Kurt S. Browning, Superintendent of Schools
September 15, 2017

Kurt S. Browning, Superintendent of Schools

September 15, 2017

Kurt S. Browning, Superintendent of Schools

September 15, 2017

Kurt S. Browning, Superintendent of Schools

September 15, 2017

Superintendent's Message

Thank You


Individual and Household Assistance Available

After working closely with FEMA, Rep. Gus Bilirakis announced that Pasco County has been added to the list of counties that will receive Individual Assistance (IA) from FEMA. Residents can now make claims for individual assistance through FEMA by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362.


Resources

 

Tweets by @pascoschools

Announcements

Progress Report 1 Preparation

Elementary

The grade posting window for progress report 1 (PR 1) will remain open through Wednesday, September 20, at 9 a.m. As a reminder, kindergarten should not post progress report 1. Progress reports will be sent home with students on Friday, September 22. All materials relating to grade posting are housed within the myStudent University section of a teacher's portal entrance. There are also webinar links on posting progress reports from the special announcements area on the portal entrance of myStudent if assistance is needed.

Teacher progress can be monitored by: visiting Grades -> Teacher Completion Report. "X" represents that the class grade has not been reported. This report is available for administrators and DEO. As a reminder, the X will not go away under Homeroom on this report, because we do not use this area for posting homeroom grades. If you need to post grades for a teacher, because they missed the window or they are out during this window, the following directions will provide assistance.

Teachers can review their grade selections electronically by selecting the course they wish to review, and choosing "Quarter 1" from the dropdown area at the top of their screen. Next, select "Grades Menu" and select "Post Final Grades" or "Post Standards Grades" (elementary only for homeroom course). Once on this screen, select "Progress Report 1." If they wish to change their original selection, they can continue to adjust until the window closes on September 20, at 9 a.m. After a teacher posts their progress report grades, they should view the posted grades verification report. They will need to select "PR 1" to view the posted grades for this marking period.

Please remember:

  1. Do not use the hyperlink in the alert area for homeroom course. Instead, use "Grades – Post Standard Grades" to enter the area we are using for posting homeroom skill progress report information.
  2. A teacher can use the hyperlink in the alert menu to post for all other courses. They can also post from "Grades – Post Final Grades" for other courses. This is important, because after posting, if a revision is needed, there will no longer be an alert in the menu for that specific course. They can reenter by going to "Grades – Post Final Grades," and selecting the course.
  3. Teachers should carefully select up to three comments. Teachers will need more information for certain comments, which they can easily find by searching for their class and looking at the folders for the individual student.
  4. The progress report will look the same. There will be an "X" next to any course that has been posted with an "N" or "U" in the marking period for primary courses and "D" or "U" in the marking period for intermediate courses. For homeroom, any "N" or "U" selected will display an "X."  For request parent conference or irregular attendance in the homeroom course, the teacher would select "Y" if they would like "yes" to appear on the progress report for that area for an individual student.

If there are any problems posting: Be sure to select "Progress Report 1" for each area. It lands on "QTR 1," which we are in, but "Progress Report 1" must be selected at the top. If they still have an issue after checking that, guide them to put in a ticket by emailing myStudenthelp@pasco.k12.fl.us. Please contact Rebecca Musselman, Quest project manager, at 813-794-2597

 

Secondary

The grade posting window for progress report 1 (PR 1) will remain open through Wednesday, September 20, at 9 a.m. As a reminder, kindergarten should not post progress report 1. Progress reports will be sent home with students on Friday, September 22. All materials relating to grade posting are housed within the myStudent University section of a teacher's portal entrance. There are also webinar links on posting progress reports from the special announcements area on the portal entrance of myStudent if assistance is needed.

Teacher progress can be monitored by: visiting Grades -> Teacher Completion Report. "X" represents that the class grade has not been reported. This report is available for administrators and DEO. As a reminder, the X will not go away under Homeroom on this report, because we do not use this area for posting homeroom grades. If you need to post grades for a teacher, because they missed the window or they are out during this window, the following directions will provide assistance.

