May 4, 2017

May 4, 2017

May 4, 2017

May 4, 2017

Superintendent's Message

Proposed Education Budget Concerns

I have grave concerns about the current education appropriations bill that awaits approval by the Florida Legislature.  Some lawmakers may tout this year’s proposed budget as an education increase; but in reality, the 0.34% increase in funding is primarily comprised of restricted categorical funding and a Florida Retirement System contribution increase. These funding silos tie the district’s hands and leave us little or no discretion in how the money will best serve students.  All funds not tied to specific programs are for growth in student enrollment.  The truth of the matter is the current education budget proposal cuts the Base Student Allocation (BSA) for Florida families by $27 per student.  This represents approximately $2 million that is vitally needed to move our district forward.  It goes without saying, but this level of funding will have severe consequences on the quality of education we will be able to provide to Pasco’s children.  The sad thing is that we wouldn’t be in these dire straits if the Legislature would allow districts to benefit from increased property values.  Instead, they are arbitrarily and unnecessarily restricting our property tax collections to the same amount we collected last year.  The House and Senate have extended the legislative session through Monday, and will vote on the budget that day.  If this budget passes, the district and our schools will have some very tough decisions to make.  Our goal will be to hold students and classrooms harmless, but we won’t be able to avoid painful budget cuts.


Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 7 through May 13.  Click here to read the School Board proclamation from the April 18 board meeting. Thank you, teachers, for everything you do for the children of Pasco County Schools!


School Lunch Hero Day

School Lunch Hero Day is May 5. Thank you to all of our school nutrition professionals for the role you play in preparing our students for success.


Attention All Employees

Employees Impacted by Summer Hours

Click here for the 2017 Summer Hours memo that includes dates and other important information about working extended hours, summer dress, and the week of July 4. If you are not impacted by summer hours, please disregard.


Take Your Sons & Daughters to Work Day

District employees who wish to bring their school-aged son or daughter to work with them may do so on Monday, May 22.  Employees must prearrange their children’s absences with their principals and teachers if they plan to participate on May 22. 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.


Customer Appreciation Warehouse Sale

Scholastic Book Fairs is hosting a Big Event Warehouse Book Sale May 16 through May 17 at the Tampa Events Banquet Hall and Conference Center. The center is located at 13507 N. Nebraska Avenue, in Tampa. Here are the times the sale is available:

  • Tuesday, May 16: 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 17: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Click here to learn more.


Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Thousands of people are killed in distraction-affected crashes in the United States every year. Distractions not only endanger drivers—anything that diverts a driver’s attention also puts passengers and everyone else sharing the road at serious risk. The best way to end distracted driving is through education. Please take a moment to learn more about the dangers of distracted driving and don’t let you or your loved ones become another statistic. Distractions while driving include:

  • Texting
  • Using a cell phone or smartphone
  • Eating and drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming
  • Reading, including maps
  • Using a navigation system
  • Watching a video

The fight to end distracted driving starts with you. Let’s all make a decision to be safer and…don’t text and drive. Click here to download Sprint's DriveFirst technology for your Android smartphone.


Special Olympics Craft Show

Special Olympics Florida - Pasco County is hosting a Holiday Arts and Crafts Festival and is looking for participants. It will be held on Saturday, December 9 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at 14744 Nottingham Trail, in Hudson. Click here to learn more.


Employee Opportunities

Sprint - Pasco County Schools Employee Offers

Sprint is offering the following offers to Pasco County Schools employees:

  • $400 Visa Card Offer: Switch to Sprint and activate three or more lines
  • Unlimited Freedom Plan: $30 per month per line for 4 lines. The fifth line is free.
  • Waived activation fees on new lines of service
  • Sprint Referral Program Special Offer: Receive $100 per line when your friend or co-worker activates. (Earn up to $500 each year.)

For complete details, call 866-639-8354 and use the following Sprint Discount Program Corp ID: GDSFL_ZZZ. Offer ends May 8.


Florida Southern College (FSC) Teacher Courses and Information Sessions

  • Teaching Students with Disabilities Renewal Course

FSC offers “Teaching Students with Disabilities” renewal course. Florida professional certificate holders can satisfy this certification requirement by taking EDU 2210 – Foundations of Special Education online. Please click here to view the schedule.

  • Undergraduate and Graduate Programs Information Sessions

The following are upcoming progam information sessions:

  • Thursday, May 11th at 6:00 PM – Becker Business Building, Florida Southern College Campus, Lakeland, FL
  • Thursday, June 1st from 4-6 PM – Grillsmith Restaurant at Lakeside Village, Lakeland, FL
  • Saturday, June 17th AT 10:00 AM - Becker Business Building, Florida Southern College Campus, Lakeland, FL

Click here to register and learn more. If you have questions, please contact Kelly Curtis.


