Friday, March 07, 2014
The Cinderella Project is back - 10 years and going strong!
New Port Richey, FL – (March 6, 2014) – Pasco County high school girls who have no budget for prom can once again receive fashion assistance from some real fairy godmothers as the Cinderella Project returns for its tenth year.
The Cinderella Project of Pasco provides brand new and gently used prom dresses and accessories at no cost to young ladies with financial need.
Girls from all Pasco County high schools can benefit from the Cinderella Project, according to head “Fairy Godmothers” and organizers, Julie Rockwell and Roberta Bartlett.
The Cinderella Project accepts donations of prom-style dresses and accessories (shoes, purses, costume jewelry) in excellent condition and contemporary styles. Donations are currently being accepted at any Pasco County high school.
Cash donations to the Cinderella Project are used to purchase brand new dresses and shoes when sizes are not available in the donated inventory. Since 2005 the project has supplied dresses and accessories to more than a thousand Pasco County girls with financial need. “Our goal is to be sure no young lady misses her prom because of lack of funds”, said Rockwell.
Girls can try on and pick out their ensemble on two Saturdays - March 22 and March 29 - from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. One boutique will be located at 9040 Tryfon Blvd., in the Trinity Town Center, on the corner of Little Road and Trinity Boulevard. A second boutique will be open only on Saturday, March 22, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bridgeway Church, 30660 Wells Road, Wesley Chapel.
Girls who wish to select a dress and accessories must bring their school ID badge. Call 727-463-4306 or 630-338-3681 for more information or to make a tax deductible cash donation.
Thursday, March 06, 2014
Gulfside Elementary to Serve Meals During Break
Land O’ Lakes, FL – (March 6, 2014) – Gulfside Elementary School Principal Chris Clayton announces that the school again will serve FREE lunches to hungry kids over spring break (March 17 – 21) at the school and at Weston Oaks Apartments. Mr. Clayton also will deliver food to some of the school’s neediest families who can’t get to the school for lunch because they lack transportation.
Lunches will consist of hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fresh fruits and vegetables, and milk. The school is accepting donations to help with the lunch program.
Lunches will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Gulfside Elementary, located at 2329 Anclote Blvd., Holiday. Lunches will start at noon at Westin Oaks Apartments, located at 1251 Weston Oaks Dr., Holiday (Alternate 19).
For more information contact Chris Clayton at 727-774-6000 or 727-424-8159.
Monday, February 24, 2014
Pasco District Responds to Release of Teacher VAM Data
Land O’ Lakes, FL – (February 24, 2014) – In response to the Florida Department of Education’s release of individual teacher VAM (value-added model) data, Superintendent Kurt Browning cautioned parents not to jump to conclusions about the quality of their children’s teachers.
“The VAM formula is a complex statistical model based on 4th through 10th grade student FCAT math and reading performance, as well as 9th graders’ algebra end-of-course exam scores,” said Browning. “Easily half of Pasco’s teachers are being evaluated using different data sources,” he added.
District administrators, the Pasco School Board, and the United School Employees of Pasco are concerned that the data are not easily understood and want parents to know that much more goes in to evaluating a teacher’s effectiveness in the classroom than the numbers being released today.
Depending on the type and number of students a teacher serves, the district may have used a different data source than what the state is reporting. Teachers of students in kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 11th, and 12th grades are not included in the VAM calculations, neither are teachers who teach subjects other than those tested on FCAT in grades 4-10. The district used school-wide or district-wide calculations for those teachers as well as for teachers who did not teach enough students to generate a meaningful VAM calculation.
The state’s VAM data include the percentage of students meeting expectation and the VAM Estimate by teacher. Pasco uses the percentage meeting expectation in calculating a teacher’s student growth portion of the evaluation.
“We have great teachers in Pasco, and I don’t want this release to impact our teacher/principal relationships, or lead to a misunderstanding about an individual teacher’s performance,” Browning stated. “We will do what we can to assure that the teacher evaluation process is meaningful and is used to inform teachers about their strengths and opportunities for growth,” he concluded.
School Board Chairman Alison Crumbley added, “We don’t shy away from accountability, but our system of teacher accountability must be based on multiple measures and must not compromise the trust between teachers and principals.”
