September 3, 2015

September 3, 2015

September 3, 2015

September 3, 2015

The Superintendent's Response to the FSA Validity Study

As you probably heard, Alpine Testing released its findings related to the reliability and validity of the 2015 administration of the Florida Standards Assessment.  I don’t think this matter is resolved, however. 

While the DOE is satisfied that the results of the FSA can be used to grade schools and calculate VAM scores to evaluate teachers, most people reached a different conclusion.  Statements in the report indicating that “…the evaluation team can reasonably state that the spring 2015 administration of the FSA did not meet the normal rigor and standardization expected with a high-stakes assessment program like the FSA,” and ‘The interim passing scores were not established through a formal standard setting process and therefore do not represent a criterion-based measure of student knowledge and skill,” cause me great concern. 

I will join other superintendents and school board members in continuing to call for removing the high stakes consequences from last year’s test results and using them as a baseline only.  Florida superintendents strongly hold to their original opinion that results from the 2015 FSA should NOT be used for teacher evaluations, school grades, or in making student decisions.   

I will continue to update you on matters related to the FSA and any legislative action to address the concerns noted in the report.  Your help educating parents and the community about the shortcomings of the test and what we all can do to help make Florida’s accountability system fair and reliable will have more of an impact than anything I do or say.  To read the executive summary, click here.  To read the full report, click here.


Alternative Fuel School Bus Savings

Cost Per Mile (Miles Per Gallon Correction)

Pasco County Schools has 13 propane buses currently and has plans in the future to purchase 33 more. The above chart compares our 13 propane buses to 13 diesel buses. It’s clear to see that the propane buses are cheaper to run per mile. The average school bus runs an estimated 4,000 miles a month, or 48,000 miles per fiscal year. The fuel cost percentage savings per month of using propane over diesel is:

  • November 2014: 12.9%
  • December 2014: 9.8%
  • January 2015: 15.4%
  • February 2015: 6.9%
  • March 2015: 7.8%
  • April 2015: -2.5%
  • May 2015: 12.4%
  • June 2015: 10.9%
  • July 2015: 10.4%
  • August 2015: 6.3%

This information reflects that in addition to being environmentally friendly, alternative school buses can be more economical to use. Our District remains steadfast in our commitment to diversify our school bus fleet with more alternative fuel buses, such as propane or compressed natural gas. The cost savings per propane bus versus a diesel bus (to date) is approximately $2,400 to $4,200.


Volunteer Sign-up Update

Last year, we notified staff that you do not have to complete a volunteer application in order to volunteer at your child’s school.  This year, due to the inclusion of increased volunteer hours as a measurement of success in the District Success Plan, we recommend that employees do complete the online application.  Only volunteers who have been approved through the online application process can have their volunteer hours automatically recorded through Raptor and counted toward their child’s school’s total volunteer hours.


Veterans Day Program


We are creating a tribute again this year to all of our employees who are veterans to show at the district Veterans Day presentation, which is scheduled for Wednesday, November 11. Andy Dunn will be creating a video to honor their service. If you are a veteran, please submit a photo to Andy Dunn by October 28. If you sent a photo last year you do not have to resubmit one this year.  You will receive more details about the Veterans Day celebration as the date approaches.


Marzano Instructional Framework Resources

Please click here for our canvas course that provides more information about the “Great 8” Focus ELEMENTS within the Marzano Framework for the 2015-2016 academic year.


Calling All Aspiring Leaders...

The Office for Professional Development and School Supports is offering the following professional development opportunity, Leaders Emerging and Developing (LEAD), for anyone interested in more formal leadership positions. Participants will have the opportunity to learn from current school leaders on how to develop leadership skills in order to maximize student achievement through focused teaching and leadership practices. Interested teachers may get more information by searching for the courses titled "Leaders Emerging and Developing (LEAD)" - Level 1, 2, or 3 in our new MyPGS system or by visiting the leadership development website.


Pasco County's 1st Annual Out of the Darkness Community Walk

Suicide claimed 41,149 lives in 2013 in the United States alone, with someone dying by suicide every 12.8 minutes. A suicide attempt is made every minute of every day, resulting in nearly one million attempts made annually. When you walk in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) Out of the Darkness Walks, you join efforts with thousands of people nationwide to raise money for AFSP’s vital research and education programs to prevent suicide and save lives. The walks raise awareness about depression and suicide, and provide comfort and assistance to those who have lost someone to suicide.

Save the Date! Please join us on Saturday, November 7 for Pasco County's 1st Annual Out of the Darkness Community Walk! Click here if you would like to create your own team for the Pasco County Walk or need additional information.


2015 Pasco County Schools Spirit Day

On Sunday, September 13 at 4:25 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are having their home opener against the Tennessee Titans. More importantly, they have also declared September 13, "2015 Pasco County Schools Spirit Day." The following ticket prices are available:

  • Upper Level Seats
    • Adult: $40
    • Youth: $22.50
  • Lower Level Seats
    • Adult/Youth: $60

$5 from each ticket sold goes back to support The Pasco Education Foundation. If you would like to purchase tickets, click the image above and enter code PASCO or visit


Labor Day Savings for Employees

Pine View Middle's Kristen Fuqua instructs her World Geography students using blended learning.

A Message from Teachers

Deliberate Practice: A Conversation

Director Chris Christoff continues the discussion regarding how to get started with your Deliberate Practice Plan.