Monday, April 23, 2012

Pasco Snapshot - SLHS, LOLHS Students Visit Florida School for the Deaf and Blind

For the past several years, students in Sunlake and Land O'Lakes High Schools' American Sign Language classes have spent time each month communicating online with with fellow pupils from Teresa Smith's class at The Florida School for the Deaf and Blind in St. Augustine. These sessions, made possible by the the power of Skype and other videoconferencing tools, allow students to practice and improve their sign language skills while communicating with deaf and hard of hearing students in an informal setting. Video chats are a favorite part of students' time in these ASL classes, and FSDB students love them too. But, as Sunlake High ASL teacher Rhonda Leslie and Land O'Lakes High ASL teacher Allyson Heymann know, there's at least one way to do it better.

For the past four years, Leslie and Heymann have arranged to take their students on a class trip to FSDB, giving them a chance to meet their online friends face-to-face. For students from all three schools, it's a great opportunity to interact, play games, and cement relationships started on Skype.

This year the trip included a Presentation by FSDB representative Rick Coleman about the history of the school (which opened in 1885), as well as a tour of the campus and classrooms where the students live and work during the week. FSDB is the state's only residential school, and many students live there full- or part-time. Pasco students were also treated to a show put on by FSDB's famous dance troupe. During the show, visitors were encouraged to dance, laugh and sign along with the music.

Leslie and Heymann hope that students come away from the trip with an understanding and value of residential programs for the Deaf, respect for deaf and hard of hearing culture and language and ideas for future career options for themselves on a residential campus.

For SLHS and LOLHS students, the trip is undoubtedly the highlight of the school year. Please take a moment to look over our photo journal of the day's events!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Secondary School Winners of the 2011-2012 4-H/Tropicana Public Speaking Contest

The secondary school winners from the 2011-2012 4-H/Tropicana Public Speaking Contest may be viewed at the following link:

Congratulations to all who particpated for a fine job!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Preliminary Four-Day School Week Survey Results Available

Parents, employees and community members: The preliminary results of the District's four-day school week survey, conducted by Hanover Research, are now available for download. The report compiles initial findings from a survey offered to the Pasco County school district and stakeholders to gauge community opinions of a proposed four-day school week as a solution to address the district’s budget deficit. The 10,130 people who responded to the Respondents expressed their levels of agreement with the proposal and offered concerns about the plan. Please download and review these results at your earliest convenience. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Introducing Tray Talk - A School Nutrition Resource for Parents

Food and Nutrition Services is a member of the national School Nutrition Association.  The School Nutrition Association and its members know that parents are critical partners in teaching children to make nutritious food choices at school. Learn how you can get involved and support healthy school meals. 


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Students Eat Farm Fresh Kumquats and Strawberries

“What is that and how do I eat it?” was the question asked by almost 600 Wesley Chapel Elementary students as they were greeted in the school cafeteria with a Farmer’s Market displaying baskets full of kumquats, strawberries, apples, blood oranges, bok Choy, beets, and other fresh fruits and vegetables. 

The Food and Nutrition Services Department for Pasco County Schools partnered with Fresh Point Produce and the Kumquat Growers of Dade City to offer students a taste of locally grown Dade City Kumquats and Plant City Strawberries as part of the district’s Farm 2 School Program. The food service staffed dressed as farmers and handed each student a sample cup containing a fresh kumquat and strawberry. 

The students’ facial expressions were priceless as they bit into their first kumquat.  Many didn’t realize they could eat the skin, so to help reduce the fear of the unknown, food service employees challenged the students to a “let’s do it together” race.  Students chanted “Just keep chewing, just keep chewing” as they experienced the inside out sweet and sour taste of fresh kumquats.

Students loved the bright red and juicy sweet strawberries, and many enjoyed the unique sweet and sour taste of the fresh kumquats. 

In February, the Food and Nutrition Services Department will feature fresh Plant City Strawberries on school menus in all Pasco County schools.

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