Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Vote for Veterans Elementary School!

Vote for Veterans Elementary School, the only Pasco finalist, in the Scotties Trees Rock video contest.  They currently are in 5th place, so we need to show our Pasco Pride!  Winners of the $10,000 prize will be chosen based on the the number of online votes they get from January 11th through February 7th.  The winners in both categories will be announced on Feb 15th, and winner events will be celebrated in spring 2016.  If the link at the beginning of the email doesn't work by holding down the CTRL button and clicking on the word "Vote," or by right clicking on the word, this link should take you there:

Thursday, January 28, 2016

TEDxPascoCountySchools Puts Student Talks on Global Stage

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (January 28, 2016) – Pasco County Schools will host TEDxPascoCountySchools from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, January 30, at Center for the Arts at River Ridge. The independently organized event, licensed by TED, will feature local voices and TED Talks videos under the theme of Students Share Ideas.

Launched in 2009, TEDx is a program of locally organized events that bring the community together to share a TED-like experience. Some of the best talks from TEDx events have gone on to be featured on and garnered millions of views from audiences across the globe.

TEDxPascoCountySchools will celebrate and showcase more than 60 fourth through 12th grade Pasco County Schools students. Many of the talks will address topics that students are excited to share so they can spread their ideas in order to promote the change they want to see in the world. The talks include subjects such as environmental change, social issues, science, the arts, and more. These students will have the opportunity for their voices to be heard outside the borders of Pasco County, Florida, and the United States.

TEDxPascoCountySchools would like to invite community members to attend and experience this great event. Seating is limited to 100. TEDx events are intentionally small, designed to be intimate events that provoke discussion and promote connection.

Please note that TED does not allow media to take photographs.  District photographer Andy Dunn will take photos and will distribute them to anyone who requests them.

Event sponsors include: Pasco Education Foundation and the Center for the Arts at River Ridge.

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to ideas worth spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California almost 30 years ago, TED has grown to support its mission with multiple initiatives. Two annual TED Conferences invite the world's leading thinkers and doers to speak on a diverse mix of topics. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

TED's media initiatives include, where new TED Talks are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed; and TEDBooks, short e-books on powerful ideas. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get help translating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

Follow TED on Twitter at, or on Facebook at http://

For information about TED's upcoming conferences, visit

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

Pasco School Choice Application Period Begins Sunday

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (January 28, 2016) – Pasco County Schools’ school choice application window opens on Monday, February 1, and runs through Tuesday, March 1.

The magnet school application period, which began on January 18, ends on January 31.  Students whose names are chosen through the magnet lottery process will be notified of their acceptance into a magnet school via email on Friday, February 12.  Those who applied for a magnet school also can submit a school choice application for a traditional Pasco County school.

School choice applications can be accessed by going to the district website,, and clicking on the school choice banner at the top.
If a student currently is attending a school on school choice, parents do not need to reapply unless:

  1. Their address changed after initial approval
  2. They reside outside of Pasco County
  3. 3. Your school was impacted by boundary changes, OR
  4. The student will be moving to the next school level (for instance, elementary to middle or middle to high).

Families who live in another county and wish to request student assignment to a Pasco County school must submit a release from their home county within the open enrollment period.  Applications that have not been completed in their entirety will not be considered.  Families requesting choice enrollment for more than one child need to complete separate applications for each child.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Three Pasco District Schools Win Gold

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (January 27, 2016) – Cypress, New River and Oakstead elementary schools have earned Gold medals from Florida’s Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports Project.

A Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports: Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (PBIS:MTSS) Model School is one that has met specific criteria and has reported innovative, creative, and functional ways of supporting PBS:MTSS. Specific characteristics of PBIS:MTSS Model Schools are their consistent methods of:
(1) utilizing their data to better serve the students and staff,
(2) teaching PBIS:MTSS to new students throughout the school year,
(3) creative and engaging reward systems,
(4) extending PBS:MTSS throughout the campus and partnering with the community and parents, and
(5) including PBS:MTSS into daily activities across all available teaching opportunities.

Cypress Elementary School
Cypress Elementary focuses on catching students who are being respectful, responsible, and safe.  When students are caught being good they receive a Cub 100 ticket on which they write their names, and 20 random tickets are drawn each Friday on the morning news.  The students earn a prize and are entered into a random opportunity to participate in a mystery motivator.

The PBIS committee meets monthly to analyze behavior data and create action plans for students needing additional modeling.  Staff and peer mentors provide support and encouragement for students who are at risk based on Pasco’s Early Warning System risk indicators.  A check-in/check-out system is also in place to help at-risk students have successful days.  Cypress staff and bus drivers are also celebrated for their encouragement of students following our school wide expectations.

New River Elementary School
New River Elementary has a schoolwide matrix that supports being safe, responsible, and respectful in all areas of the school. It uses visual images for younger students and is in written form for all students, so no matter where you go on the campus everyone is able to know and support the positive behavior expectations. These school-wide expectations also transition to a school-wide reward system.  Every student can earn MALL MONEY for positive behaviors, which can be spent quarterly at the Shoppes of New River.  This shopping system is conducted by the 5th graders, who sell items they no longer want or need to younger students.  Their profits are in Mall Money and are saved in an account that is cleared at the end of the year at the 5th grade auction.

The PBIS committee meets monthly to analyze behavior data and plan for solutions for students who need additional support.  Staff and peer mentors provide support and encouragement for students who are at risk based on Pasco’s Early Warning System risk indicators.  A check-in/check-out system is also in place to help at-risk students be successful in school.

Oakstead Elementary School
Oakstead Elementary staff works to teach the expectations and rules to students explicitly and uses visual reminders throughout the school including posters with pictures to show the rules and expectations.  They also work as a whole staff, in every department, to form mentorships with students who need extra behavior support, based on data from the district’s Early Warning System indicators.  These positive relationships promote excellent progress for Oakstead students.

Florida’s PBI Model Schools Project
Florida’s Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports Project recognizes Model Schools at the Bronze, Silver, and Gold levels.  Schools may choose to apply for any level award. Each Model School will receive a certificate and recognition on Florida’s Positive Behavior Supports Project web site.  New model schools also will receive a banner to display their award status, and returning model schools will receive a sticker to add to their existing banner.

Pasco School Board Seeks Community Input on Naming Elementary “W”

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (January 27, 2016) – The District School Board of Pasco County is accepting suggestions from the community for the name of the new elementary school under construction in Wesley Chapel.  Elementary “W” is scheduled to open in August on Mansfield Boulevard, across from Dr. John Long Middle School.

School Board policy encourages community members, educators, and students to provide suggestions for school names.  The Board prefers to name schools after the general location, features of the area, or historical information about the school’s location, and the suggested name must be descriptive and brief.

If submitting the name of an individual, the name should be of a person of prominence recognized for his or her outstanding civic or educational contribution. The Board will only consider naming a school after an elected official or School Board employee if he or she has been deceased for two or more years or left public office or employment in the district two or more years ago.  The name, once adopted by the Board, is considered permanent unless the facility or its use changes.

Please submit your suggestions with a brief explanation for each school name by February 29, 2016.  Email submissions using the Subject “Elementary W” to, fax them to 813-794-2716, or mail them to:

Linda Cobbe
Communications & Government Relations Dept.
7227 Land O’ Lakes Blvd.
Land O’ Lakes, FL 34638

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