Welcome to the Office for Teaching and Learning
As educational leaders in Pasco County, the role of the Curriculum and Instructional Services Department is to clearly define and support our district’s vision of creating students who are College, Career, and Life Ready.
This means developing a system of supports for our district, our schools and our students, which is both proactive and responsive in meeting the needs of all stakeholders.
More specifically, we provide the Essential Service of promoting and supporting a commitment to standards driven curriculum, a common language of instruction, and a purposeful assessment plan with the end in mind that each student will be successful.
Our daily work is focused on providing connected professional development and supports that empower our teachers and school leaders to provide high quality instruction and intervention, monitor student responses, and use data over time to make informed educational decisions for their students and schools.
Art Gallery to display student work from Pasco County Students!
Congratulations to the students of Shady Hills Elementary School and Moon Lake Elementary School. Art Teacher, Sheryl Depp, opened their eyes to the possibility of having their work displayed in a true art gallery. The students' artwork will be on display now through December 9, 2012 at the Leepa Rattner Museum of Art. On Thursday, December 6 from 3:30 pm - 6:30 pm a special reception will be held to honor these student artists. At the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, you and your family will be able to revisit the 20th century through art, while exploring and inspiring your creativity. Please browse the website or call 727-712-5762 for detailed information. The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art is located on the Tarpon Springs campus of St. Petersburg College. Congratulations again to the students and Mrs. Depp for their display of artwork within the Museum.
The Florida Orchestra to Perform at Center for the Arts at Wesley Chapel
On October 31st, 2012, many of our 4th through 12th grade students will have an opportunity to attend The Center for the Arts at Wesley Chapel to see the Florida Orchestra matinee concert (10:30 AM & 12:00 PM). This will be a wonderful experience for upper elementary and secondary music students and aligns seamlessly to the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards in the Arts. As schools consider bringing their band, chorus, guitar, general music students and upper elementary students, please consider that this concert will feature a 14 year old violin virtuoso Ade Williams, the 1st place Laureate 2012 Sphinx Competition Winner. This is a great opportunity for our students to experience a peer level contemporary artist in performance with a world renowned orchestra. To reserve tickets for your school and students, please contact the Center for the Arts at Wesley Chapel.
Below is the link to the Center for the Arts website to view more information on this valuable and aligned curriculum connection for our new Next Generation Sunshine State Standards in music and new course descriptions in music.
Pasco’s Students Show Steady Gains on Advanced Placement Exams
Pasco’s students showed steady gains on this year’s Advanced Placement results, with an increase of 6% of students scoring a level 3 or higher (from 45% to 51%). The District also saw a reduction in the percentage of students scoring in the lowest category (a level one) on their Advanced Placement exams (from 27% to 23%). This year, 10 of 13 high schools increased their percentage of students scoring a level 3 or higher. The District is especially proud of Gulf High School, which secured a 15% increase in students scoring 3 or higher (from 59% to 74%), the highest percentage in the district. The following schools also exceeded the state average of students scoring a level three or higher, while increasing enrollment in Advanced Placement courses: River Ridge High School, J.W. Mitchell High School, Land O’ Lakes High School and Wiregrass Ranch High School.
In recent years, the District has made a targeted effort to increase access to accelerated learning opportunities for all students. Advanced Placement courses are one avenue for meeting this goal. Overall, 18% of students in Pasco’s high schools were enrolled in an Advanced Placement course this year. At J.W. Mitchell High School, 31% of the total student population was enrolled in at least one Advanced Placement Course. Additionally, Pasco’s newest high school, Fivay, saw a 56% increase in Advanced Placement enrollment this year.
The District is proud of its students’ performance, and of its dedicated teachers for their efforts to provide rigorous learning opportunities for all students.
Moon Lake Elementary Literacy Breakfast, A Dragon Tale
On October 12th, the 4th and 5th grade students of MLES and their families enjoyed breakfast together in the school's cafeteria, while learning and practicing through literacy strategies at the Kenny and the Dragon Literacy Breakfast.
Pasco County Scientists Recognized at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair
The District School Board of Pasco County is proud of the achievements of students in the area of science. We have increased student participation at both the elementary Young Scientists Fair and the Secondary Regional Science and Engineering Fair. We had twenty-four students participate in the state competition held in Orlando in April. Eleven of the students were recognized with special awards and category place awards. This year we had two students compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair that was held in Los Angeles, California. There were more than 65 countries that came together to recognize the accomplishments of student scientists as they competed globally. The caliber of the projects and the level of excitement for science was demonstrated throughout the week. Science fair provides us with another opportunity to focus on all of the areas of STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics - which is critical in ensuring our students are prepared for the needs of the 21st century global marketplace.
There were two students from Pasco County who represented Florida. Sophia Sokolowski from Academy at the Lakes and Aubrey Jones from J.W. Mitchell High School both stood out among the 1,400 other participants. In Sophia’s project titled, “Audio Perception: Plotting the Pathway of the BK Channel,” she investigated proteins in the sensory cells of the inner ear to obtain a better understanding of the role that they play in hearing loss. Aubrey completed her scientific research on “Why Diabetics Need to Know the Complexity of Carbohydrates.” This is the first time in more than fifteen years that we have had a student receive an award at the International Science Fair. Sophia also brought home two special awards from the Army and Navy worth almost $5,000.
We would like to join the other districts, states, and countries in recognizing the achievements of these two scientists. We would also like to recognize their teachers, Dr. Amy Jordan (AATL) and Edwin Braddy (JWMHS) for the countless hours of support they give their students in the area of science.
