Tuesday, August 08, 2017

What’s New in Pasco County for the 2017-2018 School Year


Land O’ Lakes, FL – (August 8, 2017) – School starts for Pasco County students on Monday, August 14, and the district has new schools, new programs, and new initiatives to highlight.

Bexley Elementary School, 4380 Ballantrae Boulevard, Land O’ Lakes

  • K – 5 grades
  • Relieves crowding at Odessa and Oakstead elementary schools
  • 878 Capacity (Almost 96,000 square feet)
  • Vicki Wolin, principal
  • Mascot: Bulldogs
  • Academic programs: Part of the Aviation Academy feeder pattern with Rushe Middle and Sunlake High. Will have drones, flight simulators, and robotics. STEM lab in REC center (Research, Engage, and Collaborate) for STEM activities including 3-D Printing and Near Pod Virtual Reality Devices
    • PBIS school (Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports) - goal is to become a PBIS Gold School.
    • Plans to have a chapter of the National Elementary Honor Society in grades 4 and 5.
    • Strong arts program that includes chorus, a physical education club called “The Running of the Bulldogs”, and ORFF and Ukulele performance groups. Students can apply to be a part of Safety Patrol and participate in Sunshine State Readers in grades 2-5.
  • PLACE before- and after-school program
  • Part of 22 school pilot for Acorn, a new student fees payment system.
    • secure, streamlined system replaces SchoolPay.
    • enables parents to add school purchases to their shopping cart for multiple children at different schools, and complete transactions through credit card, debit and e-check.
    • Goal is to transfer all K-12 schools to Acorn by the end of the school year.


Cypress Creek Middle/High School, 8701 Old Pasco Road, Wesley Chapel

  • 6 – 12 grades
  • Relieves crowding at Wiregrass Ranch High School, John Long Middle School
  • Students previously zoned for Wiregrass Ranch, Wesley Chapel, Sunlake high schools; John Long, Thomas E. Weightman, Charles S. Rushe middle schools
  • 1,958 capacity
  • Carin Hetzler-Nettles, principal
  • Mascot: Coyotes (Entrance road is The Coyote Way)
  • Also part of Acorn pilot
  • High school Academics: Business Management, Criminal Justice, Engineering academies; core courses; AP; Honors; law studies, debate, speech, court procedures and law studies, leadership skills, journalism, Spanish, ASL, dance, ballet, chorus, art and digital design, theater, play writing, acting electives
    • Certifications: Microsoft Office, Quickbooks, 911 PST, Private Security Officer, Engineering Core, Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk Revit
  • Middle school Academics: Criminal Justice and Engineering academies; plus core classes; dance, chorus, theater, band, drama, Spanish, ASL, computer applications electives
  • Student government; HS Marching band; M/H cheerleading; MS, JV and varsity football; M/H volleyball; M/H boys & girls basketball; HS boys & girls golf; HS boys & girls cross country; HS boys & girls swimming/diving; M/H girls & boys soccer; HS baseball and softball; HS boys & girls weightlifting; HS boys & girls tennis; HS boys & girls lacrosse; MS boys & girls track; HS wrestling
  • Separating middle and high school students:
    • Two clinic spaces
    • School counselors
    • Separate lunches
  • Same bell schedules -7:25 a.m. to 1:50 p.m.


Expanding Cambridge Education program to San Antonio Elementary, Paul R. Smith Middle, and Anclote High schools.

River Ridge High School – two new academies (fine arts, and business management and analysis), black box theater

Gulf High School – gaming academy will have new animation program, Toon Boom, which is used by companies such as Disney, Pixar, Universal, DreamWorks and Lucasfilm

Zephyrhills High School — New Academy of Building Construction Technology and Public Safety Telecommunications 911 certification for Academy of Criminal Justice

One new charter school – Pasco MycroSchool high school for students at-risk for dropping out. 11 charter schools total.


Fast-fill CNG station and South Transportation garage, 13101 Interlaken Road, Odessa

  • Will house up to 90 CNG buses - 30 CNG buses this year.
  • Committed to purchasing 35 CNG/DSL buses / year for 10 years.
  • The CNG station is capable of dispensing more than 10,500 Gasoline Gallon Equivalent/day.
  • Able to fuel a bus in 3 minutes.
  • Each CNG Bus will reduce C02 emissions by nearly 20,000 lbs. annually.
  • In 2013, the district began purchasing propane-powered buses and liquefied petroleum gas fueling stations, which now serve East Pasco. The use of propane results in up to 20 percent less nitrogen oxide, 60 percent less carbon monoxide and 24 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions.


Revising crisis plans to give students and staff a better chance to survive an active threat on campus. Sheriff’s office and district staff created online training for all staff and SROs. Notifying parents of new way to respond. Created animated video for elementary students and will have age-appropriate videos for middle and high school students by Aug. 14. The sheriff’s office will coordinate drills, and students and staff will be notified in advance of any drills.

Food and Nutrition Services
New website for meal applications: http://www.pascoschoolmeals.com
New website for on-line menus and menu app: http://schools.mealviewer.com/district/pascocounty

  • New meal prices
    • Current Meal Prices
    • Reduced Price Breakfast: $0.30
    • Reduced Price Lunch: $0.40
    • Full Price Breakfast
    • Elementary: $1.35
    • Secondary: $1.50
    • Charter K-8: $1.50
    • Charter High School: $1.60
    • Full Price Lunch
    • Elementary: $2.50
    • Middle: $3.00
    • High: $3.25
  • New cashiering system and management software for cafeterias for better efficiency


New Teacher Initiatives

  • Teacher meetups for first-year Pasco teachers. The first one is Friday, August 11.
  • Incoming teachers also have a group on Facebook, PCS Incoming Educators 2017-2018. This group is to help new teachers acclimate to the area, meet other teachers, and see when upcoming meetups will be. The group is comprised of incoming teachers and some current teacher leaders.