January 28, 2016

January 28, 2016

January 28, 2016

January 28, 2016

Superintendent's Message

Because of renovations, the Pasco County School Board meeting location will change from the Board Room to Training Room C for the following dates:

  • February 16 – 6:00 p.m.
  • March 1 – 9:30 a.m.
  • March 15 – 6:00 p.m.


Community Input Requested on Naming Elementary “W”

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. Click here for more information. Please submit your suggestions with a brief explanation for each school name by February 29, 2016. Email submissions using the Subject “Elementary W” to Linda Cobbe, 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


Vote for Veterans Elementary School

Vote for Veterans Elementary School in the Scotties Trees Rock video contest.  Winners of the $10,000 prize will be chosen by voters across America who can watch the top videos and vote for their favorite from January 11th through February 7th online.  The winners in both categories will be announced on Feb 15th and winner events will be celebrated in spring 2016.



Employees are invited to attend all or part of TEDxPascoCountySchools from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, January 30, at Center for the Arts at River Ridge. The 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 locally organized event 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 TED.com 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.


"Re-use Factory" Event

Join Recycling and Education to Save Our Resources for a Clean Environment (R.E.S.O.R.C.E) Recycling Club Inc. in conjunction with North Trinity Self Storage for their “Re-use Factory” Event. This event will be held on Saturday, January 30, from 8 a.m. to noon and is open to all teachers who need gently used supplies for their classroom. Teachers can also schedule a time to pick up supplies by calling North Trinity Self Storage at 727-375-0222. North Trinity Self Storage is located at 4234 Little Road, Trinity, FL 34655.


Student Services Week

February 1-5 is Student Services Week.  Please take a few minutes to recognize your Student Services staff and team (school counselors, school nurses, school social workers, and school psychologists).


School Choice Open Enrollment (Employees)

The school choice open enrollment period begins February 1. To apply, go to the District web site, and click on the School Choice Open Enrollment banner at the top. Employee preference will be considered if the employee is or anticipates working full-time at the requested school for the upcoming school year. Refer to your Instructional Master Contract for additional details. If you have a student currently on school choice, you do not need to reapply UNLESS:

  1. Your address changed after initial approval;
  2. You reside outside of Pasco County; 
  3. Your student will be moving to the next school level (for instance, Elementary to Middle OR Middle to High); or
  4. Your school was impacted by boundary changes.

If you live in another county, please remember to submit a release from your HOME county within the Open Enrollment period window. Please only apply for one child per application, and only apply to a single school for each child. Don’t miss the application window: February 1 through March 1 . Go to the District website, for applications. If you have questions, please email schoolchoice@pasco.k12.fl.us.  Thank you.


Munis Update

A Munis upgrade has been scheduled for February 12.  Access to Munis on Friday, February 12, will be turned off at 2 p.m. Please plan to have all work completed prior to the cut-off time. Access to Munis will be restored at 7 a.m. on Monday, February 15. Munis 11.1 features a new platform utilizing HTML 5. The look of Munis will be changing with the move to HTML 5, with noticeable changes to the appearance of the desktop and menu bars. Open labs have been scheduled to allow users to acquaint themselves with the new look of Munis. These labs will feature a thirty (30) minute introduction and guide to the changes in the dashboard and menu. Users will then be able to engage in free exploration of the new Munis environment in a test setting.  You may sign up for an open lab by registering on myPGS. While any Munis user may attend an open lab, we understand that time is valuable and attending a session may not be possible. There are some small changes in specific areas of certain functions, most notably to vendor requisition entry and journal entries. Specific information on these changes will be sent to users with access to these programs next week. Please contact munishelp@pasco.k12.fl.us for assistance in resolving any issues with the 11.1 Munis test version.


Extended: Free Books For Read Across America Day

The final deadline for Free Books For Read Across America Day has been extended to February 21, 2016. The Literacy Empowerment Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, invites your school or other literacy project to apply for FREE books for Read Across America Day. During the past year, LEF has distributed over 3,000,000 books to schools all across the country for Read Across America Day and other literacy projects. These books are free. Educators only pay shipping and handling. Resources are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Orders must be received by February 21, 2016. If you have questions, please email: info@lefbooks.org.


