September 8, 2016

September 8, 2016

September 8, 2016

September 8, 2016

Superintendent's Message

Hurricane Hermine Response

I want to thank everyone for working together last week when we had to close schools due to the wind and rain from Hurricane Hermine.  Deciding to close schools in anticipation of potentially hazardous weather or flooding is not an easy task.  It was a group decision and I appreciate the input and cooperation of superintendent’s staff members.  I also want to thank our school leaders, plant managers, and staff from communications, maintenance, new construction and transportation for working together to ensure that everyone was safe and everyone was informed about our plans.  Let’s hope this was the only time we have to consider closing school this year.




MTC Independent Electrical College Apprenticeship Program

On Thursday, August 24, Fred K. Marchman Technical College started an Independent Electrical College Apprenticeship Program.  Marchman recently developed a partnership with the Independent Electrical Contractors, Inc. - Florida West Coast Chapter.  The program is a 4-year program that enables existing electrical workers to become journeymen. Donald Blake, Macy's/DOE Florida Teacher of the Year finalist, is the program instructor for the inital class of 15 students.


Negotiations Update

Pasco County Schools is trying to get as close to an across-the-board average salary increase of 2.65% for all teachers as possible. The proposed system for payment is almost identical to the method used last year. The District is proposing a 1.325% cost-of-living increase for all teachers. Based on the current state of the law, Pasco County Schools is only allowed to provide half of the salary increases on a cost-of-living basis. The other 1.35% would be distributed to teachers the same way it was last year. Based on some rough calculations:

  • A teacher on the “grandfathered” system (hired before 2011 and opted to stay off pay-for-performance) would get an additional estimated increase of around $650.
  • A teacher on the pay-for-performance system who got an effective evaluation for 2014/2015 would get an additional estimated increase of around $675.
  • A teacher on the pay-for-performance system who got a highly-effective evaluation for 2014/2015 would get an additional estimated increase of around $900.

In the end, most teachers will see between $1,250 and $1,500 depending on their previous base salary and which additional payment they are entitled.


Extra Yard for Teachers

The 2017 College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship will be held in Tampa on January 9, 2017, and the CFP Foundation has partnered with the Tampa Bay Sports Commission (TBSC) to honor teachers and students in the Pasco, Hillsborough, and Pinellas school districts. There will be several school-focused events honoring Pasco teachers, students, and staff leading up to the National Championship. Click here for more detailed information. There are two great upcoming CFP events honoring Tampa Bay area teachers:

Extra Yard for Teachers Week

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 activities and various community events to be announced soon. To view a recap of 2015 EYFT Awareness Week, click here.

Extra Yard 5K

The Extra Yard 5K offers a chance for locals as well as out-of-town fans to take part in championship weekend. The event includes a 5K race as well as a 1-mile Fun Run along a portion of the course. Live entertainment, race sponsor activities, and a post-race awards ceremony are all included in the experience. All proceeds benefit the Extra Yard for Teachers programming.

This year’s race will be held in the heart of Championship Campus in Downtown Tampa and will incorporate a scenic route down a portion of iconic Bayshore Boulevard. Click here to register. Pasco teachers receive a $10 discount by entering promo code TEACH.

Social Media

We encourage you to like, follow, retweet, and share the following social media accounts leading up to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game:


myPRISM Training

Training is being offered for the district’s new inventory system, myPRISM, on September 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, and 22.  Each training session will last two hours and will be offered three times during each training day at 8:00, 10:30, and 2:00.  Please use myPGS to sign up for one of these important training sessions.  The intended audience for this training is primarily RMAs, bookkeepers, principals and APs; however, please share this information with anyone that will be regularly involved with your inventory control procedures as well.  Should you have any questions, please contact Joshua Nelson at 813-794-2197.




Community Information

Supervisor of Elections Brian 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.


FDOT Back-To-School Toolkit

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.


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.


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.



