Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Pasco School Board Considers Gallup Survey Results

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (February 4, 2014) – The District School Board of Pasco County conducted its first Gallup student poll and employee engagement survey in October, November and January, with results to be used as a baseline measure for comparison of future years to current and previous year survey data.

Student Poll

The Gallup Student Poll is a 20-question survey that measures the hope, engagement, and well-being of students in grades 5 through 12. Research supports the idea that hope (ideas and energy for the future), engagement (involvement with and enthusiasm for school), and well-being (how we think about and experience our lives) are actionable targets linked to student achievement, retention, and future employment. The Gallup Student Poll was conducted online during the school day from Oct. 15 through Oct 31, 2013, with 31,740 students completing the survey.

During a workshop today, the School Board received the results and discussed their meaning.  District students’ results showed 52% Hope, 53% Engagement, and 63% well-being, compared to average results nationwide of 54% Hope, 55% Engagement, and 66% well-being.

“When you look at district overall results (for students), they look very similar to U.S. overall data,” said Tim Hodges, Ph.D., director of research for Gallup.  He explained that results are expected to be in the same range when looking at large-scale surveys.

Employee Survey

Based on more than four decades of research, Gallup has identified definitive employee attitudes that correspond with the most successful workplaces. Employee engagement — involvement with and enthusiasm for work — is measured by Gallup in a 12-question employee survey. An employee’s level of engagement links to various school outcomes, including employee retention, parent engagement, student retention, and student achievement. The employee engagement survey was conducted online from Nov. 15 through Nov. 22, 2013, and Jan. 13 through 17, 2014, with 3,896 employees registering their opinions (79% response rate).  For this year, school-related personnel and non-represented, non-bargaining personnel did not participate in the survey.

Pasco School Board employees’ results indicate 26% of staff are engaged compared to 30% of U.S. workers; 53% of staff are not engaged compared to 52% of U.S. workers; and 21% of staff are actively disengaged compared to 18% of U.S. workers.  Counting only the district-level staff, 33% are engaged, 56% are not engaged, and 11% are actively disengaged.

During the school board workshop, Dr. Hodges said, “If there was one word to describe today, it’s ‘baseline.’ The most important place to look is where we are compared to last year.  This is the first year we’ve worked with Pasco schools, so we consider this a baseline measurement.”  He also reassured the board that, “To look at the rest of the U.S. working population, this is what we tend to see as a starting point.”

“We will use these results as a foundation on which to build employee and student engagement,” said Superintendent Kurt Browning.  “We have to ask ourselves as an organization, ‘What do we need to do to foster an environment where people feel valued and respected?’”

Assistant Superintendent Amelia Larson said, “By collecting the right data, we can keep our finger on the pulse of our employees and students and continue building their engagement.”

“We must be intentional about improving engagement by providing staff the tools and supports they need to prepare students for college, career, and life,” said Superintendent Browning.

This is a long-term project, not a one-time survey.  The district is working with the Gallup organization to build employee engagement, thereby increasing student engagement, which ultimately should improve student achievement.  Future surveys will be administered and the results will be compared with this year’s scores to gauge whether the district’s efforts have improved employee engagement and student hope, engagement, and well-being.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Wesley Chapel Elementary Wins Bealls $10K Black Friday Contest

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (December 19, 2013) – Bealls Department Store’s Karen Filips, director of marketing operations and media, and Kimberly Highland, promotions and graphics supervisor, surprised Wesley Chapel Elementary School Principal John Abernathy today with a $10,000 check for getting the most votes in the Bealls Black Friday promotion.

After Mr. Abernathy received the check, he escorted Filips and Highland, along with School Board Member Allen Altman and Assistant Superintendent Ray Gadd, to the media center to share the news with a group of teachers meeting for professional development.  After cheers and high-fives, they all moved to the TV studio where they made an announcement on closed-circuit television to the entire school.  Cheering could be heard throughout the facility.

Assistant Principal Chris Twardosz and the teachers shared with the Bealls representatives that they campaigned to win the prize.  Wearing school pride shirts and armed with chocolates and coupons, teachers greeted Wesley Chapel Bealls store customers and urged them to cast a vote for the school to win.

According to Filips, Wesley Chapel Elementary School had the most votes of any school out of the 84 Bealls Department Store Florida locations.  The funds will be used to purchase much-needed technology for the school.



