve school attendance, student promotion, and graduation

Building 2 Oak Room is located at 7227 Land O’ Lakes Boulevard, in Land O' Lakes.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Find Hope in Darkness

Who: Pasco County students, staff, families, and community

What: Pasco County's 3rd Annual Out of the Darkness Community Walk

When: 9:30 a.m., Saturday, October 28

Where: Sims Park, Grand Boulevard and Bank Street, in New Port Richey

Why: In 2012, Pasco County ranked 4th in Florida for the highest number of suicides. This walk raises awareness about depression and suicide, and provides comfort, support, and assistance to those who have lost someone to suicide.

How: Last year, more than 700 walkers raised more than $30,000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). The AFSP contributes research and resources to educate and save lives through suicide prevention programs. This year’s goal is for 1,000 registered walkers to raise $35,000. Join a team or donate by clicking this link: All ages are welcome and registration is free. Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m., the opening ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m., and the walk will last from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The walk will be followed by a closing ceremony. For more information, contact Dawn Daniels Hahn, Gulf High School social worker, at 727-774-3457.

A Message from the Florida High School Athletic Association

Good Evening,

As you know, Hurricane Irma has severely impacted high school athletics in the state of Florida. In an effort to serve member schools impacted by the storm, the FHSAA has launched a portal on its website to help affected schools connect with businesses, community members and others to aid in the replacement of equipment or other items that were destroyed or lost by the storm.

You can help by visiting

The portal was designed to connect schools with groups or individuals that can assist and expedite the delivery of goods to the schools as quickly as possible. Schools have already listed what items they are most in need of. In addition, those seeking to assist schools in Florida can also visit the portal and post along with a description of their available donation.

PR Specialist
Florida High School Athletic Association
Phone: 352.372.9551 x350
Fax: 352.244.5056
Twitter: @KyleNiblett

Thursday, September 21, 2017

No Make-Up Days for Pasco Schools; Schools Adjusting Schedules to Make Up for Hurricane Days

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (September 21, 2017) – After receiving confirmation from the Florida commissioner of education that the state is forgiving the two days Governor Rick Scott ordered all Florida schools closed for Hurricane Irma, Pasco County Schools leaders have determined that the other four hurricane days can be made up without cancelling planned days off.  We will not have school any day during Thanksgiving week and no days will be added to the end of the school year.

A total of 11 schools are adjusting their bell schedules to add additional student contact minutes for the rest of the year.  Most schools had enough student contact time built into their schedules to meet statutory requirements and do not have to make any adjustments.

Those schools that are adding time to class schedules are doing so by having shorter passing time between classes, reducing the length of home room, or starting earlier or dismissing later.  None of these changes take any teacher below the contractual minimums for weekly planning time, daily planning periods, or daily lunch time.

Following is a summary of the changes, which are effective Monday, September 25:

1)    Ridgewood High School – Decreasing lunch passing by 2 minutes and adding that time to first period.
2)    JW Mitchell High School – Starting 2 minutes earlier (8:28 a.m.).
3)    Sunlake High School – Starting 2 minutes earlier (7:28 a.m.).
4)    Wiregrass Ranch High School – Starting 2 minutes earlier (7:23 a.m.).
5)    Pasco High School – Starting 5 minutes earlier (7:30 a.m.) and dismissing 3 minutes later (1:58 p.m.).
6)    Hudson Middle School – Taking 1 minute from homeroom and adding it to the academic schedule.
7)    Weightman Middle School – Taking 2 minutes from homeroom and adding it to the academic schedule.
8)    Centennial Middle School – Starting 5 minutes earlier (8:35 a.m.) and taking 3 minutes from homeroom to add to the academic schedule.
9)    Bayonet Point Middle School – Starting 3 minutes earlier (8:37 a.m.) and dismissing 3 minutes later (2:53 p.m.).
10)  Rushe Middle School – Adjusting homeroom and lunch periods to increase instructional time by 8 minutes.
11)  Marchman Technical College – Starting 5 minutes earlier (7:45 a.m.) and dismissing 10 minutes later (2 p.m.).

Individual schools will notify their students, teachers, and staff of their adjusted bell schedule.

If we have to cancel any additional school days this year, it is likely that the time will have to be made up by adding school days during Thanksgiving week or at the end of the school year.

Gulf Middle Student Council Gets Inside Look at City Government

Who: Gulf Middle School Student Council members, New Port Richey government agencies, and city officials

What: Student Government Day with the City of New Port Richey

When: 7:45 a.m. to 1:20 p.m., Friday, Sept. 29

Where: New Port Richey City Hall, 5919 Main St.; New Port Richey Police Department, 6739 Adams St.; New Port Richey Fire Department, 6333 Madison St.; New Port Richey Wastewater Plant, 4730 Main St.; New Port Richey Recreation Center, 6630 Van Buren St.; New Port Richey Water Plant, 9747 DeCubellis Road

Why: Gulf Middle School Student Council members will get a rare, exciting, inside look at government agency operations, meet city officials, and enjoy a complimentary lunch.

How: Gulf Middle School Student Council members will go on an exciting tour of the New Port Richey police, fire, and public works departments, and the water filtration and waste treatment facilities. The tour will begin at City Hall, where students will receive a warm welcome from Mayor Robert Marlowe and City Manager Debbie Manns, and participate in photo opportunities with them. The students will then be paired with city officials, experience a mock City Council meeting, and get treated to lunch at the new Beef O’ Brady’s on the river. Guests can follow the tour from the beginning or jump in at any point. Please see the attachment for the full schedule and locations. For more information, contact Elizabeth Kuhns at (727) 774-8018.

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