October 6, 2016

October 6, 2016

October 6, 2016

October 6, 2016

All Pasco schools will be closed on Friday, October 7, due to anticipated high winds from Hurricane Matthew in parts of Pasco County.


Superintendent's Message

Hurricane Matthew


Pasco County Schools Named Health Champion!

The American Diabetes Association has launched Wellness Lives HereSM, a new initiative designed to inspire and fuel our nation's healthful habits at work and beyond. As part of that initiative, they created a Health Champion designation to recognize companies that make health and wellness a priority for their employees.

To become a Health Champion, organizations must meet healthy living criteria in three different areas: Nutrition and Weight Management, Physical Activity, and Organizational Well-Being. The health and wellness initiatives of Pasco County Schools have met the criteria and the American Diabetes Association has selected us for the prestigious recognition.


Employee Engagement Survey

On October 10, Gallup will send you an email invitation to participate in the Pasco County Schools Q12 Employee Engagement Survey, which will provide feedback on various aspects of employee engagement. The invitation will include your Access Code and a link to Gallup’s website, where you can complete the online survey. Gallup will keep your individual responses to the survey completely confidential. We are looking for 100 percent participation. Check your Clutter folder if you do not receive the survey in your inbox on Monday. Please take five minutes to complete the survey and ensure your opinion is heard.




Employee Benefits Update

Open Enrollment Begins in October

Open Enrollment begins October 1st and ends October 31st. Click here to schedule your appointment with an enroller.

Benefits Update #1

Benefits Update # 1 for the upcoming open enrollment is available online. This issue includes information on:

  • Open Enrollment (October 1 – October 31, 2016)
  • Medical Benefits and the Health Opt Out Plan
  • Behavioral Health and Employee Assistance Program
  • Prescription Drug Plan (Pharmacy)
  • Core and Supplemental Life

Additional information about benefit election options are available online by clicking here.


New Tools to Fight Bullying

Bullying is a pervasive problem in America that has plagued our children for decades. While there have been great efforts to spark change, bullying continues to affect between 25 to 33 percent of children across the country. Shockingly, 70 to 85 percent of bystanders do not take action. Relying on the goodwill of bystanders and teachers is not enough. More than 70 percent of all children will be bullied at least once during their K-12 years. You can take steps to reduce bullying. Be sure to tell your students and parents about The-No-App™ -- the only smartphone app which empowers the victims of bullying and their parents.The-No-App™ is the first anti-bullying app which immediately alerts parents to problem interactions AND creates a record of the person(s) bothering the child. This app helps create peace-of-mind for both the young user and his/her parents. It delivers a clear message to whomever is bothering the child, immediately alerts the victim's parents that something may be wrong, and creates evidence of who was harassing the child. It is also a tool to give parents an excuse to talk to their children about staying safe. Here are some online resources:

Please tell your friends and associates and help us spread the word. Empowering your children is an important step to their mastering the situation and moving past it. For more information, please contact Michael Lissack, Institute for the Study of Coherence and Emergence's executive director at 617-710-9565.


ESE Disability History and Awareness Weeks

Former Governor Charlie Crist signed ESE Disability History and Awareness Instruction, Section 1003.4205, Florida Statutes, into law on June 12, 2008. This instruction expands students' knowledge, understanding and awareness of individuals with disabilities and the history of the Disability Rights Movement. This year, recognition for this event will be held from October 3 through October 14.

The Office for Student Support Programs and Services is promoting this event on the district website with links to resources. These resources include instructional materials, the history of Disability Awareness, as well as general information. Schools are encouraged to include lessons and/or activities in student instruction and school-wide activities.

Please contact Celisa Cook at extension x42841 if you need additional information.


