Thursday, April 05, 2018

Books By the Beach Project Scavenger Hunt and Walk

Who: River Ridge High School New Teacher Academy (NTA) students and Hudson Elementary School students

What: Books By the Beach Project scavenger hunt and walk

When: 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday, April 13th

Where: Healthy Families Pasco-Hernando Office, 14120 Old Dixie Hwy, Hudson

Why: To impact student learning throughout the summer and promote safety, community involvement, and ice cream.

How: NTA students Raynee Meek, Kaylyn Burr, Brianna Marney and about 30 of their peers are taking 50 Hudson Elementary students on a scavenger hunt/walk to Hudson Beach and back for their philanthropy project. The walk will start and end at the Healthy Families Pasco-Hernando office with multiple book breaks to collect books on the way to the beach. Each stop is a book stop adventure. Along the path, the NTA students will be writing questions about safety on the sidewalk, sharing signs to encourage students to read all summer, and creating passport-type logs for the students to remember their stops. Several area groups including Pasco Retired Educators, United Way Pasco, and On the Road for Safety, will be joining the NTA students to man tables and share smiles. Each Hudson Elementary student will leave with a backpack filled with summer reading materials.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Deer Park Elementary Honors Pratts for Years of Service to Students, Environment

Who: Deer Park Elementary School administration, teachers and students

What: Celebration of 28 years of school beautification projects at Deer Park Elementary

When: 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m., Friday, March 30

Where: Deer Park Elementary School, 8636 Trouble Creek Road, New Port Richey, FL 34653

Why: Deer Park Elementary is celebrating Nancy and George Pratt’s tireless devotion to the school and teaching students environmental stewardship.

How: The event will include a parade of student council members wearing 29 years of Earth Day buttons, songs by the chorus, and a special presentation/reflection by recently retired principal Margie Polen. The event will end as students enjoy a well-deserved popsicle for their fund raising efforts and the Earth Patrol releases live butterflies on the site.

Background: Nancy was a teacher for more than 40 years and was a member of the first faculty when Deer Park opened in 1989. At that time, she and her husband George created a garden in the center of the school that is used for outdoor lessons and for families to enjoy lunch with their kids. Nancy and George have maintained the garden since its beginning, even in retirement. Nancy also created the character “Mother Earth” to teach students about doing their part to keep the earth clean; created a recycling committee at Deer Park called Earth Patrol; and started an art competition where students design an Earth Day related button with a given theme, which the school sells for fundraisers. Currently, there are 29 winning designs. Nancy and George have volunteered hundreds hours at many events during and after school and Nancy is a our teachers’ favorite substitute.

Students began raising funds in August 2017 to create a special student outdoor area at Deer Park Elementary to be known as Pratt’s Place, in honor of Nancy and George Pratt. Pratt’s Place is a picturesque shade tree surrounded by a circular wooden bench, known as a buddy bench, where students go to visit with a friend. Four additional shade trees have been added to the children’s play area in the Pratt’s honor, and a stone dedication plaque has been engraved with inspirational words Mrs. Pratt used often with students. The plaque is mounted on a pedestal and reads:

Our thanks to
Nancy and George Pratt
for their tireless devotion
preserving the natural beauty
of Deer Park Elementary.

With a smile on your face
And a song in your heart
Stretch out your neck
and reach for the top.

We invite you to sit
And rest in this place
Observe Mother Earth
The children at play.
And marvel at the clouds
As they travel today.

Monday, March 26, 2018

River Ridge High School Quarterly Recognition Program

Who: River Ridge High School administration, teachers and students

What: Quarterly Recognition of Students

When: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Friday, April 6

Where: River Ridge High School courtyard behind gymnasium, 11646 Town Center Rd, New Port Richey, FL 34654

Why: The luncheon is sponsored by 20 local merchants/vendors to recognize student achievement.

How: The event will take place in the courtyard outside behind the gym. Students have been nominated by their teachers and will recognize academic rock stars, as well as students making positive academic gains. The event will include a DJ and prize giveaways.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Superintendent Kurt Browning’s Letter to Governor Rick Scott

The letter below and attached from Superintendent Kurt Browning to Governor Rick Scott was hand-delivered today.

March 14, 2018

The Honorable Rick Scott
Governor of Florida
PL 01, The Capitol
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0100

Dear Governor Scott:

I am writing to respectfully request that you veto the Florida Education Finance Program in the state budget.

The proposed Base Student Allocation (BSA) increase of $.47 per student statewide (.01%) equals an additional $34,613.29 for Pasco County Schools for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. This amount is not even close to one starting teacher’s salary. What’s worse, compared to the 3rd calculation, Pasco County Schools will see a decrease of more than $2 in our Base Student Allocation from our 2017-2018 funding, due to a reduced District Cost Differential.

The overall FEFP per-student increase for Pasco’s children is only $88.49 each, compared to the statewide average of $101.50 per student. If it were not for the 1,001 new students projected to enroll in Pasco schools next year, we would not see any new money. This is not the historical increase the Legislature suggests it is. It mandates the specific programs on which almost all of the increase must be spent, primarily on safe schools and mental health programs, removing any flexibility districts have to decide how best to appropriate the funds based on their individual needs.

Although I strongly support funding school safety measures, the majority of the increased FEFP is for student safety at the expense of educating our students. This increase in funding per student will not cover inflation (increased mandatory retirement contributions, costs for utilities, property insurance, and health care coverage for employees), or teacher raises.

Thank you for your efforts to truly increase per student funding. Please use your authority as governor to force the Legislature to adequately fund public school operations by vetoing the FEFP and calling the Legislature back for a special session to provide us with an operating budget that both enhances school safety and provides the funding necessary to educate Florida’s public school children.


Kurt S. Browning
Superintendent of Schools

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Mittye P. Locke Students Assemble to Stop Bullying

Who: Mittye P. Locke Elementary School students, Pasco County Schools staff, and Wells Fargo

What: Hero Today Hero Tomorrow

When: 4:15 p.m., Wednesday, March 28

Where: Mittye P. Locke Elementary School cafeteria, 4339 Evans Ave. in New Port Richey

Why: Students from the Mittye P. Locke Elementary School Student Council and Kiwanis Club will host this event to discuss bullying and how to stop it.

How: The students will give a PowerPoint presentation and premier an anti-bullying video that they produced. The video will discuss what bullying is, how to handle it, and the acts of kindness that can help prevent it. The event also will feature guest speakers from Gulf Middle School and Wells Fargo, and Kelli Coile, district psychologist, will discuss emotions and the impact of negative experiences. For more information, contact Andrea Morrow at (727) 774-3157.

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