September 15, 2016

September 15, 2016

September 15, 2016

September 15, 2016

Superintendent's Message

I want to thank everyone who participated in the AdvancED district re-accreditation process.  I especially want to thank the Accountability, Research and Measurement staff members for coordinating this massive undertaking.  I also want to thank all of the principals and school staff members who took time to meet with the evaluators and/or to complete surveys.  Finally, I’d like to thank the following Standards Team members and drivers:

  • Standard 1:  Purpose and Direction
    • Vanessa Hilton, Tammy Berryhill, Todd Cluff, Ray Gadd, Monica Ilse, Dave Scanga
  • Standard 2:  Governance and Leadership
    • Kevin Shibley, Joel DiVincent, Ray Gadd, School Board Chairman Joanne Hurley, Betsy Kuhn
  • Standard 3:  Teaching and Assessing for Learning
    • Rayann Mitchell, Steve Williams, Terry Aunchman, Liz De Camilla, Vanessa Hilton, Melissa Musselwhite, Amanda Phillips, Joy Salerno
  • Standard 4:  Resources and Support Systems
    • Christine Pejot, Betsy Kuhn, Ray Bonti, Jackie Choo, Mark Fox, Julie Hedine, Jennifer Krill, Kim Poe, John Simon, Olga Swinson, Sue Zanatta
  • Standard 5:  Using Results for Continuous Improvement
    • Suzanne St. Clair, Iravonia Abiola, Mark Butler, Stephanie Green, Peggy Jones, Rayann Mitchell, Jenny Rinck
  • Chauffeurs:  Mark Butler, Andy Dunn, Tony Harroun, Erin Ipock, Phil Kupczyk, Glennda McCallister, Susan McKenna, Lea Mitchell, Rayann Mitchell, Teresa Montanez, Spencer Pylant, Joy Salerno, Tom Saxton, Kathy Scalise, Christa Vail, Jennifer Waselewski, Becky Younglove
  • A special thank-you goes out to Stacey Capogrosso, executive director of the Pasco Education Foundation, for sponsoring all of the food for our special guests throughout their visit. 

All of your hard work paid off!  On Wednesday, the AdvancED accreditation team presented their initial findings to the School Board and staff, and Pasco County Schools has earned re-accreditation!  Now, the work begins on addressing our areas of opportunity so that we can fulfill our mission of providing every student the world class education they deserve.



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 leading up to the National Championship honoring Pasco teachers, students, and staff. Click here for more detailed information. There are two great upcoming CFP events honoring Tampa Bay Area teachers:

1. Extra Yard for Teachers Week is September 17-24

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. The District School Board of Pasco County has joined the College Football Championship Foundation in proclaiming September 17 through 24 as Extra Yard for Teachers Week.  We encourage students, parents and staff to record “Thank a Teacher” videos and to post them on social media with the hashtag #thankateacher to increase awareness for the EYFT initiative, and to let teachers know how much impact they have on people’s lives.To view a recap of 2015 EYFT Awareness Week, click here.


2. 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, activities with race sponsors, 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.


EYFT on 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 p.m., 10:30 a.m., and 2 p.m.  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

Pasco County Government

United Way Partners Mobilize to Create Flood and Storm Recovery Fund


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. Also, watch for school buses and stop when the red, flashing lights and stop arm activate. 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.



I want to praise the Wiregrass Ranch High School swim team coaches Alisa Cimino and Kyle Gramm.  My daughter wanted to try out for the team as a freshman and I was able to see the coaches first hand as a parent.  Coach Cimino and Coach Gramm were at the high school faithfully two days a week over the summer at 8:00 a.m. in the morning to help the student condition and prepare for the season.  Then, as the season began and the team transitioned to practicing at the Hunter’s Green Country Club, I watched how encouraging and welcoming they were to not only the students trying out but to their families as well. Coach Cimino and Coach Gramm have been amazing at giving students confident to believe in themselves and I love the ability they have had to build team pride in such a short amount of time. Kudos to these coaches. -Addie Ogden, parent and Double Branch Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher

Having taught in the district for almost fifteen years, I have had various administrators and coaches over the year.  I really want to stop and praise the efforts of my immediate administrative team. They put in countless hours to help the staff and teachers of Double Branch Elementary to deliver the highest levels of instruction.  My Principal-Vaughnette Chandler, Assistant Principal-Heather Wallen, and Learning Design Coach Patrice Bradarich root themselves in not only the  standards and curriculum but also always have an open door to coach teachers no matter how busy they may be.  I hope these Kudos could be shared with them because the day to day grind does not always allow time for reflection and being grateful to the people who make us stronger teachers. -Addie Ogden, Kindergarten Teacher, Double Branch Elementary School

Communications and Government Relations Director Linda Cobbe, I wanted to pass along a compliment I received about Andy Dunn while at JLMS from News Channel 8. They noticed #PascoMath because of his video and were highly impressed by the quality of the work. Please give him a high-five from me! -Brian M. Dean, Senior Instructional Specialist, Office for Teaching and Learning

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

Congratulations to the FDLE School Bus Operator of the Year, Jennifer Walker!

Student Spotlight

Brian Fink - James W. Mitchell High School

Teacher Spotlight

Jeannie Fagan - Wesley Chapel High School

Department Spotlight

Accountability, Research, and Measurement
District Accreditation

Click here to read their interview.

Staff Spotlight

Jana Vento
PLACE Assistant Site Manager
Moon Lake Elementary School.

Click here to read her interview.


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™.


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
  • 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