April 14, 2017

April 14, 2017

April 14, 2017

April 14, 2017

Superintendent's Message

Campus Visitors

In light of the tragic school shooting in San Bernardino, it is important to remember to check every campus visitor in and out through Raptor. This includes late in the school year when employees become more familiar with parents and visitors, and, as a result, begin to overlook policy and procedure. For the system to be effective and to protect everyone on campus, the process needs to be the same for anyone coming on campus, every time. Unfortunately, in the case of San Bernardino, police believe because employees felt they knew the perpetrator, he was allowed to proceed to his spouse's classroom. 

Raptor has an alert feature which is useful in these situations. For example, if there is a staff member on your campus with any type of domestic issue (restraining order, abuse, etc.), Raptor can accept an alert for that person. Click here if you would like to view a tip sheet on alerts, provided by Volunteer Programs. Continued diligence with procedures helps reduce the chance of tragedy in our schools. It is everyone’s responsibility to follow consistent procedures to make every campus safe for students and staff.



Gulf Coast Odyssey of the Mind

Pasco County Schools has very creative, motivated, and hardworking students who participate in Odyssey of the Mind. They overcame numerous challenges and outshined hundreds of other Florida teams by earning the right to compete in the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals. The World Finals will be held May 24, through 27, at Michigan State University. The Gulf Coast Odyssey of the Mind teams are:

  • Wesley Chapel ES, Catch Us If You Can, Division 1
  • Mittye P. Locke ES, Catch Us If You Can, Division 1
  • Dayspring Academy, Catch Us If You Can, Division 2
  • Seven Springs MS, To Be Continued: A Superhero Cliffhanger

Odyssey of the Mind is an international creative problem solving competition with a rich 35+ year history of challenging kids from kindergarten to college to think outside of the box. It was founded by Dr. Sam Miklaus and predicated on the belief that creative thinking can be taught. If you would like to contribute to any of the teams’ expenses associated with their trip to Michigan for the World Finals, contact the individual principal.


Florida School Nutrition Association

Congratulations to Julie Hedine, food and nutrition services director, on your election as president-elect of the Florida School Nutrition Association. As the president-elect, she will also represent Florida in the National School Nutrition Association.


Attention All Employees

Take Your Sons & Daughters to Work Day

The national Take Your Sons and Daughters to Work day is scheduled for Thursday, April 27.  As you know, that day falls during state testing. With this in mind, we will use the same process we’ve used the past couple of years for parents who wish to take their children to work with them at their place of employment outside the district.  A principal has the discretion to allow a parent to take his or her son or daughter out of school to participate in the national event if the student does not have a scheduled EOC on Thursday, April 27, AND the parent has prearranged the student’s absence with his or her principal and teacher(s).

District employees who wish to bring their son or daughter to work with them may do so on Monday, May 22.  Employees also must prearrange their children’s absences with their principals and teachers if they plan to participate on May 22. Schools should use their newsletters and other platforms for communicating with parents to let them know their responsibilities.  We hope this helps you as you work with parents to meet their needs while assuring that your schools are free from disruptions during these important tests.


myPascoConnect Passwords

The Office for Technology and Information Services (OTIS) began expiring all employees' myPascoConnect passwords starting Thursday, March 30, and will continue to do so over a 4-week period. Do not change your password until you are prompted. 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.


Exceptional Student Education–Extended School Year (ESE-ESY) Employment Interest

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, school districts must provide extended school year (ESY) services if a student requires those services in order to maintain progress during the regular school year.  In an effort to adequately allocate for appropriate extended school year services, we would like to create a database of qualified staff interested in teaching Exceptional Student Education–Extended School Year (ESE-ESY) this summer. If you have an interest in providing ESE-ESY services, please complete the online survey by Friday, April 21, 2017.  The information will only assist with identifying potential staff for ESE-ESY.  Please complete the information by clicking here.  Completing this in no way will obligate you at this time.  For questions or assistance, please contact Michael Bailey.


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.


Prom Promise at Hudson High School

Recently, Florida Highway Patrol, Pasco Fire and Rescue, and the Pasco Sheriff's Office, hosted a mock DUI accident at Hudson High School, sponsored by Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD). The goal was to encourage students to think about decisions that can end their life, or the life of someone else, by driving under the influence. Click here to learn more.


Employee Opportunities

Title I Committee of Practitioners Application

The Florida Department of Education is recruiting new members for the Title I Committee of Practitioners (COP). The membership includes: public school principals, teachers, school leaders, local educational agency representatives, administrators, specialized instructional support personnel, paraprofessionals, charter agencies, charter school leaders, career and technical educators, private school representatives, parents and members of local school boards. The appointees will advise the department on carrying out its responsibilities for implementing the provisions of Title I. Click here to learn more about the committee. 


Employee Scholarships

The 2017 Pasco Education Foundation Employee Scholarship applications are now open and will be available until Sunday, April 30. Applications must be completed in one session because there is no option to save and continue later.  The application should take 30 minutes to complete. Click here to begin an employee scholarship application. The Pasco Education Foundation believes in supporting efforts to retain the best and brightest staff members in our schools. Its program provides financial assistance to employees who want to further their education to better serve the needs of our students. For further information, or if you have any questions please contact Caitlin Sadler at 813-794-2705.