10 Years of the Emergency Contact Information System

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), Senator Bill Galvano and Christine Olson of To Inform Families First (TIFF) are recognizing the 10-year anniversary of Florida’s emergency contact information (ECI) system. ECI is a state-supported, secure system that allows Floridians with a valid driver license or identification (ID) card to register contact information of up to two friends and/or family members for immediate notification in the event of an emergency. The emergency contact information can only be accessed by law enforcement and only in the event of an emergency. On October 2, 2006, Christine Olson became the first person to register ECI in Florida, creating the first ever ECI program in the nation. Ten years later, almost 11.5 million, or approximately 66 percent of Floridians with driver licenses and ID cards, have registered their ECI and other states have since replicated the program.


FATE Annual Conference - CANCELED

Due to Hurricane Matthew, this conference has been canceled.


Community Information

Office Relocation: Senator Wilton Simpson

Senator Wilton Simpson’s office has moved.  His new address is 4076 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, FL 34606, and his office number is (352) 540-6074.


Pasco Voter Guide

As we approach the 2016 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.

Pasco County Government


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.



Assistant Principal Steven Page, I just wanted to thank you for the super IB program at Gulf High School.  [My son] entered USF as a sophmore with all of the credits that he earned and has been having an easy time with his classes. I am astonished at how prepared he is for college life and attribute that to your program.  We are both so happy we decided to go with the IB program, not to mention the benefit of the cost savings for college, [My son's] study skills that he learned while in IB afford him the time to come home on some weekends and play a few intramural sports which he is having a good time with.  His major is Social Sciences and now he is talking about a double major in Political Science. Thank you Mr. Page and keep up the good work. -Joan Dawson

Northwest Area Superintendent Todd Cluff, I wanted to take a moment of your time to address an incident which has shown light on the fantastic relationship between the Pasco County School Board and the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office...In September of 2016, the SRO of Fivay High School was arrested and terminated from employment with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office...In the wake of this incident your staff to include but not limited to, Principal Vanhook, Assistant Principals Waide, Gasaway, Lawrence, and Galletta took to the arduous task of “picking up the pieces.” Principal Vanhook immediately addressed the incident with her entire school staff during a staff meeting the morning after the incident. She addressed all of the staff members’ questions and concerns and reassured them that the school staff and student body would recover from this incident and would ultimately continue the process of educating and impacting the lives of the student body members of Fivay High School...In the following weeks Corporal Milton Arroyo was appointed as the new School Resource Officer of Fivay High School...These members have made this transition for Cpl. Arroyo seamless. Principal Vanhook and the Assistant Principals had welcomed Cpl. Arroyo, made him feel part of the leadership team, and enabled him to make this transition immediately...Principal Van Hook and the Assistant Principals should be recognized for their handling of a very difficult situation, the immediacy in which they addressed both staff and students needs during this time, and for their welcoming of Cpl. Arroyo. It is not often that I get to recognize positive issues which transpire at the schools which I supervise a SRO, but this needed to be brought to your attention. -Sgt. Robert J. Tedeschi, Pasco Sheriff's Office Youth Services Section, District 1 School Resource Officer Supervisor

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

Thanks Regions Bank for donating shoes to Richey Elementary students!

Student Spotlight: Roberto Gomez

R.B. Stewart Middle School student Roberto Gomez is a champion boxer!

Department Spotlight: Planning Services

Pasco Schools Rezoning Information

Staff Spotlight

Patrick Duncan
Director of Bands
Wiregrass Ranch High School

Click here to read his interview.


DC Country Jam 2016

DC Country Jam 2016 will be held on Saturday, October 8, at the Pasco County Fairgrounds in Dade City. This year's concert benefits the Thomas E. Weightman Middle school band; the Pasco Middle School Angler Club and Future Farmers of America; and the Pasco High School band, girls soccer, and girls weightlifting team. DC Country Jam, Inc. is in the process of creating a $500 music scholarship to award to a graduating senior pursuing a career in music. Last year, $14,000 was raised for new instruments and student organizations. Click here to view this year's promotional video.

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: Italian-American Heritage and Culture Month
  • 1-31: National Bullying Prevention Month
  • 1-31: National Principals Month
  • 1-31: Polish-American Heritage Month
  • 17-21: School Bus Safety Week