The Hunger Walk for Pasco County

Local organizations are coming together to fight hunger in Pasco County.  The One Community Now Hunger Walk is a collaborative effort to promote hunger awareness and raise funds for hunger relief in children and families in Pasco County. Thousands of children and families are going to bed hungry every night. In Pasco County, more than 36,000 kids live in households that struggle to put food on the table. The Hunger walk will raise awareness about the hunger problems in our county and raise funds to fight these problems.  This year's Hunger Walk will take place on Saturday, March 12 at Gulf High School. The walkers' check in is at 9 a.m. and the opening ceremony begins at 10 a.m. All money raised will be given to food related programs like Pack-A-Sack 4 Kids and Metropolitan Ministries whose missions are to provide meals for food insecure children, families and individuals in Pasco County. Register online to participate in the following ways:

  1. Become an individual walker
  2. Create a team of walkers with your co-workers, family, etc. or join a team already established
  3. Become a business sponsor (see the different sponsorship levels available to you online)

By participating in the Hunger Walk you will help raise funds that will provide healthy meals for many families that are going hungry. You will also enjoy a fun, family festival atmosphere that includes activities, games, vendors, food and entertainment.  Together, we can make a difference for those facing hunger in our community! For more information, contact Patti Templeton at 727-375-8801 ext. 2232.



Good afternoon Dr. Dunning, I just wanted to take a brief moment of your time to say “thank you."  I am not sure I would ever have been prepared for the call I got from my daughter yesterday afternoon telling me her school bus was involved in an accident. After the shock of that statement and ascertaining that she was ok, I was able to keep in touch with her until my husband arrived at the scene and then gain more information from her later last night. She told me, first of all, that she really hoped the bus driver didn’t get in trouble…”it wasn’t his fault.” She said he did a great job calming the kids down and getting them off the bus. As I understand it, he took control and got the kids off the bus very quickly. She also [explained that] you and Mr. Middleton arrived on the scene as well as the high school principals and Mrs. Gant from Trinity Elementary. I realize the accident was in close proximity to all of the schools, but I must say, that was a class act and a great gesture...I have been very impressed with the teachers and administration at SSMS, however, I’m not sure I would have expected you all to show up at a bus accident.  Kudos for truly caring about your students. Lastly, it really seemed to me that the situation, from the students perspective, was handled very efficiently. My daughter  was home not too long after her normal time...-Marilyn Triassi, parent

Monica Ilse, I would like to recognize two schools for a job well done. Zephyrhills High School accepted my daughter in on school choice and communicated beautifully with the family everytime we had a question, suggestion, concern or updates. Each and every teacher who touched my daughter’s life, while she was there had a positive impact on her. They were all exceptionally patience and understanding of her illnesses and went above and beyond to put learning first for her. Principal Angie Stone also maintained close contact with me and supported us when we needed any level of assistance for [my daughter] while she attended ZHS. 

Secondly, I can not say enough kind words about the two gentlemen I work for. Brandon Braccaile and Terry O’Brien are top notch. No matter what your day looks or feels like, they listen and make you feel better about your efforts and your decisions. Regardless of funds, resources or assistance needed, both of these gentlemen go above and beyond to meet the needs of the staff and the students. They will find the money to support innovative ideas and student recognition and they will find resources such as computers/printers, etc. Both gentlemen cover classes for a few minutes at a time or for an entire class period, in order for us to learn from others or take care of issues with a student or family. They do not hesitate to stop by frequently to speak to the children, ask them what they are learning about, and how they know they have learned it. They are amazing encouragers and cheerleaders, not just for the kids but for their employees too. I know you already know how wonderful they are but it’s important to me to tell you personally that these gentlemen are making a difference in our school, our community and in the field of education. -Danna Scranton

Centennial Elementary students had a great time playing hockey with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Blended Learning- Infinity Academy at Paul R. Smith Middle School

Infinity Academy at Paul R Smith Middle School. Blended learning in action.

Student Spotlight

Sidney Dorey
River Ridge High School Freshman
District Thespians Competition Winner

Click here to read her interview.