Friday, January 15, 2010

Tips for Parents: Help Your Child Cope with Natural Disasters

As with any natural disaster, the recent earthquake in Haiti will affect far more people than those caught directly in its path. Those with friends or family living in the area of a disaster will certainly experience serious concern or grief, but even people with no direct connections to the affected region may find themselves distressed by non-stop news coverage and disturbing images shown on television. Your own child may be feeling quietly frightened by what he or she has seen or heard, even though you may notice no outward signs of concern. Please refer to the links below for information on helping your child navigate the emotions he or she may be feeling at this time. If your family has been seriously affected by this or any natural disaster and you feel your child needs additional assistance, do not hesitate to contact our Student Services Department: (813) 794-2362. From the source:
  • Take a news break.  Watching endless replays of footage from the disaster can make your stress even greater.  Although you will want to keep informed – especially if you have loved ones in Haiti – taking a break from watching the news can lessen your distress. 

  • Control what you can. There are routines in your life that you can continue such as going to work or school and making meals.  It is helpful to maintain these routines and schedules to give yourself a break from constantly thinking about the earthquake.

  • Engage in healthy behaviors. Eat well-balanced meals, engage in regular exercise like going for a long walk, and get plenty of rest. Bolstering your physical well-being is good for your emotional health and can enhance your ability to cope.  

  • Keep things in perspective. While an earthquake can bring tremendous hardship and loss, remember to focus on the things that are good in your life.  Persevere and trust in your ability to get through the challenging days ahead.

  • Find a productive way to help if you can.  Many organizations are set up to provide various forms of aid to survivors. Contributing or volunteering is a positive action that can help you to make a difference. 

  • Strive for a positive outlook.  Many people who have experienced tragedy find that they grow in some respect as a result of persevering through the hardship.  Over time, people can discover personal strengths and develop a greater appreciation for life.   

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Participate in Community Night on January 28!

Each year the District School Board of Pasco County hosts a Community Night event to engage education stakeholders in meaningful discussions about the needs of students. This year, there will be twelve Community Night events held throughout the District on January 28, 2010. Parents, students, and representatives from each of the elementary, middle and high schools within these twelve groups (organized by region) will meet together to discuss issues of common concern. This is a wonderful opportunity for parents, community partners and educators to work collaboratively on important issues that benefit students. Community NIght is also a unique chance for families of younger students to establish a positive working relationship with educators in the middle and high schools that their children will one day attend. By working together, we can ensure a solid foundation for the success of all students. To learn more about the Community Night event near you, please view our attached flyer (en Español). We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Healthy Morning Snack Packs at Participating Elementary Schools

Since several elementary school's start times are later this year, many students are choosing to eat breakfast at home, but are ready for a snack by the time school starts. Food and Nutrition Services is excited to offer a new healthy Morning Snack Pack program at participating elementary schools for students who need something a little extra to hold them over until lunch. Healthy Morning Snack Packs are now available for students when they arrive on campus. Students can enjoy the morning snack before school starts or, if their teacher permits**, they can save it for snack time later in the day. **Varies by school. Please check with your child's school for more information. Students may select a more traditional breakfast or the Morning Snack Pack for only $1.25 at participating schools. At those schools that offer the complimentary breakfast, if the students do not select the breakfast, there will be no charge for the snack pack. Students that qualify for meal benefits, may obtain a breakfast or a Morning Snack Pack at their established meal price. If a student chooses to select a breakfast and a snack pack, the price of the snack pack is $1.50 for all students. Three different versions of the Morning Snack Pack are available. The Graham Snack Pack is available on Mondays and Wednesdays, the Cheese Cracker Snack Pack is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the lowfat Muffin Snack Pack is available on Fridays. All snack packs include a choice of milk. For more information on the Morning Snack Pack program, please contact your child's school’s Food and Nutrition Services Manager. Participating schools include:
  • Anclote Elementary School
  • Calusa Elementary School
  • Cotee River Elementary School
  • Cypress Elementary School
  • Deer Park Elementary School
  • Denham Oaks Elementary School
  • Double Branch Elementary School
  • Mary Giella Elementary School
  • Gulf Highlands Elementary School
  • Gulfside Elementary School
  • Hudson Elementary School
  • Lacoochee Elementary School
  • Lake Myrtle Elementary School
  • James M. Marlowe Elementary School
  • Northwest Elementary School
  • Pine View Elementary School
  • San Antonio Elementary School
  • Sand Pine Elementary School
  • Sanders Memorial Elementary School
  • Schrader Elementary School
  • Shady Hills Elementary School
  • Sunray Elementary School
  • Veterans Elementary School
  • Woodland Elementary School

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2010 Pasco Education Summit: Join Us!

PTA/PTO families, school leadership teams, SAC members, and parents are cordially invited to attend the 2010 Pasco Education Summit, being held on January 25 at Sunlake High School from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. This event, which is being co-sponsored by state Representatives Will Weatherford and John Legg and Pasco School Board Chairman Allen Altman, will feature morning and afternoon panels focused on a discussion of key education topics for the purpose of guiding education policy in the state of Florida. This summit presents a unique opportunity for District stakeholders to share their insight with the Florida House of Representatives' chief education lawmakers. There will be a brief period of audience participation following each panel discussion. If you would like to attend the Education Summit, please RSVP with our Communications Department as soon as possible. We appreciate Chairman Altman’s efforts in organizing this special event between our legislators and educators, and look forward to seeing you there. Downloads: Summit Invitation Summit Agenda

Monday, January 04, 2010

Pasco Schools’ H1N1 Vaccination Program Serves Thousands

The Pasco County H1N1/Swine Flu school-located vaccination project began on November 5, 2009 and was recently completed on December 17, 2009. Over the course of the project three vaccination teams visited 45 elementary, 4 charter, 15 middle and 16 high schools, and administered more than 25,000 H1N1 vaccinations to students throughout the district. The vaccine was given to 10,695 elementary-age students, with a required second dose administered to 7,680 children under age ten. Over 6,625 students received the H1N1 vaccine at the secondary level. A total of 3,620 staff participated in this program. Overall, Pasco County Health Department vaccination compliance increased and student absences due to flu-related illness continue to decline. We offer our most sincere thanks to the school nurses, administrators, staff, volunteers and Pasco County Health Department employees whose expert assistance ensured strong coordination and a smooth operation. The results were outstanding!

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