April 7, 2017

April 7, 2017

April 7, 2017

April 7, 2017

Superintendent's Message

Funding Pasco’s Future, School Impact Fees Update

The Pasco County Commission established a School Infrastructure Funding Committee after the District School Board of Pasco County requested an increase to the school impact fee only on new home construction.  The committee, which has five parent members appointed by the school board and five developer/homebuilder members appointed by the commission. The committee has met twice to review the School Impact Fee study prepared for the school board by Tischler Bice, which recommends increasing the current $4,876 impact fee for a new single-family home to $9,174.  School impact fees have not been raised for 12 years.  During that time, the school board’s millage rate, another capital funding source, has been decreased from 2.0 mills to 1.5 mills (1 mill = $1 per $1,000 in home value).  The district also has seen a decrease in state school capital dollars over that time. 

There currently is legislation to further reduce the amount of property tax dollars for traditional public schools by diverting funds to charter schools.  School boards would not have an opportunity to increase the millage rate to compensate for the loss of funds.  In addition, 1.2 mills out of Pasco’s total 1.5 mills is committed to paying down our debt on money we’ve had to borrow because we haven’t had the revenue stream necessary to cover the full cost of building or expanding facilities to accommodate student membership growth, which has increased by more than 1,000 students each year since 2012, and is projected to continue growing.  Although the recommended school impact fee increase will not provide all the funds we need to build new schools and maintain existing schools, if it is not increased, we will see more crowded schools and unmet maintenance needs.  Raising the impact fee on new home construction means that new growth pays for itself. 

For more information about this important issue, please visit our Funding Pasco’s Future, School Impact Fees web page.



River Ridge High School Robotics Team

Congratulations to the River Ridge High School Robotics Team for qualifying for the First Robotics World Championships in Houston!


New Principal

Congratulations, Aimee Boltze, the new principal of Trinity Elementary School!


Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Woman of the Year Candidate

Summer Wool, Cotee River Elementary School’s graduation enhancement teacher, has been named a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society 2017 Woman of the Year candidate.  Summer is passionate about inspiring children to make lasting, positive changes in their lives through education.  She has four years of hands-on classroom experience as an elementary school teacher and seven years as a behavior specialist for students with special needs. During her lifetime, she has been touched by the devastation that a cancer diagnosis brings.  She is sincerely grateful for this opportunity and the amazing support of family and friends.  She is confident in her ability to serve as a proud participant in the 2017 Man and Woman of the Year campaign.  Together, with the other dedicated candidates, it is her hope to achieve the fundraising campaign goal in order to continue the successes of the LLS, and honor patients and their families throughout their individual journeys.  She is honored to continue the fight! Click here to view her fundraising page.


2017 Civilian Member of the Year

Jaime Hosler, from the Youth Services Division (School Resource Officers), was selected as the 2017 Civilian Member of the Year at the Pasco Sheriff's Office for her leadership and dedication to our Juvenile Diversion Program. She is pictured with Sheriff Chris Nocco and received her award on March 31. The Pasco Sheriff's Office Juvenile Diversion program offers at-risk youth who have committed a misdemeanor or select third degree felonies with a pre-arrest referrals for community service opportunities as alternatives to arrest and prosecution.







Attention All Employees

myPascoConnect Passwords

To comply with the state auditor's requirements, The Office for Technology and Information Services (OTIS) expired all employees' myPascoConnect passwords starting Thursday, March 30, and will continue to do so over a 4-week period. This only affects employee passwords and not student passwords. This also has not affected your Office 365 or email password. The new passwords now have a 90-day life and will need to be changed every 90 days.

Your new password must be at least 8 characters long and cannot be the same password you currently have. Your new password must also contain at least 3 of the following:

  • Uppercase characters
  • Lowercase characters
  • Digits 0-9
  • Special characters (! @ # $ etc.)


Warning - Phishing Scams

Please take a moment to read this District Administration article.  It explains what phishing scams are and how you may be at risk to have your personal data stolen. Please be cautious about opening emails that come from senders that you do not recognize.


Wanted: Reading Endorsement Course Facilitators

The Office for Teaching and Learning is currently seeking facilitators for our reading endorsement courses. Facilitators should have reading certification or reading endorsement on their teaching certificate, three years of successful ELA or reading classroom teaching experience, as well as the skill set necessary to work with adults in an online or blended course format. Please click here for more information.


Supervision and Support Structures Guide

Click here for our district's Supervision and Support Structures guide. It contains new information about our assistant superintendents' roles and focus areas.