Teachers can review their grade selections electronically by selecting the course they wish to review, and choosing "PR 1" from the dropdown area at the top of their screen. Next, select "Grades Menu" and select "Post Final Grades" or "Post Standards Grades" (elementary only for homeroom course). Once on this screen, select "Progress Report 1." If they wish to change their original selection, they can continue to adjust until the window closes on September 20, at 9 a.m. After a teacher posts their progress report grades, they should view the posted grades verification report. They will need to select "PR 1" to view the posted grades for this marking period.

Please remember:

  1. It is important to post conduct grades, since it is an area on the progress report.
  2. Teachers should carefully select up to three comments. Teachers will need more information for certain comments, which they can easily find by searching for their class and looking at the folders for the individual student.
  3. A teacher can use the hyperlink in the alert menu to post for all courses. They can also post from "Grades – Post Final Grades" for other courses. This is important, because after posting, if a revision is needed, there will no longer be an alert in the menu for that specific course. They can reenter by going to "Grades – Post Final Grades" and selecting the course.

If there are any problems posting: Be sure to select "Progress Report 1" for each area. It lands on "QTR 1," which we are in, but "Progress Report 1" must be selected at the top. If they still have an issue after checking that, guide them to put in a ticket by emailing myStudenthelp@pasco.k12.fl.us. Please contact Rebecca Musselman, Quest project manager, at 813-794-2597.

Donations Needed for Disaster Relief

Pasco County Government and Metropolitan Ministries are accepting donations to assist those affected by Hurricane Irma.  Tens of thousands of our neighbors have been affected by the storm resulting in families being temporarily homeless or in need of the basic necessities.  Countless others have decided to stay in their homes despite the damage, but are still in need. Click here for a printable flyer of most-needed items.

 

Free Hot Meal

Generations Christian Church is providing a free hot meal for those in the community who are still without power. The church is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. for those needing air conditioning, WiFi, coffee, water, and/or snacks. They will be providing dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Generations is located at 1540 Little Road, in Trinity. 

 

Debris Pickup

Get rid of Irma debris, and register using MyPasco App. Pasco County will begin picking up debris September 18. Click here to learn more, and here for the county's flyer.

 

WellCare Comfort Stations

During this time, WellCare understands that you may be experiencing water shortages and power outages.  WellCare will be using their Welcome Room facilities this week and next week as "Comfort Stations."  WellCare’s “Comfort Stations” will provide a safe place where you can cool off, get a beverage and snacks or charge your phones. The Welcome Room will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the following locations:

  1. New Port Richey: 5113 US Highway 19N; 727-834-2301
  2. Spring Hill: 3280 Commercial Way; 352-263-2087
  3. Tampa: 8325 N. Florida Ave; 813-470-5650

If you are in need of further information or additional resources please contact WellCare’s Community Assistance Line at (866) 775-2192. The Comfort Stations and Community Assistance Line is open to all members of the community.  You do not need to be a WellCare member to utilize these services.

 

Pasco County Government

Growth

Suggestions for Teachers and School Administrators Returning from Hurricanes

By Patti Ezell, M.Ed., M.A., Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

These suggestions are based on my years of experience as an educator and as a counselor and therapist, as well as my work in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. I shared a few of these yesterday with my treasured school in Houston, but I have expanded the list today for a wider range of schools.  You will have to use your best judgement as to what will work in your setting, but I offer them with all the love and respect in my heart for fellow colleagues and educators dealing with this crisis.

