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.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

District Spends $8.3 Million Less in Average Energy, Maintenance Costs

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (April 25, 2019) – The Florida Department of Education this week released 2017-2018 school district energy and maintenance/operations cost comparisons, confirming that Pasco County Schools spent $8.3 million less than the state average.

Following are the district’s cost-saving calculations:

Pasco’s Maintenance Department achieved this avoidance by setting thermostats at 76-degrees and controlling air systems from a central location. They also established a 12-hour run time for all schools with additional time needed for after-school events by service request. The department also has fewer employees per square foot than average.

Take the Road to Resiliency

Who: Pasco County Schools student services team members and community mental health partners

What: Pasco County Schools 2nd annual Mental Health Symposium

When: 8:30 a.m. Friday, April 26

Where: District Office Complex, Building 2, Oak Room
             7227 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., Land O’ Lakes

Why: Student mental health has received increased attention since the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School shooting last year.  This symposium will provide student services staff members, who are the front line in addressing student mental health needs, with professional development through prevention and recovery-oriented education.

How: This year’s theme is The Road to Resiliency.  The keynote speaker is Joshua Wayne, MA, a motivational speaker specializing in teen behavior.  He will challenge participants to think critically about mental health, resiliency, and supporting our teens, leaving the audience energized and optimistic about helping students to be happy, healthy, and successful.
More than 20 local agencies have partnered to provide professional development and collaboration opportunities between community mental health professionals and school nurses, psychologists, and social workers. The symposium will help Student Services members better facilitate engagement with students, families, and school staff, directly impacting student overall well-being and success. Community sponsors have donated their time and talents to assist with building this great event. The Mental Health Symposium is sponsored by Walmart, ASAP, Target, Publix, Dollar General, Capital Tacos, Bonefish Grill, and many more.

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