Student Dental Care

Gulfside Elementary School is a Community Partnership School that offers affordable, premium dental care to students throughout the school year to Gulfside Elementary, Paul R. Smith Middle, and Anclote High school students. To take advantage of this service, click here.


Employee Opportunities

UWF Meeting Announcment

Pasco County educators are invited to register for an upcoming University of West Florida (UWF) online informational meeting to learn more their regionally and NCATE-accredited online degrees. Their programs are provided at reduced rates, including district partner tuition rates. The session will take place on Tuesday, April 11, at 4:30 p.m. and will review UWF's degree programs, GRE waiver, admission requirements, financial aid, and loan forgiveness options. The following programs will be offered:

  • M.Ed. in Educational Leadership
    • Shortest online Ed Leadership program in the state
  • M.Ed. in Instructional Design and Technology
    • No teaching certificate required
  • Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) in Curriculum and Instruction
    • Three specialization options
  • Doctorate (Ed.D.) in Curriculum and Instruction/Curriculum and Assessment
    • Only FL state university to offer a fully 100% online doctoral degree

If you cannot join the online meeting, but would like more information, please contact Casey Berman at 727-515-3607. Click here to register. Learn more about UWF in their April College of Education newsletter.


New EdD Program at USF

The University of South Florida has a new education doctorate (EdD) program specializing in Educational Innovation. It has been very popular with Pinellas educators, and applications will be accepted for the upcoming fall cohort until May 15. If you have questions, please contact J. Howard Johnston, Ph.D., Department of Teaching and Learning and Program Coordinator, at 813-240-2620, or visit the program's website. Click here to view their program flyer.


Free Tampa Bay Rays Tickets: Salute to Service Program

As part of the Tampa Bay Rays Salute to Service Program, they are offering all licensed teachers (K-12) free complimentary tickets, as well as other special discounted offers throughout the season. For teachers to be eligible for this program, they have to follow two easy steps:

  • Click here and sign up for the newsletter.
  • Sign up with ID.me, a third party verification service.


Hometown Heroes

Hometown Heroes is an organization designed to give back to those who help make our communities a better place to live by offering real savings from local and national business partners, and real estate professionals. Heroes can find savings for the things they do and use every day. New savings are being added often and there is never a cost to heroes! Heroes are those faithful men and women who serve our communities & our nation:

  • Military Service Members (past/present)
  • Medical Personnel (Nurses, Doctors)
  • First Responders (Police, Fire, EMT)
  • Non-Profits (Charities, Churches)
  • Educators and School Employees (ISD, College)

Click here to learn more about Hometown Heroes.


Free Tax Prep for Pasco County Residents

United Way of Pasco County, in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service VITA Program and AARP Tax Aide Foundation, is sponsoring free income tax preparation sites for low and moderate-income taxpayers in Pasco County. All tax preparers are trained and IRS Certified to help Pasco residents with filing their taxes. For more independent and computer comfortable clients or those who prefer filing their own tax returns, MyFreeTaxes is offered through the United Way of Pasco County website. If people need help, there is online help available as they prepare their own taxes.  If you have any questions about the program please contact Kelly Steen, Prosperity Campaign Resource Manager, at 727-835-2023. Click here to learn more.


Pasco County Government



PIO Linda Cobbe and Debbie Hebert, as our "Learn It Live" educational series comes to an end for the season, I wanted to personally thank you for helping us to promote the shows.  In fact, this is the first time in 25 years that the CFA at River Ridge has basically sold out every performance with an average attendance of 800 students.  Your team has been a huge part of that success.  From The Florida Orchestra to Charlotte’s Web and every presentation in between, your marketing efforts have not gone unnoticed.  I look forward to working with you next season as we continue to enrich the lives of our students through the arts. -Rick D’Onofrio, Managing Director, Center for the Arts at River Ridge

I can’t state enough how impressed we are with Tara Nixon. Her commitment, preparation, and hard work has set each of these schools up for success. Her leadership at the district level over this project is a model for how we should move forward with other districts. She has created email content, fliers, and a plan to advertise SchoolCNXT on each school’s website. In addition, she joined us at each school and shared with the teams her vision, ideas, and support. We are most appreciative for her role in this partnership. -Lisa Kehoe, Senior Director of Customer Engagement, SchoolCNXT

Events and Kudos sections are copied verbatim from their submission, with minimal, if any, alteration.

Congratulations, Mary Olson, for serving as Mittye P. Locke Elementary's bookkeeper for 50 years!

Thomas Promise

Centennial Middle School student Brooke Thomas started the Thomas Promise Foundation to help fight hunger in Pasco County.

Student Spotlight

Hang Nguyen

Staff Spotlight

Samantha Wregg
1st Grade Teacher
Chester Taylor Elementary School

Click here to read her interview.