Communications and Government Relations Director Linda Cobbe, I attended the open house for Seven Springs [Middle School] last night and I was truly impressed by the organized presentation of each teacher informing us as parents what to expect this scholastic year. It was rather impressive to see the executive staff of the school interacting with the parents and making the parents feel welcome. It was reassuring, in this day and age, when little attention is paid to education by the masses, that the teachers are passionate and dedicated to the learning of the children and very much attuned to the reality of life as it has changed over the years. Being a single, doting father that emphasizes on education I am proud to see that my child is under the guidance and tutelage of such able teaching staff and administration. -Mike Roussos, parent

CTE Director Terry Aunchman and Tom Saxton, I just wanted to  let you know how incredible Mr. Dan Lively has been to The Academy of Digital Production.  We have an amazing group of kids here and (for the most part) we are able to work out an technical issues that come along. Occasionally we run into a road block.  Each time we are in this position, we have reached out to Mr. Lively due to his experience in this field.  Without fail he successfully and quickly responds to our problem.  He is professional and creative in his problem solving.  It is such a relief to have someone like this to fall back on! -Stephanie Bertig, Digital Video Production, Wesley Chapel High School

OTIS Director John Simon, I would like to send kudos to Bill Case. Here at Trinity Oaks, our morning news show tv channels were not working properly. I called him on Friday, August 12th and explained that we really wanted to have our news show on Monday- the first day of school. Bill agreed to come out first thing on Monday morning; I was so relieved! But, just an hour later, he called me back to tell me he was on his way out to TOES right then and there! Bill arrived just before 4 pm and got us up and running! Thank you so much for going above and beyond, Bill. You helped to make our first day of school great! -Darlene Wagner, Learning Design Coach, Trinity Oaks Elementary School

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

Calusa Elementary students held a pep rally to celebrate the new year.

Teacher Spotlight

Rachel Andrews - Wiregrass Elementary School

Region Spotlight

Northwest Area Superintendent Todd Cluff

Student Spotlight

Haley Terwilliger
Land O' Lakes High School

Click here to read her interview.

Staff Spotlight

James Smith
Oakstead Elementary School

Click here to read his interview.


National Suicide Prevention Week

National Suicide Prevention Week is September 5-11. Suicide prevention is everyone's business. Join us in promoting awareness and prevention in Pasco by wearing yellow to work or school on Friday, September 9 in observance of World Suicide Prevention Day. Learn more here.


Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and cancer is the leading cause of death by disease of children in the U.S. Here are some facts:

  • Every three minutes a child is diagnosed.
  • 15,780 U.S. children are diagnosed yearly.
  • 1/285 are diagnosed before age 20.
  • 1/4 will die from cancer or side effects.
  • 2/3 will develop long term side effects from chemo drugs, such as loss of hearing and vision, heart and kidney disease, secondary cancers, learning disabilities, and infertility.
  • 40,000 children are under treatment yearly.
  • Each day infants and children endure surgeries and chemo drugs with a smile.
  • 4% of NCI funding goes for pediatric cancer research and there have only been three new drugs in the last 20 years.

Learn more about real stories of children with cancer:


Red Ribbon Week

This year's Red Ribbon Week theme is Y.O.L.O. (You Only Live Once): Be Drug Free™.


National Bullying Prevention Month

October is National Bullying Prevention Month and is a nationwide campaign founded in 2006 by PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center. The campaign is held during the month of October and unites communities around the world to educate and raise awareness of bullying prevention.


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.


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 Friday, November 11, at the Center for the Arts at River Ridge.  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 21.  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.


Fred K. Marchman Technical College Rededication Ceremony

The Fred K. Marchman Technical College Rededication Ceremony will take place on November 16, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Fred K. Marchman Technical College. Click here for a copy of the Save the Date card.

Important Dates


  • 1-31: National Suicide Prevention Month
  • 1-31: Attendance Awareness Month
  • 1-31: Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
  • 5-11: Suicide Prevention Week
  • 11: National Grandparents Day
  • 11: Patriot Day (National Day of Service and Remembrance)
  • 15 through October 15: National Hispanic Heritage Month
  • 16: Progress Reports
  • 16: Constitution Day
  • 17-24: Extra Yard for Teachers Week
  • 26-30: Celebrate Freedom Week