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.


School Volunteer Appreciation Month


Kindergarten Registration


Community Review Day


Pasco County Government



We are giving a gigantic shout out to Moon Lake Elementary School for their turnout at STEM Night!  MLES STEM Committee hosted an Amusement Park Physics STEM Night where 847 guests attended.  Students had the chance to showcase their knowledge with interactive games and activities that reviewed the physics of what they had been learning in the school STEM Lab.  Students took the lead and shared with their families learning about forces, motion, acceleration and measurement.  Everyone had the opportunity to partake in the virtual reality roller coaster experience and Newton’s cradles.  The fun didn’t stop there...balloon launchers, roller coaster blueprinting, a kahoot challenge, pie-in-the-face levers and a giant rock wall rounded out the evening.  This is an unbelievable example of a staff dedicated to students and families bringing learning and the community together through STEM!! –Susan McKenna, Senior Instructional Specialist, Science K-6, Office for Teaching and Learning

PIO Linda Cobbe, My daughter has hated to read since 1st grade.  It has been her “Achilles Heel” requiring extra help in 2nd and 3rd grade due to concerns of her reading being on level.  But this year, she has started taking books with her in the car and I catch her hanging out in her room reading rather than watching TV which is highly unusual.  Last night, she told me she finished her 11th Sunshine State Book and passed her 11th test.  I told her how proud I was and to keep up the good work as she has started these books in previous years but gave up along the way.  I asked if there was an incentive by her teacher to read the books or a class requirement.  Her response was my teacher [Mr. Kevin Baldwin] is reading the books with us.  I’m trying to keep up with Mr. Baldwin.  The key to her interest was that her teacher is reading the book and she found the confidence to believe in herself.  I cannot thank Kevin Baldwin enough for sharing his passion for reading…[piquing] her interest and empowering her to want to read! -Carey Llazari, Project Coordinator, Construction Services & Code Compliance

Ms. Sandra Ragusa, It was a great pleasure to be with you and the Young Entrepreneurs competition students this morning.  They are a very impressive group of young people.  Jeff Grossman and I were talking as we were leaving and Katelyn happened to walk by.  We had a chance to speak with her because she had several questions.  Jeff did a superb job of responding to her questions.  She is an impressive young lady. I want to especially thank you for all you do and did for those students.  You are rightly proud of them.  But, after being in the business of teacher education for many years, I know that students like we saw and heard today are the result of a dedicated and very talented teacher.  Thanks for all you do in helping shape them. -Dick J. Puglisi, Ph.D., Professor, Stavros Chair in Free Enterprise and Economic Education and Director, Gus A. Stavros Center, College of Education, USF

Barbara Bull, Thank you again for all your assistance ferreting out the specific details of the district certification process and which option makes the most sense in my unique case.  I really appreciate you going the extra mile!  So much of this process of changing careers and entering the educational field is foreign to me and it is great when you find someone who talks "normal-speak" for lack of a better term so I don't have to cypher thru a whole conversation of jargon.  I'll be proceeding with my Engineering and Tech FTCE and let you know when I pass it in May...You put me right in contact with Nicole Postle about my salary questions, Carla Lied about Best and Brightest and then I ended up being referred to Melanie Parnham about pension questions (hopefully I spelled names correctly!). I felt like I could not have been in better hands.  As we discussed, I just want to get thru the certification process as quickly and accurately as possible so I can focus on my new course material, training, preparing for the students, etc.  And I feel with your assistance over the past couple of days, I am able to do that extremely efficiently.  Thank you! -Nathan Baker, Soon-to-be Engineering Teacher, Cypress Creek Middle High School

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

Mr. Nason's theater class hosted WTSP's Ian Reitz after Gulf Middle School was chosen as the 10News School of the Week!

Trinity Oaks Elementary's Featured Volunteer

Trey Anciaux

J.W. Mitchell High School's AP Capstone Program

Staff Spotlight

Kathleen Bolt
Kindergarten Teacher
Pasco Elementary School

Click here to read her interview.

Student Spotlight

Michael Reyes
12th Grade
Sunlake High School

Click here to read his interview.


Bunco for Backpacks

The 6th Annual Bunco for Backpacks will take place on Saturday, April 15, at 7 p.m. at the Seven Springs Golf and Country Club. Tickets are $20 each, in advance, and $25 each at the door. For more information, click here, or contact Angie Gardner, Bunco Chairwoman, at 727-457-0426.


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 Saturday, 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 Thursday, 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 Cpl. Pedro Leos at 727-246-4000.


Taste of Pasco

Leadership Pasco's Class of 2017 is hosting Taste of Pasco, their annual fundraiser, on Saturday, 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 Thursday, May 4 through Saturday, May 20, at the Center for the Arts at Wesley Chapel, and the closing reception is Saturday, 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