August 25, 2016

August 25, 2016

August 25, 2016

August 25, 2016

Superintendent's Message

It’s election season again, so that means it’s time to remind employees about School Board policy related to politics.  We encourage staff and students to be involved in the electoral process during their free time, but School Board policy prohibits staff and students from participating in political activities during school hours or on school property.

Specific policies addressing this issue 1232, 3231, 3232, 4231, 4232, and 5880.


Tropical Weather Alert!

We are monitoring reports on the movement and intensity of the area of low pressure that’s currently in the Caribbean.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association indicates that this system could develop into a tropical depression this weekend.  Please monitor the district and school websites for updates in the emergency alert strip at the top of each homepage, as well as the district Facebook page and Twitter feed for updates throughout the weekend.  If a decision is made to close schools, information will be posted on these sites and a phone message will be sent to all employees and students.



2015-16 School Year Battery Contest Winners

Pasco County Schools and Pasco County Utilities co-sponsor the Household Battery Recycling Contest each fiscal year from July 1 to June 30. Household batteries are among the hazardous materials that often are thrown in the trash without people realizing the potential for groundwater and soil contamination.  This contest encourages students and school employees to collect and recycle their household batteries. With everyone’s efforts, Pasco County Schools was able to collect and properly dispose of more than 24,500 lbs. of hazardous batteries this year alone. Below is the elementary school final results:

  1. West Zephyrhills - 1,499 lbs. 
  2. Richey Elementary
  3. James Irvin Education Center
  4. Deer Park
  5. Odessa
  6. Lake Myrtle
  7. Mittye P. Locke
  8. Charles S. Rushe
  9. Sand Pine
  10. Pasco

Each of these schools won a cash prize to be used as the school sees fit.  The contest is annual so good luck to each and every one of you this coming school year!  Let’s aim for 25,000 lbs. for 2016-2017. For more information on the battery contest please click here.


myStudent Parent Portal

Our new gradebook and attendance platform, myStudent, will be available for parents to login beginning August 29, for the 2016-17 school year. This portal will allow you to monitor your child’s progress and enhance communication and involvement in your child's education. Click here to learn more. If you need assistance, please email





Everyone talks about grants, but many times do not make it clear where to locate more information about them. The Division of State and Federal Programs has placed extensive grant information on CANVAS.  There are multiple funding sources and internal procedures information. Be sure to follow @pascoschgrants on Twitter and be among the first to know when a new grant is posted!


Child Abuse/Neglect Reporting

Child abuse and neglect are serious issues. Pasco County Schools has created a brochure for employees. Click here for more background information on child abuse and neglect reporting guidelines.


Zika Virus

Click here for information about protecting yourself and your family from the Zika virus.  The district is adding links and information to the Health Information page on the Parents portal.


Pasco County Government Information


FDOT Back-To-School Toolkit

With students, parents, and teachers heading back to school throughout the state, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) would like you to have the tools needed to arrive safely and on time. Click here to download the toolkit.


Road Closure

Dairy Road will be closed to traffic from Bounty Lane to Pierre Lane from Monday, August 29, through Friday, September 2. The road will be closed for underground utility work for an adjacent construction project. Click here to learn more. For any concerns, please call 813-986-2901 or email


Student Spotlight Nominations

Every week during the school year, School Matters will provide a "Student Spotlight," highlighting the unique accomplishments and interesting achievements of our student body. If you would like to nominate a student, please email Anna Marquez. Include the student's name, school, and what makes this student special. If chosen, Communications and Government Relations staff will then interview the student, include the content in School Matters, and post the content on our social media pages.


Elections Information from Supervisor Corley

As we approach the 2016 Primary and General Elections, Pasco Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley has prepared a voter guide so you can #BeElectionReady. This guide contains information regarding:

  • Bookclosing Dates
  • Election Dates
  • Vote By Mail Sign-up
  • Elections Terminology Definitions

The Pasco Supervisor of Elections Office can be reached at 1-800-851-8754.