Teacher Technology Summer Institute

St. Leo University is accepting applications for their Teacher Technology Summer Institute (TTSI). Applications are available here, and letters of support from principals should be emailed to Holly Atkins. Contact Holly Atkins, associate professor of education, at 352-588-8386 with questions. Click here to view their flyer.


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.


St. Leo Prodigy - Free Cultural Arts Program

Prodigy is a year round cultural arts program offered at no cost to Pasco students grades 1-12, and ages 6-18, at various locations throughout Pasco County under a grant administered by St. Leo University. Prodigy's mission is to use art as a means for students to reach within themselves in order to understand and express their inner thoughts, feelings and values. Art becomes a vehicle for self-exploration. Self-expression, through the creation of art, is tied to building interpersonal skills. Ultimately, the Prodigy model seeks to stimulate and promote creativity and cultural expression among youth to ensure that they not only thrive, but prosper within their cultural context. Prodigy has an open enrollment policy, which means that a student may enroll any time throughout the year. Children are not permitted to participate in Prodigy classes until the Prodigy office has confirmed all registration information. Children in the Prodigy Program are expected to participate independently and function in multi-aged, multi-sized groups. See below for:

If you have any other questions or concerns, contact Cheryl Otero at 352-588-7425.


Kindergarten Registration


Pasco County Government



Mark Fox, Pine View Elementary is currently going through the television installation process and I wanted to let you know what a great job Sergio (electrical crew) is doing.  His quality of work as well as his attention to detail have been superb. While working in our front office yesterday, he noticed that a television that was installed last year had all of the wiring on the outside of the wall and was covered with wire molding.  Instead of moving along with his current job, he quickly identified that the installation should have been within the ceiling grid/wall and took the extra time to make this installation more aesthetically pleasing.  The television is the first thing you see when you enter our front office so I am thrilled that the focus is now on the screen and not the wire molding running down our wall. Thank you, Sergio for going out of your way and taking such pride in your work! -Mindy S. Predmore, Assistant Principal, Pine View Elementary School

Superintendent Browning, I wanted to take a moment to recognize how special Mrs. Karie Kwiat is and what an asset she is to the District School Board of Pasco County.  My son is in 5th grade at Sanders Memorial Elementary School, and he has always had difficulties with his learning.  He is one that has always done just enough to get by with not much enthusiasm for learning.  He has had many teachers and mentors try to help him excel, but no one has ever had the impact that Mrs. Kwiat has had with him in such a small amount of time...I know that she works with many students at Sanders and has a great effect on them as well.  Her dedication to the students and their futures is unlike any other that I have experienced...I also wanted to express my gratitude to Sanders Memorial Elementary School principal Jason Petry.  Our experiences over the last 2 years have been amazing.  Mr. Petry is such a great administrator and he too takes the time to get to know his students personally to ensure they succeed.  I feel that he has been a great influence on my son, as well as many others.  The children really look up to him and think that he is an amazing guy...Kudo’s to him and all of his success with this great STEAM school! -Melissa Phillips-Fitzgibbon, Payroll Department

Mrs. Bobbi Starling, I wanted to reach out to you to say thank you. My daughter is about to graduate from high school with her AA. It was in your class that she we that goal for herself. It was also in your class that she caught her love for technology which gave her the skills to start her own photography business. She was ready to teach way back when and now, she is getting ready to pursue her degree as an elementary education major at Saint Leo in the fall. I will never forget the many mornings I would get caught in your class as the first bell rang. I will also never forget how you looked out for my girl as one of the youngest in your class but you also always pushed her to do her best to keep up with the big kids. The projects you assigned are still hanging around my house. We will cherish them always. You must know we will also always cherish the years she had with you. She is a smart, confident and caring young lady that I could not be more proud of! Thank you doesn't seem enough for all you have done. We would love for you to join us in celebrating all she has accomplished so far. After all, you helped get her here! It has been an honor to share her with you. -Sherry Christie, parent

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

Congratulations to Thomas E. Weightman Middle student Dominic Fonseca for winning the Tax Collector Essay Contest!

School Spotlight

West Zephyrhills Elementary School

CNG School Bus Facility

Staff Spotlight

Emma Nathe
Instructional Assistant
Centennial Elementary School

Click here to read her interview.

Student Spotlight

Hailey Henderson
12th Grade
Wesley Chapel High School

Click here to read her interview.



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


  • 1-31: National Mental Health Awareness Month
  • 7-13: National Teacher Appreciation Week
  • 9: National Teacher Day
  • 10: National Bike to School Day
  • 10: National School Nurse Day
  • 25-28: Graduation
  • 26: Students' Last Day
  • 29: Memorial Day - Closed
  • 30-31: Teacher Planning Days