  1. To start....remember that everyone in your area has been impacted by this trauma, whether they flooded or not. It now takes tremendous physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energy to do simple daily tasks. No one can function on "auto-pilot" ....even getting to school will take extra thinking and planning.
  2. Stress affects each person differently and it makes multi-tasking very difficult. Remember this is true for all administrators, faculty, staff, students and parents. Everyone will need to be gentle with each other and live offering each other grace.
  3. During the first week back, focus on simply helping students get back into the routine of school. Remember, everyone in their household is also adjusting so returning to the school routine will be good, but it will also be very challenging.
  4. Greet every student with warmth as they re-enter and tell them how glad you are that they are here.
  5. Main classroom teachers and homeroom teachers may want to open with a brief comment about the storm, but focus on the relief and joy of being back together and ready to work together on "things we know how to do" instead. "We know how to do school, so let's do school today. It will feel good."
  6. Some students will want to share their storm stories, but be aware that letting students share stories and things they have heard in the news may also serve to increase anxiety for many other listeners. Contact your school counselor for guidance and ask them to talk with those students who especially need to be heard. They may want to organize groups to share stories rather than making your classroom an open forum or they may be willing to schedule a time to visit each classroom to check in on the students.
  7. If a student becomes emotional in class, be empathetic, kind and reassuring, but avoid over-reactions. Assure the student that you understand and that feelings are a part of healing - even adults have similar feelings - but explain that focusing on the next thing in the classroom routine will also bring relief and healing. Avoid overreacting either way....avoid over-sympathizing and avoid being cold.
  8. Review the material you covered before the storm. The stress of the storm will have affected the students' retention of that material. So start over and do so with patience and assurance.
  9. Do not introduce new material for at least a few days. When you do start introducing new material, do not resume your normal pace.
  10. Do not shift into "we are behind mode!" You will not be able to follow the pace of last year. You may slowly regain a closer-to-normal pace in the weeks ahead, and you may even catch up a little, but if you start obsessing on the pace, you will add significant stress to your students. Prioritize how to spend your time.
  11. Many of your students are probably tired as they are trying to process all that has happened. Many of them may not be sleeping well at night whether they were flooded or not. Be mindful of the need for breaks. Remember you are also tired and so are the parents.
  12. Please, please completely erase any thoughts you might have about sending home make-up work to help catch your class up on what was missed while closed. This is definitely not the time for much homework or any extra projects.
  13. Please encourage more comforting and lighthearted literature and stories in the months ahead. This is definitely not the time for dystopian or apocalyptic type story lines. As a therapist, I already have concerns about the amount of dystopian literature young people are being given to read in classrooms. In the aftermath of disaster, they need warm stories of love, faith, healing and hope.
  14. Teach students good self-care strategies: sunshine breaks, drinking lots of water, eating healthy snacks, yoga stretches, exercise, laughter.
  15. Remember helping these students gain a sense of safety, calm, and "normalcy" is your first priority.
  16. Monitor your own stress and emotions. If you are struggling at any point, ask a colleague or administrator for help.

 

Financial Fitness Group

Pasco County Schools has partnered with Financial Fitness group to offer all employees the Financial Fitness program! The Financial Fitness Program is an educational program that includes a financial fitness checkup, financial fitness academy, and financial fitness coach.

All employees are eligible to participate and will have access to a financial fitness coach for 30 days at no cost between September 1, and December 31. Participating employees may:

  • Complete an initial check-up through the financial fitness checkup
  • Access over 80 tutorials through the financial fitness academy
  • Access a personal coach free for 30 days through the financial fitness coach

Tutorials cover information from various topics, including:

  • Personal finance
  • Saving and investing
  • Basics

Covered employees who participate in the financial fitness academy may also earn rewards through the district’s Health and Wellness Incentive (HWI) Program! Click here or visit www.PascoGoHealthy.net to learn more.

 

2018 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards

This year, the 23rd annual Prudential Spirit of Community Awards are searching for Florida's top youth volunteers. Prudential will be soliciting applications from 5th-12th grade students, and will announce the winners on February 6. Winning students will be brought to Washington April 28, through May 1, for four days of special recognition events, along with the top two applicants from every other state and the District of Columbia. Here is more information:

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program, the nation's largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer community service, has honored more than 120,000 youth volunteers over the past 22 years at the local, state and national level.

Professional Development

Core Content

The Office for Teaching and Learning (OTL) is now offering core content professional development (PD) for teachers this year. Please refer to the core PD schedule for times and locations for fall trainings. Teachers who teach more than one grade level should attend the day for their assigned PLC. Thank you, Bayonet Point Middle School, Cypress Creek Middle High School, Fivay High School, and Wesley Chapel High School, for hosting some of these events! OTL specialists will assist schools with arranging substitutes for professional development days, which can be challenging when large groups of teachers are out on the same day.  Please complete this form with the contact information for your school's substitute coordinator.

 

LEAD Aspiring Leaders Program

On Wednesday, September 20, Pasco County Schools is hosting the LEAD Aspiring Leaders Kick-off and Information Session. If you are interested in this professional development opportunity, please click here to sign into Office 365 and complete the form. If you have questions, please contact Rebecca Younglove at 813-794-2710.

