March 10, 2016

March 10, 2016

March 10, 2016

March 10, 2016

Superintendent's Message

Congratulations to our Tampa Bay Times Barnes Scholarship recipients:

  • Rachel Baber, Wiregrass Ranch High School
  • Juan Leis-Pretto, Gulf High School

The 2016 Barnes Scholarship is sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times Fund and is worth up to $60,000 in college tuition. Please click here for the Tampa Bay Times article announcing the winners.


Lock Your Car Doors

Suspects Burglarizing/Stealing Cars in West Pasco
Pasco Sheriff's detectives are searching for a number of individuals suspected of burglarizing and stealing vehicles in west Pasco County.  A number of security videos show the suspects trying to enter unlocked cars. If they are not successful, they move on. It is important to note that no locked vehicles were burglarized or stolen. If anyone has any information about the cases or suspects, please call the Pasco Sheriff's Office Tips Line at 1-800-706-2488, or contact Tampa Bay CrimeStoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS.


2016 Enhanced Employee Assistance Program

Beginning this calendar year, Pasco County Schools is offering to all of our employees and their families enhanced services through our Employee Assistance Program.  Through a partnership with New Directions Behavioral Health, employees and their families now have access to more “no cost” sessions with therapists who are on the EAP panel.  Authorizations for linking with the therapists can now be accessed at any time by calling the New Directions office.  In addition, all of our employees and their insurable family members have 24/7 access to a behavioral health professional for crisis situations, health coaching, legal and financial consultation, and a wealth of on-line resources.  To learn more about our NEW Employee Assistance Program, please visit our website.


Upcoming Voting Definitions & Deadlines

Please see below for important information shared with our office by Pasco Supervisor of Elections Brian E. Corley:

Election Dates 2016

  • Presidential Preference Primary: March 15
  • Primary: August 30
  • General: November 8

You are statutorily required to show photo and signature ID at the polls, or you will be required to vote a provisional ballot. Your driver license or Florida ID card meet this requirement, but there are other acceptable forms of identification. Check the Pasco Supervisor of Elections website for a list of these. In addition to voting at the polls, there are the options of voting early (Visit the Pasco Supervisor of Elections website for sites, days, times and wait times at each location) or request a vote-by-mail ballot. Call, write, or email the elections’ office at least six (6) days prior to the election. Order early to allow time to receive your ballot and return it by mail.

What is the Presidential Preference Primary?
The Presidential Preference Primary (PPP) on March 15, 2016, marks the beginning of the 2016 election cycle, and is the first elimination race for the presidential candidates. In the PPP, the majority winners from both political parties become the state delegate nominees to the national convention. The outcome of the national convention ultimately determines the presidential candidates that will be on the November General Election ballot. In the state of Florida, the PPP and ALL primaries are closed primaries.

What is a Closed Primary?
Simply stated, a closed primary means that the candidate choices on your ballot will be only candidates that are the same party affiliation as your voter registration. In Florida, the parties elect their own candidates.

What else do I need to know?

  1. Review your sample ballot before voting.
  2. Save time by updating your address on-line or by telephone prior to Election Day.
  3. Check your registration status on-line prior to Election Day.
  4. Know your polling location.
  5. Check for answers to many of your questions, and as always, feel free to call 1-800-851-8754 for assistance.

If you have questions, please contact the Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Office at 1-800-851-8754, or visit their website.


Summer Work Hours for District Staff

In line with our continuous energy conservation efforts, the District will once again be operating on a four-day work schedule for several weeks during the summer. We will be closed on the following non-work days:

  • June 24
  • July 1
  • July 4* (Monday)
  • July 15
  • July 22
  • July 29

*The District will operate on extended hours from Tuesday through Friday, July 5-8.

Extended Hours During Four Day Work Weeks:

The general operating hours for the District Office Complex will be 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Monday through Wednesday and from 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Thursday (except for the week of July 4 when extended hours will be in effect Tuesday through Friday). To best serve the public, departments must ensure adequate coverage during these hours.


Claim Your Future with a Degree From Saint Leo University

Register for an information session to find out more about earning your bachelor’s, master’s, or specialist degree.  The application fee will be waived for attending any of the following information sessions:

  • Thursday, March 10th • 4:30 p.m.

Hudson High School
14410 Cobra Way, Hudson, FL

  • Monday, March 14th • 11:30 a.m. & 5:30 p.m.

PHSC West Campus
10230 Ridge Rd., New Port Richey, FL

  • Saturday, March 19th • 10 a.m.

Saint Leo University
University Campus 33701 State Rd. 52, Saint Leo, FL

To RSVP or learn more, please click here.


River Ridge Community Event


US Highway 19 Renaming

The West Pasco Chamber of Commerce and West Pasco Board of Realtors invite citizens to suggest names to be considered for the renaming of U.S. Highway 19 in Pasco County.  Students are encouraged to participate.  Names may be submitted online by clicking on Rename U.S. 19.  The deadline to submit names is March 21, 2016.


Special Olympics 5K Fun Run

The Special Olympics 5K Fun Run will be held on Saturday, April 9, at the New Port Richey Recreation and Aquatic Center. Here is the event over:

  • Friday, April 8
    • Packet Pickup: 5:30-7 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 9
    • 5K: 8 a.m.
      • Adult Fees: $25 Early, $30 after March 22
      • Student (22U) Fees: $15 Early, $20 after March 22
    • 1 Mile Walk: 8:45 a.m.
      • Fees: $5.00/person or $10/family (max 5)

Waivers will be available at pre-registration or day of the race. Make all checks payable to Special Olympics Florida-Pasco County. For more information, please contact Val Lundin.


