Monday, July 12, 2010

District School Board of Pasco County Earns Prestigious State Certification

The District School Board of Pasco County has recently been recognized as one of 19 school districts in the state of Florida to earn Certified Board distinction from the Florida School Board’s Association. The Certified Board Program recognizes the culmination of the majority of a Board’s membership earning Certified Board Member status. Board Vice-Chairperson, Joanne Hurley, recently received this important designation, enabling the District School Board of Pasco County to qualify for prestigious Certified Board distinction. 

The Certified Board Member Program is an extensive professional development system that requires a minimum of 96 hours of targeted training in various areas of school district governance. “Mrs. Hurley’s timely completion of this rigorous professional development program is a testament to her unwavering dedication to our school system and her impressive service to our community,” stated Chairman Allen Altman, as he presented her award last week.   

Certified Boards work efficiently as a governing group while prioritizing student achievement.  “Attainment of this certification is symbolic of our Board’s ongoing efforts to secure a solid foundation for student success,” stated School Board Chairman Allen Altman.  This unique honor isreflective of a Board’s ongoing commitment to excellence and its progressive vision for the future.   “I commend each of our Board members for their efforts to achieve this important certification.  By working together and continuing to provide strong leadership, we can ensure that all students reach their highest potential,” remarked Superintendent Heather Fiorentino.  

Thursday, July 08, 2010

School Meal Prices and Free/Reduced Meal Policy 2010-2011

The District School Board of Pasco County’s policy for free and reduced-priced meals and new meal prices has been approved for the 2010-2011 school year.  Under the National School Lunch Act, families who are below the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines may qualify for free or reduced-priced meal benefits.  Families MUST complete a new Free and Reduced-Price Meal Application for the upcoming school year. 

Families can apply online by visiting the Food and Nutrition Services Department website at www.pasco.k12.fl.us/nutrition/free_reduced; or applications will be available on August 2, 2010 at any Pasco County school cafeteria or administration office, at student orientation, and throughout the school year.  A new family application MUST be submitted at the start of each new school year. 

2010-2011 Student Meal Prices

 

Breakfast

Lunch

Elementary

$1.25

$2.00

Secondary

$1.40

$2.50

Reduced-Price

$0.30

$0.40

*Prices are subject to change

Last year’s meal eligibility status will expire after the first ten days of school, which is September 1, 2010.  Any student who received free or reduced-price meal benefits in the 2009-2010 school year and has not submitted a new application and has not been approved by the expiration date by the Food and Nutrition Services Department, will be required to pay full price for all meals.  Until a new 2010-2011 Free and Reduced-Price Meal Application is received and approved, parents must provide their child(ren) with money to pay for their child(ren)’s meals at the regular listed price or, parents can send a lunch from home for their child(ren).  This includes applications based on Food Stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and Foster Child(ren).

Households that receive Food Stamps or TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) are required to list only the child’s name, Food Stamp / TANF case number, and signature of adult household member on the application.

All applications are reviewed and processed by the Food and Nutrition Services Department.  An application must contain complete eligibility information. Once the application is approved, a notification letter is sent to the family.  The approval for meal benefits is good for an entire school year; e.g. a status of free, reduced-price, or denied (full payment required).  Applications can be submitted any time during the school year.   Unless indicated otherwise on the application, the information on the Free and Reduced Price Meal application may be used by the school system in determining eligibility for other educational programs.

If a household member becomes unemployed or if the household size changes, the school should be contacted.  Parents or guardians who become unemployed should also contact the school.  Such changes may make the student eligible for reduced price or free meals if the household income falls at or below the levels shown below.

If you have any questions regarding the Free and Reduced-Price Meal Application or the school food program, please contact Determining Official, Nicole Westmoreland at (813) 794-2438 or email nwestmor@pasco.k12.fl.us.   If you do not agree with the final decision made on the eligibility status of your meal benefit application, you have the right to appeal.  To appeal, you must contact Richard P. Kurtz, Food and Nutrition Services Director, at (813) 794-2439 or 7227 Land O’ Lakes Blvd, Land O’ Lakes, Florida 34638.

ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES

*Guidelines are subject to change

Household size

Annual

Monthly

Twice Per Month

Every Two Weeks

Weekly

1

14,079

1,174

587

542

271

2

18,941

1,579

790

729

365

3

23,803

1,984

992

916

458

4

28,665

2,389

1,195

1,103

552

5

33,527

2,794

1,397

1,290

645

6

38,389

3,200

1,600

1,477

739

7

43,251

3,605

1,803

1,664

832

8

48,113

4,010

2,005

1,851

926

Each additional family member, add

4,862

406

203

187

94

 

 

Household size

Annual

Monthly

Twice Per Month

Every Two Weeks

Weekly

1

20,036

1,670

835

771

386

2

26,955

2,247

1,124

1,037

519

3

33,874

2,823

1,412

1,303

652

4

40,793

3,400

1,700

1,569

785

5

47,712

3,976

1,988

1,836

918

6

54,631

4,553

2,277

2,102

1,051

7

61,550

5,130

2,565

2,368

1,184

8

68,469

5,706

2,853

2,634

1,317

Each additional family member, add

6,919

577

289

267

134

Household size and income criteria will be used to determine eligibility.  Foster children may receive benefits based on the child’s personal income regardless of the income of the household.  Households with children who are considered migrants, homeless, or runaway should contact the District liaison at (813) 794-0608.