Family-Friendly Summer Camp Expo

Family-Friendly Tampa Bay is hosting their Summer Camp Expo on Saturday, April 8, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Florida Hospital Center Ice. The Summer Camp Expo is a free event that will include live entertainment, workshops, sports clinics, a pamper parents lounge, and much more! Free tickets are available via online registration. Florida Hospital Center Ice is located at 3173 Cypress Ridge Rd., in Wesley Chapel. Click here for more information. Dress warmly!


Building Trades and Military Academy Expo

The Building Trades and Military Academy Expo takes place on Saturday, April 8, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and is hosted at the Alice Hall Community Center. Students will learn about career opportunities in building, construction, and the U.S. military. Representatives from all military academies have been invited to interact with students and answer questions. The Alice Hall Community Center is located at 38116 5th Avenue, in Zephyrhills.


Ridgewood's Community Yard Sale

Ridgewood High School is hosting a Community Yard Sale on Saturday, April 15, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. Participants may purchase inexpensive, gently-used clothing, appliances, books and other useful household items sold by members of Ridgewood’s community and by staff from Ridgewood High School, Marchman Technical College, Chasco Middle School, Calusa Elementary School, and Chasco Elementary School. There will be food and beverage concessions, raffles, music and entertainment. All proceeds from the sale of booths, concessions, and donations will benefit Ridgewood’s athletic programs and the Class of 2019. All members of our community are welcome to sell, donate and participate in this event. If you are interested in renting space and a table to sell your gently-used items, please contact Derek Delgardo at 727-774-3848 or Jennifer Resto at 727-774-3816. Click here to learn more.


The Kennedy Family Benefit

The family of Adam Kennedy, the late principal of Crews Lake Middle School, is holding a benefit in his honor. The benefit will be hosted at the Connerton Clubhouse on April 22, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and will raise funds for his children's future, education, and general expenses. There will be entertainment for the entire family including music, bounce house, balloon artist, giveaways and more! Tickets will not be sold at the door, and must be purchased online here by April 20.


Drive "Fore" Bulls

The Wiregrass Ranch High School boys basketball team is having a fundraiser, Drive "Fore" Bulls, on Sunday, April 23, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Pebble Creek Golf Club. Registration begins at 10 a.m. The cost per player is $70, or $260 per foursome. Please submit payment directly to WRHS front office. Make checks payable to WRHS Boosters and please include a phone number and address. If you have any questions please contact Denise Nicholas. Click here for more information.


Fivay's LEO Appreciation Night

Fivay High School is hosting a Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) Appreciation Night during the Fivay-Zephyrhills baseball game on Wednesday, April 26, beginning at 7 p.m. Sheriff Chris Nocco and CPL/SRO Jim Derner will be throwing out the first pitch. If you are interested in donating to help with the event, please contact Corporal Milton Arroyo at 727-246-4000.


Taste of Pasco

Leadership Pasco's Class of 2017 is hosting Taste of Pasco, their annual fundraiser, on April 29, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Safety Town Concourse Pavilion. This annual event will feature food from local restaurants, kids' activities, and raffle prizes. Proceeds will benefit Sunrise of Pasco, a rape and domestic violence shelter. Tickets are $25, and children 12 and under are free. If you would like tickets, please contact Christine Pejot at 813-794-2353. For more information, please click here.



MyArt/Works is a Pasco County Schools art specialists showcase. The exhibit is May 4 through 20, at the Center for the Arts at Wesley Chapel, and the closing reception is May 20, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Please come out and support these talented teachers! Click here to learn more.


Special Olympics - Pasco County 19th Annual Golf Tournament

The Special Olympics - Pasco County 19th Annual Golf Tournament and four person scramble is being held at the Fox Hollow Golf Club on Saturday, May 6. Check-in begins at 12:30 p.m. and there is a 1:30 p.m. shotgun start. Tickets are $75/per person (tax deductible) and include green fees, cart, range balls, goody bag, raffle ticket, and buffet dinner. Registration is due May 1. Please click here for more information. If you have questions, contact Valerie Lundin at 727-774-3062.


#PascoTogether Summer Learning

There are three summer learning opportunities on the horizon:

  • Together We Lead
  • Together We Stand
  • Together We Learn

Click here for more information.

Important Dates


  • 1-30: National Autism Awareness Month
  • 16-22: National Student Leadership Week
  • 17-21: Public School Volunteer Week
  • 22: Earth Day
  • 23-29: Administrative Professionals Week
  • 26: Administrative Professionals Day
  • 28: Progress Reports