Student Spotlight

Student Use UAS to Assist Recovery Efforts


Tampa Bay Regional Aeronautics Academy students worked directly with Pasco County officials to assist with Hurricane Irma relief efforts. They used their expertise in piloting unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to get better visuals for emergency management.

 

Tweets by @pascoschools

Events

The Cinderella Project of Pasco County Homecoming Boutique

The Cinderella Project of Pasco County will provide new and gently used dresses and shoes to indigent young ladies in time for this year’s homecoming festivities. The garments will be available in a boutique setting, and signs will be posted on the two school campuses to provide directions to their respective boutiques. To learn more about The Cinderella Project of Pasco County, where to donate clothing, and how to make cash donations, visit the organization’s Facebook page at The Cinderella_Project Pasco County or contact Julie Rockwell at (727) 372-2530. Click here for more information.

 

National Guard to Visit Hudson High School JROTC

The National Guard will visit the Hudson High School JROTC on Tuesday, September 26, at 7:30 a.m. They will bring a military Humvee and howitzer artillery gun, and fire blank rounds from the canon at the beginning of the first, second, third and sixth periods. The National Guard also will provide meals, ready-to-eat (MREs) and talk with students about the careers that its Florida force offers. For more information, contact Maj. Timothy Root, senior army instructor of JROTC, at (727) 774-4255.

 

Retirement Celebration

Joan Incaudo

Joan Incaudo's retirement party has been rescheduled to Friday, September 22, at 5 p.m. It will be held at In the Loop Brewing Company, located at 3338 Land O' Lakes Blvd., in Land O' Lakes. If you would like additional information, please contact Tina Sammartino at 813-794-2594.

September

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

This month is Childhood Cancer Awareness month. Click here for information about childhood cancer. If you are interested, click here to learn more about what you can do to help.

 

Suicide Awareness Month

This month is also Suicide Awareness Month. Click here for more information.

 

Attendance Awareness Month

September is Attendance Awareness Month. Click here for more information, or visit www.attendanceworks.org.

Kudos

Hurricane Irma

Andy Dunn, I hope you're doing well, and that Irma spared you from the worst. I had been keeping up with the Pasco Schools social handles, and I've got to say kudos to you, Linda and your team. You did an amazing job with all of the updates -- not just from an informational perspective but also with encouragement and some needed levity when it came around. I know it was appreciated for everyone in the county, but also for people like me to be able to check in on conditions from far away! Bravo, Andy! You deserve a much-needed vacation! -Kristen Chavez, Public Communications Specialist, College of Arts and Sciences, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill


Kathy Scalise and Principal Cloyd, I just want to let you know what a ROCK STAR you are! I can’t stop sharing with people how awesome your team was.  Listening to others, we were very fortunate to be where we were.  Pat yourself on the back for your leadership and most of all kindness. I am so grateful and feeling blessed these days. -Laura Brochu


Superintendent Browning, I felt the need to contact you regrading my family's experience at RRMS/RRHS as a shelter during the recent hurricane. I am having trouble finding words to describe how grateful I am to the staff for providing my family with such safety, care, and kindness. Dr. Toni Zetsche and her staff (administrators, maintenance, food service, and other instructional/non instructional staff and volunteers) never wavered from providing security to so many who were anxious and in need of both physical and emotional support. Each and every time I witnessed Dr. Zetsche and staff interactions, there was a calming smile and an assurance that whatever was needed would be taken care of as soon as was possible...I have thought in times past that I should send an email praising the education that my boys receive at RRHS. The education they received watching the River Ridge staff and volunteers at work during the storm is an example that will stay with them for a lifetime. They witnessed true humanitarianism. Although it was a extremely stressful time, I am grateful that my boys were able to witness what it means to be an outstanding citizen. In addition to your staff and volunteers, The National Guard support was overwhelming. Seeing all of these people aiding the elderly, sick, and just plain fearful people, is something I will never forget...-Nicole M. Lijewski, Trinity Elementary School