For the purpose of determining household size, deployed service members are considered a part of the household. Families should include the names of the deployed service members on their application.  Report only that portion of the deployed service member’s income made available to them or on their behalf to the family.  Additionally, a housing allowance that is part of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative is not to be included as income.

All other households must provide total household income prior to taxes, social security, health benefits, and any other deductions listed by amount received, type of income and how often the income is received.  Names of household members must be listed.  A signature and social security number (or mark the word “NONE”) of an adult household member certifying the information provided is correct must be included on the application.

“In accordance with Federal law and the U. S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.  To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 or (202) 720-6382 (TTY).   USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.”

 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pasco’s Focus on Student Success Pays Off

The District School Board of Pasco County is pleased to report that Pasco’s students continue to excel, outpacing the state average in several areas.  Due to the diligent work of Pasco’s entire team, steady progress is reflected in the results released earlier today. The District is particularly proud of its tenth grade students who exceeded the state average in mathematics and whose writing scores reflect significant levels of achievement.  The District had an overall increase of six percentage points in 10th grade mathematics scores, with 85% of high schools maintaining or improving their performance from last year.  Every high school in Pasco showed increases in the percent of students scoring a 4.0 or higher on the writing assessment. The District’s tenth graders also showed an overall improvement of four percentage points in reading, with nine of eleven general high schools maintaining or improving their performance. “Our entire team has really intensified their efforts at the secondary level to ensure that all students graduate from our system prepared for the challenges of global citizenship and we are extremely proud to see that our efforts have paid off in this area,stated Superintendent Heather Fiorentino. 

As Pasco works to prepare students with 21st Century Literacy Skills, writing has been a primary focus of the District.  Pasco is proud to report that 92% of elementary, 95% of middle and 94% of high school students earned a score of 3.0 or above this year on the FCAT writing assessment.

Pasco students also showed improvement in all grade levels on their science assessment, with middle school students performing above the state average.  Additionally, 76% of elementary schools and 75% of high schools in Pasco County maintained or improved their science performance as compared to last year.

“As we celebrate the success within this subset of data, we recognize that opportunity for improvement exists in our efforts to ensure that all students reach their highest potential.  We will continue to use these results as one tool for determining how we can best meet the individual needs of all students,” Fiorentino added.

Monday, June 28, 2010

2010 Florida’s Educational Office Professionals of the Year

On June 25, 2010, Pat Ellison, Secretary in Instructional Media & Technology Services Department, was installed as President of the Florida Association of Educational Office Professionals for the 2010-2011 year. Pat was also nominated and selected as the 2010 Florida Educational Office Professional of the Year. She was recognized during the Annual Conference hosted by Pasco County AEOP June 23 - 26, 2010. History of Association A statewide meeting was held in April 1952 in Miami for the purpose of organizing the Florida Association of School Secretaries. In April 1954, the name was officially changed by the membership to Florida Association of Educational Secretaries. Since the association was made up of various job classifications, the name of Florida Association of Educational Office Personnel was adopted in 1977. In 1994, the name became Florida Association of Educational Office Professionals. Vision Statement We are a team committed to encouraging membership, participation and networking by providing professional growth, fellowship, and recognition for all Florida Association of Educational Office Professionals.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Battle of the Belts Saves Lives

Each year, All Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids of Pasco sponsor the Battle of the Belts campaign for Pasco high school students. It is designed to decrease the dangers teens face while riding in motor vehicles by increasing seat belt usage. Participating this year were Anclote, Gulf, Hudson, James W. Mitchell, Land O' Lakes, Pasco, Ridgewood, River Ridge, Sunlake, Wesley Chapel, Wiregrass Ranch and Zephyrhills High Schools. Guided by their School Resource Officers, members of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) clubs and student government groups took the lead and designed marketing campaigns, which included essays, posters, public service announcements (PSA), and events such as Prom Promise. The sponsors held a recognition luncheon at the All Children’s Hospital center in New Port Richey where several awards were given to the students and school teams that participated.
  • Poster: First Place, Linda Lovett, Hudson High School, $200 award.
  • Essay: First Place, Lydia Kinney, James W. Mitchell High School, $200 award.
  • PSA: James W. Mitchell High School, $500 award to SADD.
  • Campaign: James W. Mitchell High School, $700 award to SADD.
  • Highest percent in increased use of seat belts: Gulf High School, $700 award to SADD.
  • Highest overall seat belt use: Wesley Chapel High School, $1,000 award to SADD. This marks the school’s second year being recognized in this category.
Sincere gratitude is offered to the program sponsors, schools, and participating students for helping save lives through the 2010 Battle of the Belts.

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