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Pasco High Schools Double Number of A Grades; no school is graded lower than C

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (December 18, 2013) – Out of Pasco’s 13 high schools earning a grade for 2013, the number of A schools doubled from 23 percent overall to 46 percent overall.  Sixty-one percent of the schools scored an A or a B, and no school received a D or F.

Five schools increased a letter grade, with four of them moving from B to A.  Three schools maintained their grade and two schools lost a letter grade for not meeting adequate progress for at-risk students.

The five schools increasing a letter grade are:

  • Pasco High School
  • Sunlake High School
  • Fivay High School
  • Gulf High School
  • River Ridge High School

“While we celebrate our success, we continue to work diligently to ensure that all of our students have access to opportunities to succeed at high levels,” said Superintendent Kurt Browning.  “We must remember that beginning in 2014, there will be an automatic grade scale increase, requiring more points to earn an A, a B, or a C; therefore, our work does not stop,” he added.

Overall, six schools were graded A, two received a B, six earned a C, and no schools were graded D or F.





Other highlights from this year’s high school grade calculations include:

Graduation Rates

  • Pasco increased the number of on-time graduates earning regular standard diplomas in 2013 (3,726) over 2012 (3,455).
  • Pasco high school graduation rates exceeded the state average and all Bay area districts in 2013.
  • Notably, Pasco continues to close the graduation gap, with little to no difference among subgroup rates (White 75.4, Hispanic 77.2, Black 76.5).
  • The ESE graduation rate for students pursuing a regular standard diploma increased four percentage points from 47.90 percent in 2012 to 52.16 percent in 2013.

Dropout Rates

  • Pasco’s dropout rate (0.9%) was lower than the state and Bay area district averages, with lower dropout rates for black and Hispanic students compared to the dropout rate for white students.

Acceleration Rates

  • Land O’ Lakes, Sunlake, Ridgewood, and River Ridge high schools increased both acceleration participation and performance percentages.
  • Gulf, Land O’ Lakes, and Mitchell high schools increased acceleration performance.

Supplemental Graduation Rate

  • All but one school increased their supplemental graduation rate in 2013 over 2012. (The supplemental graduation is the number of students who took five years to graduate.)

Total Points

  • All but one school increased their FCAT points, and seven schools increased total points (Wesley Chapel, Mitchell, Sunlake, Fivay, Gulf, and Land O’ Lakes high schools).

Two-Year High School Grade Comparison












“We want to thank our staff, students, and community for the hard work they put into achieving success, and we remain committed to fulfilling our promise for college, career, and life readiness for all of Pasco’s students,” said Superintendent Browning.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Pasco School Board Elects Crumbley Chairman, Luikart Vice-Chairman

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (November 19, 2013) – The Pasco County School Board elected Alison Crumbley as School Board Chairman and Steve Luikart as School Board Vice-Chairman at their organization meeting today.  Crumbley, who served the last year as vice-chairman, replaces Cynthia Armstrong (District 3) as chairman.

Alison Crumbley was elected to the District 4 school board seat in 2010, to complete the final two years of Kathryn Starkey’s term when Starkey ran for higher office.  She was re-elected in 2012 to a four-year term.  Mrs. Crumbley is marketing director for her family’s real estate company.  District 4 includes parts of central and west Pasco County.

Steve Luikart was elected to the District 5 school board seat in 2010, and is serving a four-year term.  He is a retired school administrator.  District 5 encompasses the northwest corner of the county, including Hudson, and parts of Port Richey, Spring Hill, and New Port Richey.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Pasco School Board Formalizes Support for Common Core

 Land O’ Lakes, FL – (November 5, 2013) – The District School Board of Pasco County voted unanimously today in favor of a resolution supporting the Common Core State Standards and urging the governor and Legislature to “remain steadfast in their support” for moving forward with implementation.

In approving the resolution, the School Board clarified that the standards do not dictate how teachers teach, but rather they define what students need to learn.  The resolution confirms the Board’s belief that “the CCSS are a set of consistent, high-quality academic goals in English/language arts (ELA) and mathematics” that “create consistent learning goals for all students regardless of where they live or go to school, assuring parents that their children are learning the same rigorous academic standards as other students across Florida and across the country.”

Signed copies of the resolution will be sent to Governor Rick Scott and to each member of the Pasco County Legislative Delegation.  Click here to view the resolution.

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