10th Annual Long Run at the Ranch

Dr. John Long Middle and Wiregrass Ranch High are hosting the 10th Annual Long Run at the Ranch 10K, 5K & 1 Mile Family Fun Run & Walk on Saturday, April 9. The Long Run at the Ranch will be held at Dr. John Long Middle School beginning at 8:30 a.m. Please click here to register online or visit the Long Run at the Ranch website for a downloadable entry form. All proceeds benefit the athletic departments of both schools.


Together We Stand Registration Deadline: 3/15

Together We Stand 2016 will commence on Wednesday, June 15, at Wesley Chapel High School. I'm requesting that all elementary, middle, and high school principals register and attend this event.  In addition, principals are asked to consider including a school counselor, teacher, or other school-based team member who will continue to help support a safe and inclusive school climate throughout the year. When identifying student leaders to participate, I recommend selecting participants who are representative of the diversity in your school, and are willing to engage in ongoing activities throughout the year.

This year's theme is diversity: Different Individuals Valuing Each-other Regardless of Skin, Intellect, Talents or Years.

  • High school principals, please select a group of 3 students to attend the summit and ensure that each student and staff member attending completes registration (this includes students participating on the Summit Planning Committee).  Please consider diversity of grade level representation.
  • Middle school principals, please select 3 students to attend and ensure that they complete registration.  Please include at least one incoming 9th grader.
  • Elementary school principals may consider selecting 2 intermediate grade level students to attend and ensure that they complete registration.
  • Community partners are invited to register and host information booths/poster sessions during the summit.

The registration deadline is March 15, 2016. Click here to register. For more information, please contact Jenna Sage, PhD, BCBA, Program Coordinator, Prevention and Intervention Supports, at (727) 774-2442.



Terry Aunchman, Amanda Phillips has been sharing the status updates with me regarding District Finals.  She had nothing but praise to offer when working with folks in your department (Mike, Tom, and Barbara) for their collaboration and effort.  Additionally, they each sent personalized letters to teachers for whom we need items to gauge their status.  Teachers have been responding and Tom, Mike, and Barbara have been forwarding those responses to Amanda.  While we still have work to do, the process has been running exceptionally well because of these folks. Please thank Mike, Barbara, and Tom for their leadership and collaboration with this project! -Peggy Jones, Ph.D., Director, Office for Accountability, Research, and Measurement

Good Afternoon Ms. Linda Cobbe, During an 8th grade boy’s basketball game, at Centennial Middle School, one of our officials became ill and could not continue as a referee.  I was amazed when Debra Stacy (athletic director and 7th grade basketball coach at R.B. Stewart Middle School) volunteered to step in and officiate along side one of our 7th grade parents, Bobby Galyan (teacher at Woodland Elementary School and off-duty FHSAA basketball official), so that our boys could continue to play in a safe and fair contest.  After the 7th grade game was over, Ms. Stacy and Mr. Galyan both could have easily gone home for the evening, but instead they supported our athletics programs.  Through their sacrifice they assisted me in guaranteeing a contest that was equally officiated, and that spectators could be satisfied with.  This is a great example of the collaborative culture that exists within our district.  I would like to thank both Ms. Stacy and Mr. Galyan for their assistance and time. -Joshua Borders, Assistant Principal, Centennial Middle School

Dear Area Superintendent Todd Cluff, I wanted to take a moment to inform you, sir, of the wonderful things and people at Chasco Middle School!  As a very involved parent and approved volunteer, I find myself at the school rather frequently.  Everyone from Eva at the front office, Susan Govea, Mrs. B, Mrs. Peterson, Cpl. Kevin Brantley, Belsie and many others, that take that added moment to make me feel welcomed and are all too ready to offer a hand with anything that I need...I would like you to take special recognition of Mr. David Huyck!  I have never seen a principal take such time and devotion with everything and anything to help the kids!...He always has a smile on his face and has never once turned down the opportunity to be involved and sharing in the work that goes into each event.  His devotion to the kids, parents and his staff is commendable and admirable!...Next, I would like to take special notice of Mr. Al Marotta.  This man has never once let me down as a parent and has been a great and wonderful support to my son!  Mr. Marotta has answered every single call and email and provided me and my son with so much support that we don’t know where we would have been without him.  Mr. Marotta is one of those people that has and does, go far above and beyond to make sure that kids and their parents have every single opportunity to succeed...Lastly, I would like you to take a very special notice of Mr. Charles Kohl.  I, as a parent have been fortunate enough to have met this man because my son earned the ability to attend a school education trip to Washington DC next month.  Mr. Kohl has to be one of the most dedicated and devoted people that I have ever had the pleasure to work with and to know!  Multiple hours of non-school time have been spent by Mr. Kohl, to ensure that every one of the kids signed up to go on this trip are afforded that opportunity to attend!...It is due to people like these, that our children have every opportunity to go far in life and to succeed!... -Denise Brooks

Odessa Elementary 5th grade students opened their time capsules and shared memories with each other.

Buddy Program at Odessa Elementary

Odessa Elementary students are learning about inclusion and becoming friends with people they never thought they would.

Student Spotlight

Christopher Zoeller
River Ridge Middle School
Page - Representative Richard Corcoran

Click here to read his interview.