Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Student Art Needed

Effective 2012, the Division of Food, Nutrition and Wellness in Tallahassee at the Florida Department of Agriculture is now administering Child Nutrition Programs for the state of Florida.

They were formally called the Division of Food and Nutrition Management and were under the Florida Department of Education.  They are now in their new offices and would love to have student artwork featuring fruits, vegetables, and a fresh produce message to decorate their blank walls.  

All students are invited to submit a poster or photograph to decorate the walls of the Division of Food, Nutrition and Wellness in Tallahassee with a fruit and vegetable message. Examples could be: students working in a school garden, eating their favorite fruit or vegetable, or farm to school efforts. Be creative!

Photographs and posters must be a standard size of 11x15 up to 17x21. Use crayons, paint, markers, colored pencil, chalk, watercolor, etc. Please include the school’s name and grade level (if applicable).  Artwork is due Wednesday, February 29, 2012. Posters and photographs can besent to: 

Katie Rainka, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Coordinator

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Division of Food, Nutrition and Wellness

600 S. Calhoun St., Suite 120

Tallahassee, FL 32399

Monday, January 09, 2012

High Schools in Pasco Earn High Marks

The District School Board of Pasco County is proud to report that 85% (11 out of 13) of its high schools earned an outstanding grade of A or B under the state formula for high school grades.  This year, the state of Florida utilized a comprehensive approach when evaluating the performance of high schools, encompassing a variety of student achievement indicators, including assessment data, participation in accelerated courses and graduation rates.  Under this formula, 83% (10 out of 12) of the high schools in Pasco that received grades last year maintained or improved their school grade, with two schools showing dramatic improvement:

Anclote High School – (from F to A)

Hudson High School (from D to B)

The District is delighted that six schools in Pasco earned an A (Pasco, Wesley Chapel, J.W. Mitchell, Wiregrass Ranch, River Ridge and Anclote High Schools).   Ridgewood High School has also shown continued steady growth, moving from a C to a B this year.

These improved results are a reflection of the dedication and commitment of each member of our entire team,” said Superintendent Heather Fiorentino.  “We are extremely proud of our schools that have made significant progress in ensuring that all students graduate prepared for success.  Our schools continue to excel in the face of adversity, which is a testament to the resilience, hard work and skill level of our amazing team of educators.  They truly are our most valuable resource, and they should be commended for a job well done,” she added.    

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pasco Continues to Shine

The District School Board of Pasco County is excited to announce the remarkable performance of its high schools, as demonstrated by the graduation rates announced by the Florida Department of Education earlier today.   This high level of achievement coincides with the state’s efforts to provide a more stringent definition of what constitutes graduation from a Florida public school.   This year, the state released its data using two different calculations:  The Florida Graduation Rate and the National Governors Association (NGA) rate. Under each measure, Pasco far surpasses the state average and continues to demonstrate a pattern of sustained improvement:


Pasco 2006-2007

Pasco 2007-2008

Pasco 2008-2009

Pasco 2009-2010

Pasco 2010-2011


Statewide Average

Florida Graduation Rate














“Pasco is fortunate to have an incredible team of talented educators working each and every day to ensure that all children are prepared for success in the 21st Century.  Graduation is one the most fundamental milestones in that preparation.  Our teams, led by administrators and supported by Supervisor Ramon Suarez, review data of at-risk students on a daily basis and work closely with students and their families to provide intervention and support services at the first sign of difficulty.  Their aggressive, proactive approach is having a profound impact on the lives of students and is reflected in our District’s performance,”said Superintendent Fiorentino. 

Pasco has five high schools with graduation rates above 90% (under the NGA calculation):

  • Wiregrass Ranch (92.1%)
  • J.W. Mitchell (90.6%)
  • Pasco (90.6%)
  • Wesley Chapel (90.6%)
  • River Ridge (90.2%)

Additionally, the District is pleased with the dramatic progress made atHudson (improving from 70.2% to 85.0%) and Ridgewood (improving from 83.6% to 88.3%).  All high schools in Pasco have implemented a variety of intensive strategies designed to meet the individual needs of all students and the District’s efforts are yielding tremendous results.

The District’s drop-out rate also continues a steady decline, dropping to an all-time low of 1.0% this year.  This impressive figure reflects a decrease from last year’s rate and is almost a full percentage point less than the state average drop-out rate of 1.9%.  Ten out of the eleven traditional high schools in Pasco that received a state score earned a drop-out rate of 1.0% or less.  This impressive feat is a reflection of concentrated efforts to ensure that all students succeed.

As we celebrate our success, we are mindful that if even one of our District’s 67,000 students falls short of this important milestone, there are severe ramifications for that child and our community.  We will continue our efforts to build upon these accomplishments until all children in Pasco County graduate prepared for a successful tomorrow,” Fiorentino added.    

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Moon Lake Elementary Literacy Breakfast, A Dragon Tale

On October 12th, the 4th and 5th grade students of MLES and their families enjoyed breakfast together in the school's cafeteria, while learning and practicing through literacy strategies at the Kenny and the Dragon Literacy Breakfast. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Let’s Grow Healthy - National School Lunch Week Oct 10 - 14th

Food and Nutrition Services is hosting “School Lunch – Let’s Grow Healthy” a campaign to help students understand where their food comes from and to get excited about healthy school lunch choices.  

This October is the first annual National Farm to School Month, and Food and Nutrition Services is working to expand its Farm 2 School Program that provides students more opportunities to try fresh fruits and vegetables grown "Fresh from Florida."  On Thursday, elementary students will get an opportunity to try green beans, grown locally by Blue Ribbon Farms.  "We are hoping to highlight locally grown broccoli and kumquats in the upcoming months,” stated Stephanie Packrall, the Department’s Nutrition Specialist.

In addition, many schools are also participating in the national Take Your Parent to Lunch Day, inviting parents to join their child to see all of the healthy fresh fruits and vegetables offered to students daily throughout Pasco County.  If parents are interested in joining their child for lunch, please check with your child's school to see if the school is participating.  Many elementary schools may not be participating because of seating limitations in the cafeteria, but always welcomes parents to join their child for lunch throughout the year. 

Each day during the special week, elementary students will learn more about fruits and vegetables, complete themed-activity sheets, and enter to win a prize featuring the “Everything Kids Cookbook” and gardening tools.

For more information about healthy school meals, visit www.TrayTalk.org.

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