Sunlake High Shelter Staff, My family of four and one dog took shelter at Sunlake High during Hurricane Irma. It was our first time evacuating and we weren't sure what to expect. Our experience from beginning to end was truly a positive one, and I'd like to thank everyone who helped to keep us calm and comfortable. The kennel staff was always friendly and happy to allow us to get our dog to give him a walk. Thank you to them for their kindness and patience dealing with all of those barking, and somewhat smelly dogs. Food and nutrition went above and beyond.  I never expected to be fed, and the amount of people they had to serve at once must have been overwhelming. But they made sure people had what they needed and even offered a nice variety to chose from. My family who took shelter in another county said that after hearing about Pasco's food choices they were very jealous of how good we had it! I was so impressed with the facility and janitorial staff too. Never once did I see a garbage can overflowing. The bathrooms stayed clean and well stocked, something we all really apprecaited. The classrooms were very clean too, and even though sleeping on the floor was not desirable I was so thankful for how clean the floors were kept. Lastly I'd like to thank Adrian Anthony. Each time I saw him he had a smile on his face and an upbeat attitude. He kept everyone informed and made us all smile during a stressful time. I know there was a lot of work done behind the scenes too and I just want everyone to know how grateful we are for the contribution made by staff and volunteers. -Pam Sullivan, Trinity Oaks Resident


Senator Mike Fasano, My husband & I were able to assist evacuees at Connerton Elementary in my neighborhood when it was opened up from an alert that I received via email. I want to commend Pasco County for their response to this unprecedented event & how willing & responsive they were to the needs of the citizens of Pasco. It was very touching to see the community pull together to assist the most vulnerable & those w/disabilities & disadvantaged. You ALL are to be commended from the Pasco County employees, to 1st responders, to the School Employees and everyone in between. The communication to the public was exceptional & the support that was granted to the community went above & beyond to make sure lives were saved...Not only did Pasco County schools provide a shelter for these ones-but provided meals as well. Again, you ALL are to commended for using the resources available to help those in most need at such a vulnerable time. -Kim Cutler


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

Principal Toni Zetzsche, What could have been an extrememly stressful and traumatic situation was handled with comforting smiles, helpful hands, and patient volunteers.  As a single mother of 3, and this being the first time I have ever had to leave home to protect myself and my children from natural catastrophic events; I was scared and alone. The thought of staying in a shelter with my three young children - among hundreds of strangers petrified me. I expected the worst. However, when I arrived, I was greeted by several volunteer students who eagerly offered their assistance. Once inside, the staff in charge of registration and signing in were welcoming, comforting, and friendly. I was immediately put at ease. Thank you, River Ridge, for your time, your full effort, and for your caring hearts. I can not express in words how thankful I am for everything you did for all of us at the shelter. Even the cafeteria staff, as well as the maintenance staff was friendly and helpful. I am truly impressed and so grateful for all of you. I thank you, whole heartedly! -Haydelin Ortiz


Superintendent Browning, My family and I stayed at the Wiregrass Ranch High School shelter during the hurricane. On behalf of all of us (12 people), I would like to thank you for providing such an organized operation. The faculty was clean, the food was well managed, the staff was very nice and caring. Part of my family came from the Miami-Dade County region and they were impressed with how well everything was handled at the school. I'm very proud and lucky to be a Pasco County resident and wanted to extend my sincere thanks! Your staff was outstanding. -The Cognetta, Bagshaw-Gallego, Beiro, and the Morales Families


Superintendent Browning, We registered at the Odessa Elementary School Shelter on Saturday, 9/9/17 before Hurricane Irma hit our area. It was on the insistence of our children from out of town that we had to do this to avoid the forecasted damages. We were greeted by the staff, showed our group of seniors where we would be accommodated. We brought in our “camping stuff," settled in that night. We were in adjacent classrooms, with four restrooms. The whole area was classified as Seniors, Families with no children, families with children, families with pets and people with special needs. The shelter fed us three meals during our stay. At the  beginning of the period at the shelter, we were afraid we would experience what we saw as it happened in New Orleans, Katrina. We were just made to feel comfortable and secure, together with the National Guard staff. It was a well run operation, and we would like to express our sincere appreciation for the accommodations. We offered to give donations but we were told that that not really necessary. -Mr. and Mrs. Angelito Evora

School Matters is Superintendent Browning’s weekly newsletter to employees and is published by the Communications and Government Relations Department. It is an employee’s one-stop source for District news, events, and instructional videos.
Pasco County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex/gender, religion, national origin, marital status, disability, age or genetic information in its educational programs, services or activities, or in its hiring and employment practices. (read more)