Human Resources Director Christine Pejot, Today I interviewed Anthony Mitchell for an ESE position at WRHS.  He shared with me that he was new in the area and 1st tried to get his application in with Hillsborough County Schools.  He was so frustrated with their HR department that he decided to apply to Pasco County and felt that he had so much support from HR that he no longer wished to pursue a spot in Hillsborough County.  I want to thank your department for being so welcoming to new hires as I am excited to say he accepted a position at WRHS. -Mrs. Christy Rankin, Assistant Principal, Wiregrass Ranch High School

Seven Springs Middle School Staff, I wanted to acknowledge Juan from our custodial staff for going above and beyond today to help me comfort a new 6th grader who recently moved here from Puerto Rico and speaks very little English. As I was leaving the classroom with my teary eyed student we came across Juan moving a stack of chairs. I stopped Juan to ask if he spoke Spanish and he said, “Si”. I explained to Juan that Jan was having a difficult day and was upset about not understanding the assignment. Juan gave him a pep talk (all in spanish) and would not let the student leave without giving Juan a smile. Juan told Jan about his own struggle with the language and promised Jan it would be easier for him due to his young age.  Juan’s calm demeanor and willingness to help my student in his native language made my day and brought comfort to my student. It’s the little things that mean the most...Thanks. -Marilyn Hovsepian

Superintendent Browning, I just wanted to let you know what a wonderful (and humbling) experience I had at WRHS yesterday morning, the first day of school for students. I am the SAC Liaison from the SSPS department at district for this school and one of my duties is to help out on the first day in whatever capacity they need me to.  I have to say, that despite all of the "first day chaos" that kept coming through the doors...I was so impressed with how the staff handled each and every situation with care and calmness. The Student Services secretaries, Liz DeSimone & Kim Russell did an impeccable job multi-tasking!  The School Counselors Kristine Fewox, Alexa Vaccaro, Allison Kanewa and Cathy Billington assisted students and families tirelessly--and all with a smile on their faces!  Coming from an elementary school background, this experience was eye opening and I just wanted you to know that customer service is alive and well at WRHS! I am so glad I was assigned to this school! -Nicole Betegh-Edelmann, Student Services Specialist

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

The beautiful new media center area at Bayonet Point STEM Magnet Middle School.

Soldier Surprises Brother at Veterans Elementary School

Soldier surprises his brother during class at Veterans Elementary School.

STEAM Olympics at Cotee River Elementary School

Cotee River Elementary School hosts STEAM Olympics to celebrate the school's opening of their Makerspace.

Student Spotlight

Hannah White
Pasco High School

Click here to read her interview.


Extra Yard for Teachers Week

The 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship will be held in Tampa Bay on January 9, 2017. Join the College Football Playoff Foundation in celebrating teachers across the country! Extra Yard for Teachers (EYFT) Week is September 17-24. It will increase awareness for the EYFT initiative, a program that helps countless teachers, students and classrooms across America. On-campus activation and various community events to be announced soon. To view a recap of 2015 EYFT Awareness Week, click here.


2nd Annual Pasco County Out of the Darkness Walk

Please join us on Saturday, November 5, for Pasco County's 2nd Annual Out of the Darkness Community Walk! Registration for this event is free. Below is the schedule:

  • Registration: 9:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.
  • Opening Ceremony: 11 a.m.
  • Walk begins: 11:30 a.m.
  • Closing ceremony: 1 p.m.

Click here to create your own team/join a team for the Pasco County Out of the Darkness Community Walk.

Important Dates


  • 1-31: National Suicide Prevention Month
  • 1-31: Attendance Awareness Month
  • 5-11: Suicide Prevention Week
  • 5: No School - Labor Day
  • 6: School Board meeting (9:30 a.m.)
  • 11: National Grandparents Day
  • 11: Patriot Day (National Day of Service and Remembrance)
  • 15-October 15: National Hispanic Heritage Month
  • 26-30: Celebrate Freedom Week
  • 16: Constitution Day