“When we consider the role that science and technology have played throughout history, it is clear that students with a deep understanding of scientific thinking are well prepared to lead the way forward,”said Superintendent Heather Fiorentino. “Competing and being recognized for excellence at the regional and International Science Fairs is an admirable achievement for Pasco’s 21st century learners,” she added.
For more information on Science programs, please contact Laura Hill at email@example.com phone (727)774-2257.
Title I Technology Summer Camp
We are excited to announce the return of the nationally recognized Title I Summer Technology Camp. This exciting program will give students the opportunity to work one-on-one with state of the art technology, including SMART Boards, MacBook laptops, iPod Nanos, and iPod Touches. Students will use this technology to produce and edit his or her very own video podcast. Integrating this technology with writing standards will help to increase academic proficiency.
The Title I Summer Technology Camps are offered to our economically neediest students throughout the 24 Title I Schools, which now includes Bayonet Point Middle School and Anclote High School. These camps will follow the regular summer school schedule from June 15th – June 30th, 2011.
The Title I Summer Technology Camp was recently awarded the 2011 Grand Prize Magna Award by the National School Board Association in recognition of outstanding programs that advance student learning. The Title I Summer Technology Camp will once again be both a rewarding and educational experience that will help children gain a better understanding of the use of modern technology.
For information about the Title I Summer Technology Camps contact the District Office at (727) 774-2324, (813) 794-2324, (352) 524-2324.
Pasco Offers Nationally-Recognized Program of Excellence to Neediest Students
We are excited to announce the return of our nationally recognized Title I Pasco Environmental Adventure Camp Experience (PEACE) for the 2011 summer program. This science themed camp will give students the opportunity to study the environment through a variety of engaging, hands-on activities while visiting 4 wonderful locations: the Energy and Marine Center (EMC), Starkey Environmental Education Center, and Crystal Springs Preserve.
A culminating activity will be visit to the Florida Aquarium. Secondary students will visit Dames Caves. While at these sites, students participate in a series of rotations designed to incorporate critical thinking skills into real world situations.
The Title I PEACE Camps are offered our economically neediest students throughout the 24 Title I Schools, which now includes Bayonet Point Middle School and Anclote High School. These full-day, action packed camps run from 7:30a – 3:30p for four different weeks over the summer.
The Title I PEACE Camp was recently awarded the 2011 Grand Prize Magna Award by the National School Board Association in recognition of outstanding programs that advance student learning. The Title I PEACE Camp will be both a rewarding and educational experience that will help children gain a better understanding of our environment while integrating adventure into their summers!
For information about the PEACE Summer Science Camp, contact the District Office at (727) 774-2312, (813) 794-2312, (352) 524-2312.
Project Wild Weekend, Environmental Program Sponsored Event
Pasco County Schools’ Environmental Programs would like to extend a huge thank you to all the participants of our annual Project Wild Weekend that occurred April 8th-10th, 2011.
Elementary through high school teachers from schools and environmental centers all over the district spent the weekend reconnecting with nature. More importantly, they learned how to connect their students with nature through a variety of hands-on activities and presentations.
On friday night, participants learned about Project Learning Tree, Fire in Florida’s Ecosystems, and the Flying WILD Programs. The teachers learned about the Pasco Audubon Society and were treated to a presentation on predatory birds. We followed things up with a night hike and a huge campfire.
On Saturday, the teachers had an early breakfast and learned about the trees and ecosystems around Starkey Park and the Pithlachascotee River. They were then whisked to the Energy & Marine Center were they participated in a kayaking adventure, exploring the different behaviors of birds and other bird related activities. Upon returning to Starkey Park, teachers had dinner and were given a presentation on Pasco County Environmental Lands by Katie MacMillan of Pasco ELAMP.
Sunday started early with breakfast. Following breakfast, teachers learned about FIRE in Florida’s Ecosystems with local forester Arthur Clothier. Teachers then learned about dendrochronology, using tree rings to learn about the life history of a tree. The weekend ended with a geocaching course through one of Starkey Park’s recent burn sites to learn how ecosystems and organism adapt to fire.
Activities and Events Included:
Project Flying WILD
Project Learning Tree
Fire in Florida’s Ecosystems
Guided Nature Hike and Geocaching
Kayaking at the Energy and Marine Center
Night Hike and Campfire Circle
Live Musical performance by Dale Crider
Presentations by local and state professionals.
Overall, both teachers and facilitators had a great time learning more about their local environments, ultimately allowing them to share their experiences and new found knowledge with their students.
Jazz’n it Up at GSES!
On A Mission, Blue Note Recording Jazz Artist, Eric Darius performed for a standing room only crowd of excited elementary school students at Gulfside Elementary School on Tuesday, May 10, 2011. Amanda Romero, 5th grade Gulfside Elementary School student, is pictured with Eric Darius after the concert and following her interview of Eric which will play on PETV. The performance was filled with the smooth sounds of jazz and empowering words of dreaming, daring, and doing! Eric shared with the students that with hard work and dedication, your dreams are possible! To hear exerpts of this performance, click the following link! Thank you to Eric for giving of his time to our students!
Spotlight on the Arts
This February marked the conclusion of this year's Very Special Arts (VSA) Art Experience for students from two middle schools within our district. Students from Seven Springs Middle and Hudson Middle received visual arts instruction within their core curriculum for 9 weeks ending in a culminating experience with each student's very own artwork displayed in the Progress Energy Art Gallery in downtown New Port Richey. We are very thankful for this opportunity to highlight our student's artwork and have them experience what the joys of the arts can bring to their education.