Friday, February 14, 2014
2014 Art of Recycling Contest
The Pasco Art of Recycling Contest was formed 18 years ago as collaboration between Pasco County Schools, Pasco County Recycling and the Pasco Arts Council. The purpose of this annual event is to promote environmental awareness, recycling and an appreciation of the arts.
Art work is submitted by Pasco County High School Students and is judged during the first week of February. Fifteen winners are chosen in various categories such as Best Use of Plastic, Best Environmental Concept, and People’s Choice, as well as, overall 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places. Cash awards that range from $100 to $500 are also awarded thanks to generous donations made by community sponsors.
Here are this year's winners:
All artwork is on display at the West Pasco Government Center on Little Rd in New Port Richey through Feb 28. The 15 winning pieces will move to the lobby of building 3 at the District Complex on Highway 41 through the month of March.
Tuesday, February 04, 2014
Pasco School Board Considers Gallup Survey Results
Land O’ Lakes, FL – (February 4, 2014) – The District School Board of Pasco County conducted its first Gallup student poll and employee engagement survey in October, November and January, with results to be used as a baseline measure for comparison of future years to current and previous year survey data.
The Gallup Student Poll is a 20-question survey that measures the hope, engagement, and well-being of students in grades 5 through 12. Research supports the idea that hope (ideas and energy for the future), engagement (involvement with and enthusiasm for school), and well-being (how we think about and experience our lives) are actionable targets linked to student achievement, retention, and future employment. The Gallup Student Poll was conducted online during the school day from Oct. 15 through Oct 31, 2013, with 31,740 students completing the survey.
During a workshop today, the School Board received the results and discussed their meaning. District students’ results showed 52% Hope, 53% Engagement, and 63% well-being, compared to average results nationwide of 54% Hope, 55% Engagement, and 66% well-being.
“When you look at district overall results (for students), they look very similar to U.S. overall data,” said Tim Hodges, Ph.D., director of research for Gallup. He explained that results are expected to be in the same range when looking at large-scale surveys.
Based on more than four decades of research, Gallup has identified definitive employee attitudes that correspond with the most successful workplaces. Employee engagement — involvement with and enthusiasm for work — is measured by Gallup in a 12-question employee survey. An employee’s level of engagement links to various school outcomes, including employee retention, parent engagement, student retention, and student achievement. The employee engagement survey was conducted online from Nov. 15 through Nov. 22, 2013, and Jan. 13 through 17, 2014, with 3,896 employees registering their opinions (79% response rate). For this year, school-related personnel and non-represented, non-bargaining personnel did not participate in the survey.
Pasco School Board employees’ results indicate 26% of staff are engaged compared to 30% of U.S. workers; 53% of staff are not engaged compared to 52% of U.S. workers; and 21% of staff are actively disengaged compared to 18% of U.S. workers. Counting only the district-level staff, 33% are engaged, 56% are not engaged, and 11% are actively disengaged.
During the school board workshop, Dr. Hodges said, “If there was one word to describe today, it’s ‘baseline.’ The most important place to look is where we are compared to last year. This is the first year we’ve worked with Pasco schools, so we consider this a baseline measurement.” He also reassured the board that, “To look at the rest of the U.S. working population, this is what we tend to see as a starting point.”
“We will use these results as a foundation on which to build employee and student engagement,” said Superintendent Kurt Browning. “We have to ask ourselves as an organization, ‘What do we need to do to foster an environment where people feel valued and respected?’”
Assistant Superintendent Amelia Larson said, “By collecting the right data, we can keep our finger on the pulse of our employees and students and continue building their engagement.”
“We must be intentional about improving engagement by providing staff the tools and supports they need to prepare students for college, career, and life,” said Superintendent Browning.
This is a long-term project, not a one-time survey. The district is working with the Gallup organization to build employee engagement, thereby increasing student engagement, which ultimately should improve student achievement. Future surveys will be administered and the results will be compared with this year’s scores to gauge whether the district’s efforts have improved employee engagement and student hope, engagement, and well-being.
Five Most Recent...
- The Cinderella Project is back - 10 years and going strong!
- Gulfside Elementary to Serve Meals During Break
- Pasco District Responds to Release of Teacher VAM Data
- 2014 Art of Recycling Contest
- Pasco School Board Considers Gallup Survey Results